A revelatory survey of lesbian identity in film--from the crossdressing stars like Garbo, Dietrich, and Hepburn to the vampire movies of the late '60s, Silkwood and The Color Purple. With wit and political acumen, Weiss reveals the concealed world of a host of movies both popular and forgotten. 160 photos.
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"Lesbian images in the cinema have been and continue to be virtually invisible," writes independent filmmaker Weiss in this accessible, worthy addition to gay and lesbian cinema studies. For the most part, lesbians have appeared as evil or perverse figures, such as the lesbian vampire ("the most persistent lesbian image in the history of the cinema"), and the sadistic or neurotic repressed woman, or as sexual challenges to men. Nevertheless, Weiss says, lesbians have looked to the cinema to form and affirm their identity. She begins by examining lesbian images and themes in early films, often set in an erotically charged girls' boarding school. Weiss then looks at lesbian-identified Hollywood stars (Dietrich, Garbo) and the emergence of a more self-conscious lesbian spectatorship in the 1930s. Looking at the postwar period, she considers the transformation from cinema's role in reinforcing heterosexuality to its more ambivalent portrayals in recent films such as Silkwood. Finally, Weiss explores how lesbian independent filmmakers have constructed alternative visual codes that reflect the search for lesbian self-definition. The selected filmography is an invaluable resource.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Although best known for her work with Greta Schiller on the Emmy-winning documentary Before Stonewall and Tiny & Ruby: Hell Divin' Women, Weiss has, since the 1970s, also shared her research through filmographies, slide shows, and reviews of lesbian films. Her book is the first to deal exclusively with and comprehensively consider lesbians in the movies. The films she covers range from early silents to recent lesbian independent projects. Throughout, she draws on the de facto expertise of other scholars and critics, such as Bonnie Zimmerman on lesbian vampire films and B. Ruby Rich and Vito Russo when discussing the early sound classic M„dchen in Uniform (1930) and its censorship. More daringly, she explores the images conjured up by the mind's eye of lesbian spectators during the long period when Hollywood forbade open portrayal of lesbians. The notes, index, and a too-brief selected filmography augment the value of this must for women's studies, lesbian and gay studies, and extensive film collections. Marie Kuda
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Descripción Jonathan Cape, London, 1992. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0224035754