Vampires and Violets: Lesbians in Film

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9780140231007: Vampires and Violets: Lesbians in Film

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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About the Author:

Andrea Weiss is a filmmaker and cultural historian. She won an Emmy for her research on the documentary Before Stonewall, and her subsequent films have won awards at festivals worldwide. A New Yorker, she lives in London.

From Publishers Weekly:

"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.

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