Askance, athwart, aside
The queer plays of actors, auteurs and machines
in Performance and Spanish film
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This chapter juxtaposes the Spanish ‘comedia de mariquitas’ [‘poofter comedy’] No desearás al vecino de quinto (Ramón Fernández, 1970) with Lucrecia Martel’s La niña santa (2004). By dissecting Alfredo Landa’s performance in No desearás al vecino de quinto, the chapter studies how the actor’s on- and off-screen persona as modern-day everyman and his flamboyant character highlight the split between actor and his craft. It also shows how this performance brings to fore a queer performance of identity that dovetails with the ‘queer sensibility’ of Martel’s directorial hand. While insisting on the multiple positions available to queerness, particularly in two films that seem to teeter on its edge, this chapter questions what it can mean to perform humanity through utterances, gestures and glances, through objects, positions, and gestures.

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