Sue Harris
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Bending gender
in Bertrand Blier
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That Bertrand Blier is misogynistic in his film-making has increasingly come to be a given of Blier criticism and reviews. His deliberate attempt to go beyond the conventional limits of gender representation is as important example of the many processes of narrative subversion. Blier's characteristic approach, and one which has earned him this reputation of a misogynist film-maker, is to work with outwardly conventional gendered roles which define the female subject in three key ways. These are by the image she projects, by her position with regard to the male subject and, by the nature of the action executed by the female subject and the influence of this on narrative organisation and development. It is precisely through the performance of subversive bodily acts in Blier's work that female identity achieves a liberating instability, or permeability which accords with the type of representation we find in the popular tradition.

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