Elizabeth Ezra
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The amazing flying woman
in Georges Méliès
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This chapter takes up Georges Méliès's treatment of gender roles, focusing specifically on the fairies and other airborne women who people his films, which reflected attitudes towards women that were prevalent in French culture at the turn of the century. In France at the turn of the twentieth century, flying women were all the rage: they were, quite literally, dans le vent. The flight of fancy is an illusion: the flying woman tells decorative lies with her body. The chapter explores the nature of this illusion as it is evoked in Méliès's films, while examining the contradictions encompassed by the flying woman as she united opposites in an age of transition. The most visible function of flying women in Méliès's films, of course, was that of sex appeal: they provided an excuse to show young women clad in tights and diaphanous garments.

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Georges Méliès

The birth of the auteur


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