The politics of pathos in Pilar Miró’s Gary Cooper, que estás en los cielos (1980)
in Hispanic and Lusophone women filmmakers
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Pilar Miró's Gary Cooper, que estás en los cielos (Gary Cooper Who Art in Heaven) has long been regarded as one of the key films of Spain's transition to democracy. Unlike her previous films, Gary Cooper is firmly grounded in the contemporary social reality of Spanish women in the workplace during the transition to democracy. This chapter looks at a crucial aspect of the film that has been largely overlooked: its complex and contradictory engagement with pathos. It shows that the affective structure of Miro's film is a particularly revealing framework for exploring the ways in which female citizenship and identity were renegotiated during the transition. The chapter explores the ways in which pathos can be read as a political strategy in the film, paying particular attention to its relationship with the body, silence, music and the crucial role of the stardom of Gary Cooper.

Hispanic and Lusophone women filmmakers

Theory, practice and difference


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