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Author: Brigitte Rollet

Coline Serreau is one of the most famous female French directors alive, not only in France but also abroad. This book is devoted not only to some relevant biographical aspects of Serreau's personal and artistic life, but also to the social, historical and political context of her debut. It deals with the 1970s' flavour of Serreau's work and more especially with the importance of politics. Taking intertextuality in its broadest sense, it assesses the strong literary influence on the tone, genre and content of Serreau's films and dramas. The book is concerned with the cinematographic genres Serreau uses. It provides a description and an analysis of Serreau's comedies, within the wider perspective of French comedies. The book also deals with the element of 'family' or community which is recurrent in Serreau's films and plays. During the 1980s, Serreau's career moved towards fiction, and she worked both for the cinema and the theatre. Serreau often underlines her family's lack of financial resources. The book considers the specificity of French cinema in the 1970s before analysing in more detail Serreau's first film. Serreau's work on stage and on big or small screens was strongly influenced by the political mood which succeeded May '68 in France. The book also discusses the idea of utopia which was the original theme of Serreau' first documentary and which is central to her first fiction film, Pourquoi pas!. Female humour and laughter cannot be considered without another powerful element: the motivation of often transgressive laughter.

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Sara Upstone

. Stetz suggests that female laughter is so powerful because, historically, women have been discouraged from public displays of laughter. Even in the late twentieth century, she argues, female writers must face female stereotypes of modesty 133 chap6.indd 133 05/03/2010 09:44:55 British Asian fiction which prevent them from freely engaging with humour.44 Being a comic female writer means questioning the submissive role created for women by patriarchy, a role Syal herself acknowledges in Anita where the local women have been taught to avoid the expression of emotion

in British Asian fiction
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Female body hair on the screen
Alice Macdonald

Fain would I kiss my Julia’s dainty leg, which is white and hair-less as an egge. (Robert Herrick, 1648, ‘Her legs’) Flying to Chicago a few years ago, I realised, from the sound of predominantly female laughter, that the in-flight movie What Women Want 2 was being particularly well received by the women passengers

in The last taboo
American Gothic television in the 1960s
Helen Wheatley

woman’ comedy, defined by Kathleen Rowe in her analysis of ‘the power of female grotesques and female laughter to challenge the social and symbolic systems that would keep women in their place’ (1995: 3). Outlining the significance of this genre, Rowe argues that ‘it is the genres of laughter that... are built on transgression and inversion, disguise and masquerade, sexual reversals, the deflation of

in Gothic television