Few screen icons have provoked as much commentary, speculation and adulation as the 'she' of this plaudit, Catherine Deneuve. This book begins with a brief overview of Deneuve's career, followed by a critical survey of the field of theoretical star studies, highlighting its potential and limitations for European, and particularly French, film scholarship. It argues the need for the single-star case study as a model for understanding the multiple signifying elements of transnational stardom. Her first role, at the age of 13, was a brief appearance as a schoolgirl in André Hunebelle's Collégiennes/The Twilight Girls. It was in 1965 that Roman Polanski would cast Catherine Deneuve in Repulsion, described by one critic as a 'one-woman show' in a role that would effectively create a persona which would resonate throughout her future film career. The darker shades of the Deneuve persona are in even greater evidence in Tristana. Demy's Donkey Skin is arguably an equal source of the tale's iconic status in France today, and largely because of Deneuve. The book also investigates films of the 1970s; their role in shaping her star persona and the ways in which they position Deneuve in relation to French political culture. The book considers exactly why directors gravitate towards Deneuve when trying to evoke or represent forms of female homosexual activity on film, and to consider exactly what such directors actually make Deneuve do and mean once they have her performing these particular forms of lesbian relation.
Catherine Deneuve cinematic queerness has often emerged from on-screen evocations of a wide range of 'perverse', paradoxical or blank heterosexualities. In 1983 Deneuve's lesbian moments on film reach their peak of exposure with a vampire film The Hunger in which she plays Miriam, last in an ancient race of apparently immortal vampires, able to bestow the gift of several centuries of youth to her chosen partners. This chapter considers exactly why directors gravitate towards Deneuve when trying to evoke or represent forms of female homosexual activity on film. It also considers exactly what such directors actually make Deneuve do and mean once they have her performing these particular forms of lesbian relation. Belle de jour provides a useful point of entry into understanding lesbian sadomasochist cinema's potential for the demystification of the Deneuvian persona.
Identity is often regarded as something that is possessed by individuals, states, and other agents. In this edited collection, identity is explored across a range of approaches and under-explored case studies with a view to making visible its fractured, contingent, and dynamic features. The book brings together themes of belonging and exclusion, identity formation and fragmentation. It also examines how identity functions in discourse, and the effects it produces, both materially and in ideational terms. Taking in case studies from Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, the various chapters interrogate identity through formal governing mechanisms, popular culture and place. These studies demonstrate the complex and fluid nature of identity and identity practices, as well as implications for theorising identity.
the opposite sex is knowable because there exists
‘a person who has a sexual propensity for his or her own sex’.11 The
history of the homo/hetero binary then speaks to the peculiar conditions of sexual knowing and unknowing from the vantage point of
a knowledge apparatus that primarily values the heterosexual for its
otherness, its ability to act as a blank canvas on which anything (or
nothing) might be projected – and therefore, a category beyond and
‘A peculiarly obscure subject’
In The Invention of Heterosexuality Katz implicates Foucault
performances from their child
actors; however, her self-controlled, independent adults, who have learnt to
suppress their vulnerability, are produced through performances which are
often read as ‘cold’ or ‘blank’.
The continuing construction of the Kurys figure through
triangular relationships suggests a need to investigate the polarisation
between the feminine and the masculine in Kurys’ films. Kurys’
contemporary lack of knowledge about new lesbian
lifestyles which would have been shared by most readers.
The misfit lesbian heroine of inter-war fiction
The crucial last scene disrupts heterosexual plotting by offering the
possibility of a female partnership, after showing heterosexual affairs
to be unfulfilling. Jennifer’s failure to turn up to their meeting in a
Cambridge tea-shop after having broken up with Geraldine may leave
Judith in limbo, ‘star[ing] into the dim blank, waiting’ ( p. 300), but
this denial of a resolution shows the difficulties of desire
tells the story of a young Belgian beautician, Carol (Deneuve), who lives in
London and shares a flat with her older sister Helen (Yvonne Furneaux).
Carol is emotionally withdrawn and reacts with disgust to the very prospect
of men and the intimate rituals of heterosexuality; while her sister Helen,
by contrast, is a sexually active extrovert. Left alone in the flat while
her sister is on holiday, Carol becomes increasingly delusional. She ends by
queer men were judged to be a particular threat, largely because
they were deemed to have the time and the money to seduce soldiers who
were keen to supplement their meagre wages with money, alcohol and
gifts. D. H. Blake, a heterosexual veteran of the Royal Navy, described
how sailors facing a ‘blank week’ without pay, would deliberately visit
pubs known to harbour queer men in the knowledge that they would be
able to drink freely all night.52
In this sense, the war had a fundamental impact on sexual practices
and on the formalised transactions between queer men and
cinematic queerness has often emerged from on-screen evocations of a wide
range of ‘perverse’, paradoxical or somehow blankheterosexualities. 1 But that
queerness has also derived from an unabashed association with a perhaps more
obviously non-normative tendency: female homosexuality. 2 Deneuve’s screen personae have been
frequently queer in a specifically lesbian sense, and to a far
Doris Day and Rock Hudson
There must be a boy! Doris Day
and Rock Hudson
Tony, Rock, and I were made for each other. (Doris Day, quoted by A. E.
Hotchner 1975: 195)
In some respects, the centrality of the Doris Day/Rock Hudson pairing to
critical understanding of the sex comedy is misleading. Day and Hudson
only made three films together – Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back and Send Me
No Flowers – and in the latter they play a married couple. Although they
form a heterosexual union in each film, the dynamics of this coupling are
complicated by the presence