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From perversion to purity

The stardom of Catherine Deneuve

Edited by: Lisa Downing and Sue Harris

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.

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Rebecca Jennings

1920s and 1930s, emphasised masculinity and a propensity for physical activity as indicators of lesbianism and implied a link between sexual and gender identity. Edward Carpenter’s notion of a third sex was in part prompted by observation of an increasingly masculine temperament in some women, while both Havelock Ellis and Stella Browne incorporated ideas of gender inversion into their notions of sexual inversion. Doan and Waters claim, ‘While Ellis sometimes challenged the equation of effeminacy and male homosexuality, he was by and large committed to the belief

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The new pornographies

Explicit sex in recent French fiction and film

Victoria Best and Martin Crowley

This book examines that body of recent French literary and cinematic productions which have been characterised by their reference to, use of, or complicity with the aesthetics, the codes, the tropes or the world of pornography, and which have made a significant cultural impact on the basis of this dimension. It considers the insistent heterosexuality of most contemporary pornographic citation, exploring a range of texts and films, and taking in the female perspective on the male and the male perspective on the female. The book discusses the work of Guillaume Dustan and Erik Remes, whose explicit representations of sexual activity intervene into debates about the place of gay and queer identities in contemporary France, particularly with reference to sexual practice in the light of the AIDS epidemic. The book explores the conflicted sexual space, considering the perspectives of men and women in turn, starting somewhat unconventionally with women's art. It addresses Catherine Breillat's work in terms of its relation to the pornographic. The book also explains that the homophobic dismissal of homosexuality, and its defiant, resistant assertion, sometimes rely on the figure of anality as a kind of shorthand for their arguments about the relationship between desire, productivity, anatomy, futurity, community, and so on. Michel Houellebecq's treatment of questions of gender, most especially the portrayal of women, including the discourses of misogyny and anti-feminism, is discussed. The book also looks at the concept of child pornography, romantic comedy, and the growing impact of independent cinema.

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Chris Waters

pathological and not from the practical point of view. They give cases of abnormal persons, tracing their lives from childhood, but they do not show these people in relation to the rest of mankind, they do not expose their organised activities in a modern city’.8 Croft began to map the urban ‘organised activities’ of London’s homosexual underground, but few followed in his footsteps. Even in the United States prior to 1945 there was little writing in the sociology of sex, according to Edward Sagarin, the 1950s American sociologist and homophile The homosexual as a social

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Tommy Dickinson

kids, and that it was the segregation from females that had developed his homosexual feelings. I was upset, but I understood. We still remained friends, though. In fact I’m godfather to his daughter.12 As we have seen from the testimony of Julian Wills above, overtly camp13 gay men could find themselves relatively accepted in the services. Jo Denith recalls a homosexual colleague under his command. Denith notes that immediately before they disembarked from the landing craft during the D-Day landings his colleague began to daub his lips with lipstick and, when asked

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The killing of sister Catherine

Deneuve’s lesbian transformations

Andrew Asibong

French Elle 14 April 1986 and Australian Vogue February 1993 are typical of the way in which Deneuve’s image is constructed in the fashion press. In the former, her appearance in an auteur film is equated with the launch of a perfume: both activities are seen as of equal importance to the way in which Catherine Deneuve ‘draws attention to herself’, i.e. has a public image. It may also be noticed that for readers of this

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Abortion prevention

Lesbian citizenship and filmmaking in Sweden in the 1970s

Ingrid Ryberg

lesbian manifestation’. In stark contrast to the production of Eva and Maria which, as I have shown, is largely in agreement with the language of the then-​ongoing government investigation about homosexuality, the politics of The Woman in Your Life Is You falls outside of the framework of official recognition. One striking difference between the two films is that the romantic couple is absent from The Woman in Your Life Is You’s articulation of lesbianism. The film instead emphasises collective activities such as consciousness-​raising, self-​defence and demonstrations

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‘These young men who come down from Oxford and write gossip’

Society gossip, homosexuality and the logic of revelation in the interwar popular press

Ryan Linkof

sociologist Jorg Bergmann writes, ‘Men, it seems, do not gossip; they chat, discuss, have a talk, but they do not gossip – and if one should indulge in gossip he would make himself appear ridiculous … because he then would be assuming a typically female mode of behavior.’3 Taken to its 110 Ryan Linkof logical conclusion, it might even be suggested that there is something profoundly queer at the core of gossip as a social mechanism. Eve Sedgwick has traced the links between homosexuality and gossip by suggesting that the logic of the ‘closet’ requires the recognition of a

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Edited by: Marie Helena Loughlin

condition by releasing long-retained and corrupted female ‘seed’ (semen); vapours: psycho-somatic hysteria, caused by a build-up of exhalations (gasses) in the uterus, which could be released by sexual activity. 16 by … seignior  BL MS. Harley 7315 has ‘with a delicate seignior’, perhaps ‘a dildo’. 17 Frogmore Marginalia: ‘L[ord] Fitzharding’s seat near Windsor’, referring to female same-sex sexual activity ( frolics) at this peer’s house. 14 125 Loughlin, Same-sex desire in early modern England.indd 125 18/12/2013 15:25:06 Same-Sex Desire in Early Modern

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Politics and culture

Homosexuality and the Left in post-war Britain


Lucy Robinson

homosexuality was made visible it was in order for it to be condemned. However, cutting through this is the impact that the Left had on individual homosexual men, gay comrades whose personal testimony shows how significant they found the relationship between their personal and their political lives. Homosexuality and the Second World War The Second World War changed the ways in which many men experienced their homosexuality. Recent work by historians on female, heterosexual, sexuality during the Second World War supports the argument that whilst dominant ideas about sex and