As long as there have been moving images, people have fretted about cinema’s special dexterity at breaching sexual and social norms. We now have sophisticated tools to help us understand these breaches and the anxieties they trigger, and the privileged relationship of these dynamics to certain film genres and cycles. For example, women’s home-wrecking desires menaced the unconscious universe of Hollywood erotic thrillers during the 1980s and 1990s in films like Fatal Attraction (1987) and Single White Female (1992). Thanks in part to the work of thinkers in feminist and queer films studies, we know much about these film’s relationship to a broader culture of feminist backlash.
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