Dion Kagan reviews 'Transgressions in Anglo-American Cinema: Gender, sex and the deviant body' edited by Joel Gwynne

Dion Kagan reviews 'Transgressions in Anglo-American Cinema: Gender, sex and the deviant body' edited by Joel Gwynne

Transgressions in Anglo-American Cinema: Gender, sex and the deviant body

edited by Joel Gwynne

Columbia University Press (Wallflower Press) $49.95 pb, 256 pp, 9780231176057

Dion Kagan

Dion Kagan

Dion Kagan is an erstwhile lecturer in gender studies who is now a book editor and an arts critic.

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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Published in November 2016, no. 386

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