By Karen Hollinger
From Desperately looking Susan, metal Magnolias, and Thelma & Louise to abandon Hearts, woman acquaintances, and fervour Fish, mainstream cinema has noticeable a wave of movies concentrating on friendships among girls. In tire corporation of girls is the 1st severe paintings to enquire the new resurgence of this number of the "woman's film".
Examining the feminine friendship movie because the Seventies and atmosphere it opposed to older motion pictures of the Thirties and Nineteen Forties, corresponding to Mildred Pierce and Stella Dallas, Karen Hollinger experiences the nature of the flicks themselves and the way they communicate to woman audience. She argues that whereas lots of those motion pictures at first appear to verify the ability of lady friendship and reject conventional pictures of ladies, so much of them eventually fall again on traditional female roles.
Hollinger argues that the feminine friendship movie, by means of trying to assimilate into the mainstream, makes use of rules from the women's circulate, like woman autonomy and sisterhood, which are fairly prone to compromise. it's this combination of empowering and conservative components that makes the feminine friendship movie neither a real problem to the established order nor a trifling affirmation of dominant ideology yet relatively a multifaceted cinematic shape that displays either one of those strains.
Hollinger considers all the significant matters in feminist movie feedback -- from viewers reception to the identity with characters, from sexuality to racial identity.
Engaging and provocative, within the corporation of girls is an exciting and enlightening account of 1 of up to date cinema's most crucial genres.
Read or Download In the Company of Women: Contemporary Female Friendship Films (Woman's Film Precedents) PDF
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Additional info for In the Company of Women: Contemporary Female Friendship Films (Woman's Film Precedents)
Whenever Addie is discussed in the film, she is portrayed not so much as a figure of evil and cruelty, but as an ideal of female beauty and independence. These discussions, combined with the film’s refusal to present her visually, enhance her position as the ultimate threat to her friends. ” She is said to dress in a fashion that provokes male admiration and female envy. When she sends a present to one of the husbands for his birthday, it is the perfect gift, a rare recording of a classical piece that he loves, and when she sends champagne to her friends’ table at a dance, it is, of course, of the finest vintage.
9 In her evaluation of the woman’s film, Doane herself definitely looks at texts and not viewers. What she finds is absolutely nothing that “escapes the patriarchal stronghold” and belongs to women. This is not to say that Doane sees these films as unrelated to women’s culture or to individual women viewers. She suggests that the films follow a mass cultural tradition termed respeaking. Popular culture texts are said to respeak the real socially rooted needs, desires, and identities of the social groups that produce and consume them.
They offer prepackaged mental constructs of idealized female friendships that women can use as fantasy substitutes for real-life relationships. According to O’Connor, the most politically and socially progressive type of female relationship is the group friendship. 69 As I will show, contemporary female friendship films initially concentrated on intimate, dyadic relationships, but as the cycle developed, that situation changed dramatically. Group friendship portrayals have come to dominate the genre, but these representations are not nearly as socially progressive as O’Connor’s work with real women’s friendships would suggest.