Sandra Macpherson: Bad Romance: or, Heterosexuality
Bad Romance: or, Heterosexuality
“The pleasures of Ms. Breillat’s work are its commitment and seriousness and its raw, sometimes very funny perversity: she lets everything hang out, without apologies.”—New York Times
Ohio State Associate Professor Sandra Macpherson (Department of English) examines the position of Catherine Breillat’s body of work within the evolution of the “rape melodrama,” a post-1968 subgenre typified by such films as Luis Buñuel’s Belle de Jour (1967), Liliana Cavani’s The Night Porter (1974), and Richard Brook’s Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977). The genre, with its interest in female masochism and subjugation, was superseded in the 1980s by slasher films like Fatal Attraction, only to reemerge in the late 1990s in the New Extremism of Gaspar Noé, Michael Haneke, and Lars von Trier. Macpherson will discuss what this version of feminism has to offer a contemporary feminist discourse that can be overly pious about (and overlook the complexities of) sexual violence and the possibility of its eradication.