Lesbianism, Cinema, Space
The Sexual Life of Apartments
By Lee Wallace
Routledge – 2009 – 202 pages
In this cutting edge volume, Wallace identifies a unique trend in post-Production Code films that deal with lesbian content: stories of lesbianism invariably engage with an apartment setting, a spatial motif not typically associated with lesbian history or cultural representation. Through the formal analysis of five lesbian apartment films, Wallace demonstrates how the standard repertoire of visual techniques and spatial devices (the elements of mise-en-scène, favoured locations and sets, classical systems of editing, and the implied story world itself) are used to scaffold female sexual visibility. With its sustained focus on the filmic syntax surrounding lesbian representation on screen in the post-Production Code era, the book comprises an original contribution to queer film studies. In addition, Wallacealso deploys its discussion of lesbianism and cinematic space to critique a number of tendencies in contemporary social theory, particularly the theoretical identification of public sex cultures as the basis for a queer counterpublic sphere.
1. Introduction: The Lesbian Chronotype; 2. Lesbian Representation and Cinematic Space: The Children’s Hour; 3. The Lesbian Set: The Killing of Sister George; 4. The Lesbian Mise-en-scène: The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant; 5. The Lesbian Location: Single White Female; 6. The Lesbian Edit: Bound; 7.The Lesbian Diegesis: Mulholland Dr. 8. Conclusion: The Sexual Life of Apartments
Lee Wallace is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Auckland. She is the author of Sexual Encounters: Pacific Texts, Modern Sexualities (2003).