Catherine Breillat's Romance and Anatomy of Hell

Subjectivity and the Gendering of Sexuality

Marya T. Mtshali, Breanne Fahs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Abstract: French filmmaker Catherine Breillat has consistently challenged viewers to consider the ways women negotiate sexual freedom in light of numerous forces of repression. This essay considers how Breillat's depiction of women's sexuality in Romance and Anatomy of Hell simultaneously evokes abjection and empowerment. Specifically, we consider Breillat's contrast between her female protagonists and male protagonists, her treatment of women and their bodies as infused with desire yet struggling towards sexual subjectivity, and the avenues available to women to define themselves outside of hegemonic masculinity. We argue that Breillat's provocative portrayals provoke consideration of the problems inherent in hegemonic female sexuality while also offering hopeful alternatives to sexual expression, sexual freedom, and changing definitions of power and pleasure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-175
Number of pages16
JournalWomen
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 5 2014

Fingerprint

subjectivity
sexuality
repression
masculinity
empowerment
Subjectivity
Sexuality
Sexual
Hell
Romance
Gendering
Protagonist

Keywords

  • Catherine Breillat
  • feminist film
  • French film
  • sexual desire
  • sexual subjectivity
  • women's sexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory

Cite this

Catherine Breillat's Romance and Anatomy of Hell : Subjectivity and the Gendering of Sexuality. / Mtshali, Marya T.; Fahs, Breanne.

In: Women, Vol. 25, No. 2, 05.04.2014, p. 160-175.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{f064aa5bcfd347cc8f45581ffcfa6597,
title = "Catherine Breillat's Romance and Anatomy of Hell: Subjectivity and the Gendering of Sexuality",
abstract = "Abstract: French filmmaker Catherine Breillat has consistently challenged viewers to consider the ways women negotiate sexual freedom in light of numerous forces of repression. This essay considers how Breillat's depiction of women's sexuality in Romance and Anatomy of Hell simultaneously evokes abjection and empowerment. Specifically, we consider Breillat's contrast between her female protagonists and male protagonists, her treatment of women and their bodies as infused with desire yet struggling towards sexual subjectivity, and the avenues available to women to define themselves outside of hegemonic masculinity. We argue that Breillat's provocative portrayals provoke consideration of the problems inherent in hegemonic female sexuality while also offering hopeful alternatives to sexual expression, sexual freedom, and changing definitions of power and pleasure.",
keywords = "Catherine Breillat, feminist film, French film, sexual desire, sexual subjectivity, women's sexuality",
author = "Mtshali, {Marya T.} and Breanne Fahs",
year = "2014",
month = "4",
day = "5",
doi = "10.1080/09574042.2014.944415",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "25",
pages = "160--175",
journal = "Women: A Cultural Review",
issn = "0957-4042",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Catherine Breillat's Romance and Anatomy of Hell

T2 - Subjectivity and the Gendering of Sexuality

AU - Mtshali, Marya T.

AU - Fahs, Breanne

PY - 2014/4/5

Y1 - 2014/4/5

N2 - Abstract: French filmmaker Catherine Breillat has consistently challenged viewers to consider the ways women negotiate sexual freedom in light of numerous forces of repression. This essay considers how Breillat's depiction of women's sexuality in Romance and Anatomy of Hell simultaneously evokes abjection and empowerment. Specifically, we consider Breillat's contrast between her female protagonists and male protagonists, her treatment of women and their bodies as infused with desire yet struggling towards sexual subjectivity, and the avenues available to women to define themselves outside of hegemonic masculinity. We argue that Breillat's provocative portrayals provoke consideration of the problems inherent in hegemonic female sexuality while also offering hopeful alternatives to sexual expression, sexual freedom, and changing definitions of power and pleasure.

AB - Abstract: French filmmaker Catherine Breillat has consistently challenged viewers to consider the ways women negotiate sexual freedom in light of numerous forces of repression. This essay considers how Breillat's depiction of women's sexuality in Romance and Anatomy of Hell simultaneously evokes abjection and empowerment. Specifically, we consider Breillat's contrast between her female protagonists and male protagonists, her treatment of women and their bodies as infused with desire yet struggling towards sexual subjectivity, and the avenues available to women to define themselves outside of hegemonic masculinity. We argue that Breillat's provocative portrayals provoke consideration of the problems inherent in hegemonic female sexuality while also offering hopeful alternatives to sexual expression, sexual freedom, and changing definitions of power and pleasure.

KW - Catherine Breillat

KW - feminist film

KW - French film

KW - sexual desire

KW - sexual subjectivity

KW - women's sexuality

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84908457526&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84908457526&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/09574042.2014.944415

DO - 10.1080/09574042.2014.944415

M3 - Article

VL - 25

SP - 160

EP - 175

JO - Women: A Cultural Review

JF - Women: A Cultural Review

SN - 0957-4042

IS - 2

ER -