The transfiguration of sexual politics from futurism to Salò : the representation of the femme fatale and the re-presentation of fascism / by Kristine Suzanne Ravetto.
In the dissertation I examine the sexual positioning of the "feminine" as the site of decadence in fascist representation and as fetish in contemporary, post-fascist representation. My approach is interdisciplinary and critical of contemporary discourses that seek to stabilize concepts of morality, sexuality, and identity. The history of Fascism offers an interesting case in which the sexual politics drawing on the discourses of impurity and purity provides only the appearance of stable absolutes of evil and good. My research delves into how this appearance, predicated on the notion unrepresentability, is in fact over represented in such a way as to belie certain historical and historiographic shifts. These range from socialist or Marxist politics in neorealism, psychoanalytic approaches to mainly neo-decadent films on homosexuality as a combined figure of evil and fetishistic desire, to Pier Paolo Pasolini's radical politics of entropy. The sexual deviant represented in the films I examine functions as public spectacle while marking a return to the language of purity. The representation of the impure (deviant) is then the violence performed by the language of purity. Unlike the films of Luchino Visconti, Bertnardo Bertolucci, and Roberto Rossellini, and others examined in my first chapters, the films of Pier Paolo Pasolini, Lina Wertmuller, and Liliana Cavani problematize not only the readings of the Fascist as the icon of evil but also the conventions of gender identity, class identifications, and the economy of victim and victimizer. These films reject such conventional representations as the moral demand for closure. What I examine in these films is the constitution of binary analytical models as devices that attempt to control if not eradicate sexual ambiguity. The focus of this study is on the metamorphoses of the discourse of purity centered on the representation of feminine sexuality which serves to legitimize racial, sexual, and political hatred.
Record last modified: 2018-05-22 11:47:00
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