Two or three things I know about her: Violent Women in Contemporary Cinema by Janice Loreck

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article reviewResearchpeer-review

Abstract

[Extract] There’s a moment in Basic Instinct (Paul Verhoeven, 1992) when Dr. Beth Garner tries to warn her on-again off-again lover, Detective Nick Curran, of the danger posed by his prime suspect in a homicide investigation: the infinitely alluring and devious Catherine Trammel. Flustered that Nick cannot see himself as the pawn in Catherine’s manipulations, Garner exclaims: “She’s evil! She’s brilliant!” As over-the-top as this declaration is (we’d expect nothing less from Verhoeven, after all), it is true that Western cinema and culture is endlessly fascinated by the figure of the femme fatale. That the so-called fairer sex may turn villainous unsettles persistent gender expectations, effectively creating a “problem” that must be solved. Defying the prescribed norms of passivity and maternal instincts, the femme fatale is both captivating and Other. She’s evil, she’s brilliant, often she’s sexy, and she’s almost always an enigma.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSenses of Cinema
Issue number81
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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Femme Fatale
Cinema
Evil
Manipulation
Lovers
Passivity
Sexy
Declaration
Fairs
Instinct
Enigma
Danger
Detectives
Homicide
Basic Instinct

Cite this

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title = "Two or three things I know about her: Violent Women in Contemporary Cinema by Janice Loreck",
abstract = "[Extract] There’s a moment in Basic Instinct (Paul Verhoeven, 1992) when Dr. Beth Garner tries to warn her on-again off-again lover, Detective Nick Curran, of the danger posed by his prime suspect in a homicide investigation: the infinitely alluring and devious Catherine Trammel. Flustered that Nick cannot see himself as the pawn in Catherine’s manipulations, Garner exclaims: “She’s evil! She’s brilliant!” As over-the-top as this declaration is (we’d expect nothing less from Verhoeven, after all), it is true that Western cinema and culture is endlessly fascinated by the figure of the femme fatale. That the so-called fairer sex may turn villainous unsettles persistent gender expectations, effectively creating a “problem” that must be solved. Defying the prescribed norms of passivity and maternal instincts, the femme fatale is both captivating and Other. She’s evil, she’s brilliant, often she’s sexy, and she’s almost always an enigma.",
author = "Alison Taylor",
year = "2016",
language = "English",
journal = "Senses of Cinema",
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}

Two or three things I know about her : Violent Women in Contemporary Cinema by Janice Loreck. / Taylor, Alison.

In: Senses of Cinema, No. 81, 2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article reviewResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Two or three things I know about her

T2 - Violent Women in Contemporary Cinema by Janice Loreck

AU - Taylor, Alison

PY - 2016

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N2 - [Extract] There’s a moment in Basic Instinct (Paul Verhoeven, 1992) when Dr. Beth Garner tries to warn her on-again off-again lover, Detective Nick Curran, of the danger posed by his prime suspect in a homicide investigation: the infinitely alluring and devious Catherine Trammel. Flustered that Nick cannot see himself as the pawn in Catherine’s manipulations, Garner exclaims: “She’s evil! She’s brilliant!” As over-the-top as this declaration is (we’d expect nothing less from Verhoeven, after all), it is true that Western cinema and culture is endlessly fascinated by the figure of the femme fatale. That the so-called fairer sex may turn villainous unsettles persistent gender expectations, effectively creating a “problem” that must be solved. Defying the prescribed norms of passivity and maternal instincts, the femme fatale is both captivating and Other. She’s evil, she’s brilliant, often she’s sexy, and she’s almost always an enigma.

AB - [Extract] There’s a moment in Basic Instinct (Paul Verhoeven, 1992) when Dr. Beth Garner tries to warn her on-again off-again lover, Detective Nick Curran, of the danger posed by his prime suspect in a homicide investigation: the infinitely alluring and devious Catherine Trammel. Flustered that Nick cannot see himself as the pawn in Catherine’s manipulations, Garner exclaims: “She’s evil! She’s brilliant!” As over-the-top as this declaration is (we’d expect nothing less from Verhoeven, after all), it is true that Western cinema and culture is endlessly fascinated by the figure of the femme fatale. That the so-called fairer sex may turn villainous unsettles persistent gender expectations, effectively creating a “problem” that must be solved. Defying the prescribed norms of passivity and maternal instincts, the femme fatale is both captivating and Other. She’s evil, she’s brilliant, often she’s sexy, and she’s almost always an enigma.

M3 - Book/Film/Article review

JO - Senses of Cinema

JF - Senses of Cinema

SN - 1443-4059

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