This talk regards Jane Campion’s exemplary approach to crafting sex scenes in ways that confront gendered dynamics of power and (visual) pleasure, focusing on the trio of films Campion chose to make in the wake of receiving global acclaim for The Piano (1993). Viewing The Portrait of a Lady (1996), Holy Smoke! (1999), and In the Cut (2003) as an unofficial trilogy, considered within the entwined contexts of pre-/post-9/11 gender anxiety and surveillance culture and of feminist genre revisionism, I explore how these works encapsulate Campion’s singular approach to screening sex.
Maria San Filippo is a 2021-22 Fulbright U.S. Scholar in the Department of American Studies at Universität Innsbruck. She is Associate Professor of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College and Editor of New Review of Film and Television Studies. She authored the Lambda Literary Award-winning The B Word: Bisexuality in Contemporary Film and Television (2013) and Provocauteurs and Provocations: Screening Sex in 21st Century Media (2021), both published by Indiana University Press, and edited the collection After “Happily Ever After”: Romantic Comedy in the Post-Romantic Age (Wayne State University Press, 2021). Her Queer Film Classics volume on Desiree Akhavan’s Appropriate Behavior (2014) is forthcoming in fall 2022 from McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Christian Quendler, Department of American Studies, University of Innsbruck
Cornelia Klecker, Department of American Studies, University of Innsbruck