Girls on a Wired Screen: Cavani’s Cinema and Lesbian S/M

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


While I was preparing this essay, it struck me that some films become memorable because they are released at a bad time, in the wrong place. Liliana Cavani’s The Berlin Affair is the perfect example of a movie that hit the screen eight years too soon. If The Berlin Affair had been shown now rather than in 1986, it would have benefited from the sapphic attractiveness that has spread through TV series, cinema and magazines during the last two years . . . for better or for worse. For example, looking at the most accessible film for a lesbian reading directed by Cavani, The Berlin Affair, one is surprised by the very 1990s chicness of its lesbian representation. In many aspects, the film addresses what now creates a real frenzy in popular culture: the lesbian erotic scene integrated within, or as, popular consumption.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSexy Bodies
Subtitle of host publicationThe Strange Carnalities of Feminism
EditorsElizabeth Grosz, Elspeth Probyn
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Electronic)9780203147825
ISBN (Print)9780415098038, 9780415098021
StatePublished - 1995


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