Dangerous Dames; Women and Representation in the Weimar Street Film and Film Noir

Dangerous Dames; Women and Representation in the Weimar Street Film and Film Noir

by Jans B. Wager
     
 
Both film noir and the Weimar street film hold a continuing fascination for film spectators and film theorists alike. The female characters, especially the alluring femmes fatales, remain a focus for critical and popular attention. In the tradition of such attention, Dangerous Dames focuses on the femme fatale and her antithesis, the femme attrapée.

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Overview

Both film noir and the Weimar street film hold a continuing fascination for film spectators and film theorists alike. The female characters, especially the alluring femmes fatales, remain a focus for critical and popular attention. In the tradition of such attention, Dangerous Dames focuses on the femme fatale and her antithesis, the femme attrapée.

Unlike most theorists, Jans Wager examines these archetypes from the perspective of the female spectator and rejects the persistence of vision that allows a reading of these female characters only as representations of unstable postwar masculinity. Professor Wager suggests that the woman in the audience has always seen and understood these characters as representations of a complex aspect of her existence.

Dangerous Dames looks at the Weimar street films The Street, Variety, Asphalt, and M and the film noir movies The Maltese Falcon, Gun Crazy, and The Big Heat. This book opens the doors to spectators and theorists alike, suggesting cinematic pleasures outside the bounds of accepted readings and beyond the narrow categorization of film noir and the Weimar street film as masculine forms.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Unlike most accounts of the femme fatale, Wager (English, Utah Valley State College, Orem) considers them from the perspective of women viewers. She finds them portrayed as dangerous to men and the middle- class family, but also deadly to themselves for rebelling. She also identifies an opposite figure, the femme attrap<'e>e, trapped women, a nurturer who accepts her position in the patriarchy and embodies operative good values in the street film. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780821412701
Publisher:
Ohio University Press
Publication date:
07/28/1999
Pages:
159
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Jans B. Wager is an assistant professor of English at Utah Valley State College in Orem, Utah.

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