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Reedies find Horror a Bit Queer in Article for "Film Matters"

By Miles Bryan '13 on July 30, 2012 11:01 AM

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Reedies Kerstin Rosero '11, Stephanie Bastek '13, and Isabel Lockhart-Smith (2010-11 exchange student from the University of East Anglia), have published a collaboratively written article on Henri-Georges Clouzot's Les Diaboliques (1955) in the undergraduate film journal Film Matters.

The current issue of the journal focuses on questions of film genre. The article by Kerstin, Stephanie, and Isabel, "Queer Horror: Unearthing Sexual Difference in Les Diaboliques," argues that, through the denial of suture, the manipulation of filmic space, and a disruption of normative gender roles, Clouzot breaks classical conventions of horror, shifting audience expectations by disrupting the predictability of where, exactly, the horror will come from. The film, however, is all the more frightening for robbing the audience of the safety blanket of expectation. The authors term such an unconventional horror a kind of "queer horror," for its subversion of both sexual difference and genre. The three Reedies wrote the piece as a collaborative course assignment in English 328, Film Theory, taught by Becky Gordon, assistant professor of English and humanities, in spring 2011.

Published four times a year by Intellect Press and housed in the film studies department at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, Film Matters celebrates the work of undergraduate film scholars. With an undergraduate audience in mind, Film Matters includes occasional service-oriented pieces, such as profiles of film studies departments, articles that engage the undergraduate film studies community and prepare students for graduate study in the field, and resources and opportunities that undergraduate scholars can pursue. In an effort to give undergraduate scholars real-world, applied learning experiences, all Film Matters feature submissions undergo a peer review process. The current issue (2.4) of Film Matters was guest-edited by a panel of Grinnell College film studies students, led by Teresa Geller, assistant professor of film theory and history. Liza Palmer, the standing editor of Film Matters, has invited Becky and her students to guest edit a future issue.