The Spanish femme fatale and the cinematic negotiation of Spanishness
This article examines the recycling of stereotypes of Spanishness in film versions of the Carmen story and in Pedro Almodóvar’s Matador (1986). It discusses these in terms of masquerade, the masquerade of the femme fatale as posited by Mary Ann Doane and of the nation as posited by Susan Hayward, and suggests that the latter can be figured through the former. The film versions offer a putative ‘authentic’ Spanish identity in opposition to the masquerade of the femme fatale, an authentic identity which ultimately cannot be sustained; alternatively, Almodóvar offers a celebration of masquerade as the blurring of gender differences. In all cases, the masquerade disguises a lack of identity at its heart: there is at bottom no true, fixed Spanish identity to be found. We are left with the spectacle of ersatz identity embodied as much by the stereotype of Spanishness as by the femme fatale.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: University of Newcastle
Publication date: 01 March 2004
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- In 2013, Studies in Hispanic Cinemas, is changing its name to Studies in Spanish & Latin American Cinemas to reflect more accurately its content, which is dedicated to the study of Spanish-speaking and Latin American cinemas, including the cinemas of Spain and Spanish-speaking South, Central and North America including the Caribbean, as well as Brazil.
Our target readership includes students, teachers and scholars. The journal is written in English to maximize the opportunities for contact between academic disciplines such as Media, Film Studies, Latin American and Post-colonial Studies, as well as Hispanic Studies, thereby encouraging an inter- cultural and inter- disciplinary focus.
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