‘Stay still so we can see who you are’: anxiety and bisexual activity in the contemporary femme fatale film

Farrimond, Katherine (2012) ‘Stay still so we can see who you are’: anxiety and bisexual activity in the contemporary femme fatale film. Journal of Bisexuality, 12 (1). pp. 138-154. ISSN 1529-9716

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Within the huge proliferation of femme fatale figures in Western cinema of the past two decades, one of the most striking patterns is the frequency of femme fatale characters who seduce women as well as men; indeed, a large proportion of recent films featuring bisexually active women cast such characters as sexy, deadly, femme fatale types. Drawing on recent theoretical work on the bisexual body, this article explores the implications of the femme fatale's bisexual behavior for a critical understanding of embodied bisexuality in relation to narrative film. The author extends her interrogation of the bisexual femme fatale beyond the current critical discourse that views the bisexual behavior of this figure simply as a means of demonstrating an assumed universal availability. Taking Femme Fatale (2002), Bound (1996), Basic Instinct (1992) and Mulholland Drive (2001) as her examples, the author argues that these films engage with wider narratives and anxieties about the correlation between bodily actions, desires and identities. In this article, the author argues that the behaviorally bisexual femme fatale's refusal of a conflation of current object choice with sexual orientation provides vital space for a bisexual feminist questioning of sexuality and desire as attributes that are written on the body.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion pictures
Depositing User: Katherine Farrimond
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2013 09:20
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2013 09:20
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/47185
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