focus on female gothic lady beware

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April 14 - April 25,  2005

Exploring expressions of the Female Gothic in a variety of classic and contemporary film genres - the horror, melodrama, girl's-own thriller and noir.

This season assembles an intriguing collection of films in which the heroine finds herself contained, stymied or otherwise thwarted by interior as well as more tangible forces.

Critic Dana Polan suggests that the Female Gothic is expressed in cinema via films in which 'a woman wonders about the designs upon her of the man in her life - does he love her, does he hate her, does he wish to do her harm?'. Taking this as its starting point, Lady Beware traces the impulse through films whose protagonists embody and extend some of the defining archetypes of the genre.

The season launches with the Melbourne premiere of Jonathan Glazer's haunting new film, Birth, starring Nicole Kidman, Lauren Bacall and Danny Huston.

Guest curator Adrian Martin will present an exclusive lecture, which will include screenings of seminal short films, tracing the paths of the Female Gothic through the thriller and horror genres, women's cinema and the avant-garde.

Curated by Adrian Martin and Roberta Ciabarra.

Read Lady, Beware: Female Gothic Variations, an introductory essay by Adrian Martin.

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A brittle and uncommonly self-possessed widow accepts a marriage proposal. Premiere of the new film by Jonathan Glazer, starring Nicole Kidman.

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femme fatale

Femme Fatale is a wildly imaginative, giddy game with the stereotypes and clichés of the film noir and erotic-thriller genres.

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perfect strangers

A one night stand goes spookily awry in this New Zealand gothic mystery thriller. Stars Rachael Blake and Sam Neil.

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ms .45

Ms .45 details the oppression of the mute Thana. The only way for the heroine to confront an insane, violent world is as a deranged vigilante.

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Gaslight traces the contours of a dark and ambivalent female fantasy: what if one's suave, beloved husband were actually a calculating murderer?

rosemary's baby

Roman Polanski's tale of Satanism and paranoia is the genre-defining 'mother' of all supernatural possession thrillers.

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Marnie (Tippi Hedren) is a Hitchcock 'cool blonde', repressed and tormented, and the man in her life her cop, analyst and ambiguously suave lover.

ginger snaps

With its clever jokes about pop fads, switching moods, and a subtly disturbing sound design, Ginger Snaps is an arresting, entertaining film.

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positive ID

A 'desperate' housewife constructs a new identity to even the scales in this cult US indie thriller.

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Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland sizzle in the mystery thriller by Alan J. Pakula.

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in the cut

Meg Ryan and Jennifer Jason Leigh star in Jane Campion's atmosphere-laden girl's own thriller.

leave her to heaven

In Leave Her to Heaven, Gene Tierney is the seductive psychopath who 'loves too much', possessive of her man to the point of 'necessary' murder.

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buongiorno, notte (goodmorning, night)

A young female terrorist confronts ideology, patriarchy and her own identity in Marco Bellocchio's hallucinatory drama.

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the exorcist - director's cut

The Exorcist is among the most remarkable, daring films of the 70s with director William Friedkin the master of modernist shock and fragmentation.

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An hallucinatory 'good sister/evil sister' Goth horror from Czech New Wave director Juraj Herz.

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every woman's nightmare

Adrian Martin presents a lecture that traces the paths of the Female Gothic across the thriller and horror genres, women's cinema and the avant-garde.

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