Mixing art cinema, fantastique and exploitation, Jean Rollin created a unique cinematic world, transgressive and oneiric, and dominated by the feminine. His films, steeped in the roman noir of the 18th and 19th century via his love for Surrealism, are peopled by damsels in distress who reveal themselves much less vulnerable than they initially appear.
Electric Sheep editor Virginie Sélavy will look at the way in which Rollin’s films use Gothic motifs such as the castle and the vampire to question social and moral norms and subvert conventional gender expectations. She will also explore the conflation of exploitation and aesthetic vision in his work, and the insight it offers into the tensions around the representation of the female body in the sexual liberation era.
Longtime genre critic Marcelle Perks will investigate Final Girl strategies in the films of Rollin, looking at the ways his predominantly female protagonists depart from the tropes emerging from the slasher films of the time, as analyzed by Carol Clover in her 1987 essay Her Body, Himself, which became the basis of the seminal Men, Women and Chainsaws. Perks will also examine Rollin’s unique approach to concepts of contagion and infection, with an emphasis on Les raisins de la mort (1978) and La nuit des traquées (1980).
Both Marcelle Perks and Virginie Sélavy contributed to the new book LOST GIRLS: THE PHANTASMAGORICAL CINEMA OF JEAN ROLLIN, edited by Samm Deighan and written by entirely women critics, scholars and film historians, which will be available for sale at the screening.
No admission after 7:30pm.
About The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies:
Named for the fictional university in H.P. Lovecraft’s literary mythos, The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is a non-profit, community-based organization through which established horror writers, directors, scholars and programmers/curators celebrate horror history and culture with a unique blend of enthusiasm and critical perspective. It was founded by Kier-La Janisse in Canada in March of 2010 and now has branches in Montreal, London and New York. Miskatonic London operates under the co-direction of Kier-La Janisse and Virginie Sélavy.