Queering Repression and Gender Codes
Chapter 2 brings together two classical Hollywood films by the only women working as directors in the era of the studio system: Dorothy Arzner and Ida Lupino. Craig’s Wife and The Hitch-Hiker are early prototypical examples and outliers of carefully coded disruptive feminism. Both films expose gender conventions as potentially pathological. Craig’s Wife revolves around a pathological white female who is destroyed by her attempts to conform to the norms of patriarchy during the Depression era, and The Hitch-Hiker is about a repressed queer serial killer, a malignant narcissist who is desperate to prove his straightness, whiteness, and masculinity through sadistic and sociopathic homicidal behavior. Arzner and Lupino are equally adept at invoking disruptive feminism, especially in their use of codes known to subvert the censorship of the times.
KeywordsGender Role Female Director Serial Killer Front Seat American Dream
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