‘Free women,’ experiential aesthetics, and embodied spectatorship in Malgorzata Szumowska’s Elles (2011)

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2020-02-11
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Taylor and Francis Online
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Weber-Fève, Stacey
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World Languages and Cultures
The Department of World Languages and Cultures seeks to provide an understanding of other cultures through their languages, providing both linguistic proficiency and cultural literacy. Majors in French, German, and Spanish are offered, and other coursework is offered in Arabic, Chinese, Classical Greek, Latin, Portuguese, and Russian
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In her 2011 feature-length film, Elles, Malgorzata Szumowska demonstrates how cinematic auteurs may effectively establish a multisensory intersubjectivity between filmmaker, film text, and spectator that challenges traditional ways of looking and seeing. She effectively activates an ‘experiential gaze’ throughout the film and film-viewing experience that opens up new considerations concerning long-standing views on prostitution, victimization, power, sexuality, and agency in cinema and society. Aided by the iconic French actress Juliette Binoche’s sensuous performance, Szumowska materializes in the film’s aesthetics the experiential qualities of the senses to present new representations of femininity as ‘free’ and to question the relationships between subjects and their objective worlds.
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This accept article is published as Weber-Fève, S., ‘Free women,’ experiential aesthetics, and embodied spectatorship in Malgorzata Szumowska’s Elles (2011). Studies in European Cinema. 2022, 19(2);96-114. Download citation https://doi.org/10.1080/17411548.2020.1726650. Posted with permission.
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