Gender representation and textual strategies in the films of Pilar Miro
This thesis aims to demonstrate the interrelatedness of the rebellious form and content of Pilar MirO's first six films - La petición (1976), El crimen de Cuenca (1979), Gary Cooper gue estás en los cielos (1980), Hablamos esta noche (1982), Werther (1986) and Beltenebros (1991). The Introduction provides a brief outline of the director's life and an insight into some of the core themes of her cinema, summaries of relevant theoretical arguments from psychoanalysis and gender theory in the context of sociology and film studies and an outline of the situation of men and women in Spain vis-à-vis the law, social prejudices, attitudes to sexuality and work. Part I (chapters 1-6) examines gender issues and character portrayal in each of the films in chronological order using these theories. Part II deals with the metafictional textual strategies of Miró's works. Chapter 7 outlines features of metafiction, such as stylistic intertextuality, literal intertextuality, mise-en-abime devices and other cinematic strategies which highlight the constructed nature of the films by laying bare the processes of fictional creation and disturb the viewer, making him or her an active reader, who cannot acquiesce in a passive spectatorial position. It also discusses the issue of authorship in film to posit that Miró abdicates from the position of onmiscient auteur through intertextuality and her use of assistant authors, another strategy of metafictional, postmodern art. Chapters 8 and 9 look at specific examples of intertextuality. The first section of chapter 8 examines the thematic and stylistic influence of the American artist, Edward Hopper, on the setting of Beltenebros and José Gutiérrez Solana's tremendista paintings as a visual reference for El crimen de Cuenca: the chapter also takes into account the joint stylistic influence of Carol Reed's The Third Man (1949) on Beltenebros. The second section of chapter 8 applies theories of historiographic metafiction and intrahistory to Miró's depiction of a miscarriage of justice in the Spanish legal system and the imprisonment of two innocent men in El crimen de Cuenca. Chapter 9 outlines a special instance of intertextuality in Miró's employment of stars. Using recent work in star studies, I consider the contributions and implications of her choice of two actresses - Ana Belén and Patsy Kensit - to La petición and Beltenebros. The conclusion suggests that, while Miró demonstrates an active interest in and sympathy for the victims of oppression, her use of intertextuality may be unconscious and that this thesis presents just one possible argument or interpretation. An interview with Miró in 1995 is included in an Appendix, as are relevant stills of Ana Belén.