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Title: The femme fatale in Brazilian cinema
Author: Silva , Antônio Márcio da
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis examines the portrayal of the femme fatale in Brazilian cinema. It shows that although such a character is well known in cinema, her presence in Brazilian cinema has so far been neither acknowledged nor theorised. The thesis argues that this is a result of the ways the femme fatale has been constructed and understood in popular culture and cinema: as a beautiful heterosexual Caucasian woman. Therefore, the main objective herein is not only to identify the femme fatale in Brazilian film production but also to show the different guises in which she appears in order to decolonise the ideal type of her that has been propagated in film history: the blonde bombshell. To do so, it proposes that this figure be understood as a 'performance' that threatens and challenges hegemonic roles rather than in terms of its biologically born body. Consequently, 'femme fatale ' denotes, in this thesis, a female as well as a male body that challenges pre-established social boundaries through its performativity. The thesis focuses on a sample of six films to illustrate the di verse ways the femme fatale has been configured in Brazilian cinema. It concentrates on three main topics in these films: race, gender (and sexuality) and social class. These are discussed through a qualitative analysis of each film that mainly explores three features besides their narrative: the iconography of image, the visual style and the language the characters use. Moreover, the analysis is supported by a theoretical framework that is essentially interdisciplinary because such an approach opens up more possibilities to understand the various themes associated with the portrayal of the femme fatale in Brazilian cinema. The results show that reading the femme fatale as a performance instead of focusing mainly on her look is a productive way to uncover various guises in which this complex figure has appeared in Brazilian cinema. Furthermore, they show that this can help to identify and theorise other femmes fatales in contexts beyond Brazil as the analysis indicates that she is a potential transnational figure. The thesis also identifies areas of Brazilian cinema that need to be addressed in future research (particularly gender and sexuality and their different facets). Key Words: Brazilian Cinema, Femme Fatale, Race, Gender, Sexuality, Social Class
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available