SG Film & Talk: Portrait of a Lady on Fire, on Monday 9 December

On Monday 9 December at 19.30, the film ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ will be screened at Lumière cinema. Louis van den Hengel, assistant professor of Gender Studies will give an introduction to the film in which he will talk about the ‘female gaze’.

Tickets cost €5 for students and €9.50 for staff.

Please note: the film is French and Italian spoken, with English subtitles.

At the end of the eighteenth century, the young painter Marianne is commissioned to paint the portrait of a young woman, for use in eliciting marriage proposals. Knowing that the woman, Héloïse, has previously refused to sit for portraits as she does not want to be married, Marianne disguises herself as a lady’s maid in order to gain her subject’s trust, only to find herself inadvertently falling in love with her.

Louis van den Hengel’s current research examines the interrelations between affect, materiality, and time in contemporary performance art from a feminist neo-materialist perspective. In addition, he is developing research about ecosexuality, an emerging grassroots movement that combines environmental activism, performance art, sex-positive feminism, and LGBTQ+ community building to develop new paradigms for environmental thinking. Finally, he is interested in the intersections of critical posthumanism, feminist neo-materialism and life writing.

In his introduction to the film he will talk about the female gaze. The female gaze is a feminist film theoretical term representing the gaze of the female viewer. It is a response to feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey’s term, ‘the male gaze’, which represents not only the gaze of a heterosexual male viewer but also the gaze of the male character and the male creator of the film.

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