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Mediology Volume 8 A series of publications by the Cultural Studies Research College Media and Cultural Communication Edited by Ludwig Jger

Claudia Liebrand

Cultural studies of Hollywood films from the turn of the century


This publication was created in the Collaborative Research Center / Cultural Studies Research College 427 Media and Cultural Communication, Cologne, and was printed at his instigation using the funds made available to him by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. The volume was sponsored by the Ministry for Schools, Science and Research of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. I would like to thank Katrin Oltmann for arranging the manuscript for printing.

First edition 2003

2003 DuMont Literatur und Kunst Verlag, Cologne All rights reserved. Equipment and cover: Groothuis & Consorten Composed from DTL Documenta and DIN Printed on acid-free and chlorine-free bleached paper Typesetting: Greiner and Reichel, Cologne Printing and processing: B. os s printing and Medien GmbH, Kleve Printed in Germany ISBN 3-8321-7831-7



1. The desert is no woman. Anthony Minghellas The English Patient (1996)
Cinematic semantizations of the desert: the desert as a woman Body and cards The war of love and its corpses The skin of the mummy: from silence and speaking English Patient meets Casablanca Trauma and memories Heterotopias Herodotus: from lies and truth 22

2. You cant call a boat after a man. Gender inversions in Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
Penetrations go east! Male bondings Music and hybridity Narcissus behind the mirror Godfather Greenleaf and Cain versus Abel Topographical constellations and connotations 60

3. Gender meets race. Andy Tennant's Anna and the King (1999) with a sideways glance at Walter Lang's The King and I.
The King and I Spectacle Exotism Fairy tale and musical: a suffragette in Siam Transcription and mimicry or Uncle Toms Cabin in Bangkok Anna and the King Prohibitions on contact and hybrid formations: white woman and yellow king On failure of renunciation or guilt and sons From the west and east: from Men and women 94

4. The stolen phallus. Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) with an excursus on David Cronenberg's M. Butterfly
MacGuffin / Sword / Phallus: the Phallus as MacGuffin From the Exotericism of the Esoteric and How to Catch a Thief Dragon in China or Gender Genre Problems Digression: Lee versus Cronenberg (M. Butterfly) or The Annihilation of Femininity of the Orient 129

5. Hitler's bum. Love, War, Penetration in Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor (2001)
Pearl Harbor and Titanic Pearl Harbor and Top Gun Genres and their hybridizations Maam, please, dont take my wings: Homosexuality versus Heterosexuality Heterosexuality as Comedy Doolittle and the Bomb Of Ships and Airplanes The Dioscuri and the screen goddess 161

6. Mad woman in the manor-house. Maternity in Alejandro Amenbar's The Others (2001)
(Anti-) mother and vampire children Nothing is going to happen to you while Mummy is here Grace as final girl On the condition of the spouses after death: Swedenborg and The Others K / ein Ende 197

Bibliography image sources 233



In films, gender configurations not only organize the plot, but the entire representation system. That is the starting hypothesis of the cultural studies film lectures presented here. Narrative models, including cinematic models, have a gender connotation: if, for example, to name just one example of the genre, the hero rides into the vastness of the prairie in the conventional western, this is an action charged with gender-specific1 meanings. The active and mobile, traditionally male-coded hero penetrates an action that can be conceptualized as penetration into a feminine2 semantic space that is dangerous, mysterious, eerie, that is, that dark, unknown continent that Freud did not equate with femininity The landscape here replaces the female body. This narrative model works regardless of the biological gender of the hero character. Nonetheless, the hero (in the generic masculine) is more often a man than a woman. Perhaps even more pointedly than other theorists (who have shed light on the connection between narrative structures and gender-specific attributions: I'll just mention Sigrid Weigel4, Annette Pelz5, Barbara Schaff 6), Teresa de Lauretis7 pointed out such gender-topographical connections. Every narrative model, according to her findings, cites the gender difference and negotiates it, she continues. These updates are complex, by no means simple, but are characterized by metonymies, chiasms, which repeatedly stage and negotiate gender oppositions, reintroduce them, enforce them and / or thwart them. This applies to the gender topographies examined here, understood as the gender space semantizations of cultural texts, and it applies in general to gender topics, which are examined in the following film lectures. The gender topographies dealt with in this volume are jagged, characterized by faults and divisions, so they are not clearly visible. The chosen title does not only aim at the reconstruction of the gender semantizations of geographical spaces. The gender topographies deal with the mapping of cultural fields of representation, which are permeated and permeated by gender topics and gender iconographies; I understand the latter as a cultural repertoire of images that negotiates gender configurations. The present cultural studies film lessons are literally and figuratively related to gender topoi: They sketch gender-specific topographies and they take topical gender increases.


in their respective positions. The reconstruction of gender topics undertaken in the following is based on a largely fixed occupation of rooms, costumes, props, settings or assembly processes with male or female semantics predetermined by the cultural repertoire. However, it must always be discussed how the patterns of such stereotyping work and where opposing movements can be observed. Minghella's film the english patient, for example, as I shall show, is linked on the one hand to the cultural topic that defines the desert as female. Already in the opening credits, which shows a flight over the desert, the problem of gender topography is combined with the question of the perspective, the terrain is connoted as feminine, introduced as a miraculous terra incognita, as something that is based on male-scientific rationality and cartographic know-how -how to explore, explore and label is as well as the body of the woman with whom the protagonist falls in love. On the other hand, the film inverts the identification of woman and desert: the burned male body of the title hero becomes a desert allegory. The cinematic spaces are thus split, they are staged as spaces in between, with contradicting and complex gender semantizations, and cannot be clearly defined as female or male. The film lessons presented do not build on each other successively, but stand side by side in their recurrent attempt to describe and analyze the problem configurations at issue. They assume gender as a privileged function point where cultural and historical differences are deposited. This does not mean, however, that gender is the only privileged functional position, nor that this description category has to be isolated: Gender configurations must always be related to other cultural matrices (class, age, race, etc.), and their faults and the Interdependencies with other systems of cultural order are taken into account. In a programmatic sense, Tennants anna and the king interconnects the cultural matrix of gender with a second, the matrix race. Gender performances and race performances are related to each other and cross each other. The english patient the talented mr. ripley anna and the king crouching tiger, hidden dragon pearl harbor the others six films, 8 which (with one exception) were released between 1999 and 20019 and which will be treated in the order of their premiere in the USA. the english patient, the film, the

thony minghella in front of the talented mr. ripley was filmed in 1996; I included him in the series of films to be examined because he embodies the intricate gender negotiations of the talented mr. ripley anticipated so convincingly. the talented mr. ripley takes up heterosexual configurations as organized by the english patient in order to blend them with homosexual iconographies. Andy Tennants anna and the king, Ang Lees crouching tiger, hidden dragon, Michael Bays pearl harbor combine gender negotiations with race negotiations: As mentioned above, anna and the king develops a chiastic constellation: the one for the, culturally traditional as the protagonist with male connotations, the rational west, the teacher Anna Leonowens, meets the protagonist, the culturally feminine semantized, sensual and irrational east, the Siamese king. Tennant's film stages the aporias of these cultural attributions. Crouching tiger, hidden dragon also refers to the cultural phantasm of the Orient and its gender implications in order to say goodbye; Gender positions and their semantizations start rotating. In Michael Bay's pearl harbor we are dealing with an attack by the Orient on the Occident, an attack that is portrayed as homosexual rape. And we follow the love story of two American pilots, disguised as camaraderie. The film negotiates both love and war with the tilt figure homosociality / homosexuality. Finally, Amenbars the others operates with the topical analogization of woman (body) and house (body) that we know from the cultural repertoire. The threatening intruder, who questions the security of the woman and the house, is by no means a man pursuing penetration intentions, but the protagonist herself: Traditional gender topics no longer apply in Amenbar's film, a lucid study of motherhood as uncanny. The selection claims to show a certain range of the current variations of cinematic gender configurations; it is inevitably contingent: Instead of this or that film, another one could have been chosen. The subject of investigation are the American original films, 10 not the dubbed versions. The decision in favor of the US version does not hypostatize the (especially, but not only) concept of the original, which is precarious from a film-scientific perspective; The German-dubbed versions are not viewed as deficient (as film critics and film studies usually do with reference to the poor translations), but as different. I understand synchronization as a highly complex one


Process that shifts the cultural matrix of a film. Like any translation, the synchronization also works as a re-writing Bassnett and Lefevere state: translation is a re-writing of an original text11, the manipulation of the text is always a manipulation that allows the analysis of the cultural context into which (and from which is translated out). The film lessons presented here are not, however, about a differential theoretical analysis of the connection between the synchronized version and the original version with intercultural impetus.12 The US DVD editions of the films were used for the analysis, 13 which correspond to the American theatrical versions.14 Quoting is not based on the scripts (always in different versions), but based on transcripts of the film dialogues. Only in the case of Ang Lee's film crouching tiger, hidden dragon (the film was shot in Mandarin based on an English screenplay and ran in US cinemas with subtitles) do I refer to the dialogue sequences from the script written by James Schamus and others The productions in the center of interest are decidedly recent films of various genres and their hybridizations: melodrama, historical film, war film, action film, horror film. It is important to me to focus on various genres because genres reproduce and perforate gender configurations; There is a complicated interplay between gender (s) and genres. Semantic occupations of gender are due to media limitations; alternative gender codings force genre-specific innovations. The following exemplary analyzes take their subject seriously as an objectification of the cultural representation system. Cultural studies become ennobled if you conceptualize what I do in the sense of cultural studies, not through the choice of their subjects, but are characterized by the fact that they take cultural objectivations that are not counted as part of established culture like mainstream films with the same meticulousness and scrupulousness, which is a matter of course when dealing with canonized, so-called high culture, with manifestos of the high art. That does not mean that I fix popular films as low art, I rather try to play around the normative dichotomy that contrasts good quality films with poor quality, also by treating films that were praised by serious cinema criticism, such as the english patient, as well as films that have been panned by critics, such as pearl harbor. Both the particularly popular multiplex mainstream cinema and the arthouse cinema produced in Hollywood are the subject of discussion.16 With Mieke Bal, I assume that the boom that the film

Studies since the 1980s are explained precisely by the fact that they ignore the dividing line between high culture and popular culture or are concerned with the deconstruction of this dividing line.17 And I assume that the high-culture-low-culture dichotomy corresponds to the The subject of gender is not indifferent to the cultural semantics that define mass culture as tending to be female, while high culture is labeled as male.18 I can adopt an attitude towards both the high-low problem and the gender subject Mieke Bal can again be formulated as follows: In both cases, the hierarchy is not denied, which it cannot be because it is a cultural reality, but it is shifted and thereby undermined.19 In the lectures presented, the transfers, the implementations and feedback from high art and low art, the interferences between the current Hollywood semantics and the highly cultural repertoire In general, always looked at in terms of their functionality. It shows how films put the cultural repertoire, including the cultural gender repertoire, in scene in an almost Alexandrian way. The term Filmlektre 20 used in ostinat should be pointed out, owed almost to cultural studies and its expanded, symbol-based text concept, which understands all cultural objectivations as texts to be read: 21 last year's clothing fashion, music clips by Robbie Williams, graffiti on the house wall et cetera and of course also films. However, the media constitution of the cultural objectivation examined in each case must not be forgotten; Films are to be described as complex hybrid picture and sound sign systems, the media specifics of which have to be taken into account in the lectures. It was not possible to do without quoting images. This citation method is not without its problems, as the transitory medium of film operates with moving images that are immobilized in the images (the images also lack the sound that is also constitutive for the hybrid medium of film). In our case, however, the loss of (sound and) movement is compensated for by the large increase in evidence that results from the visualization of the gender topographies in individual film images. I insist on the term film reading because the following film analyzes are definitely not interpretations in the emphatic sense that hermeneutically illuminate the horizon of meaning of a filmic work. Deconstructively informed lectures are presented that do not want to illuminate and explain the whole film, but rather individual problem configurations in their explorations and aporias


pursue, in the present case precisely those that are decisive for the gender matrix. I am interested in the project of a Lectio difficilior about lectures that do not shy away from being sophisticated from time to time. The films examined are not subjected to the plain reading that they suggest (and seem to demand) as Hollywood mainstream productions. The decision in favor of the most productive readings possible, for the Lectio difficilior, takes seriously the high level of complexity that characterizes processes of gender semantizations (which are not trivial, do not fix banalities): Although gender topoi are related to commonplaces, they are gender-specific Reading cultural objectivations cannot be conceptualized as a simple ascription machine that defines male or female implications; the semantization processes and the cinematic construction of gender prove to be extremely precarious. No attempt is made to break down the films by intention category. What Minghella, Bay or Lee, to name three of the film directors examined, 22 is not in the focus of interest, 23 also because the mainstream films examined cannot be reduced to a director's intention. Dozens of creative people and technicians, screenwriters, costume designers, cutters, lighting technicians, etc. are involved in a single film production; their intentions form a complex (and irreducible) web.The productions I have analyzed are, as I have already explained, not avant-garde films, but Hollywood films, products of the culture industry, whose academic reception was determined, at least up to the 1980s, by the endeavor to adhere to the ideologies conveyed in the films criticize and deplore the cultural industrial manipulation of the viewer so the impetus of the German cultural theorists influenced by the Frankfurt School, but also that of the (post) Marxist Anglo-Saxon cultural theory faction. Cultural studies have now moved a long way from such a homogeneous model of the culture industry and its ideological impetus. John Storey (whose argumentation I am following) has already referred to as one of many good examples of a more differentiated approach to cultural-industrial productions, 24 the monograph Bond and Beyond 25 by Tony Bennett and Janet Woollacott can be cited. Bennett and Woollacott, who analyze the various and changing media representations of the character James Bond in books, films, fan magazines, journalism, advertising and interviews, oppose the conceptual

ization of popular fiction as a means of transporting privileged ideologemes with which the culture industry manipulates a unified mass of consumers. They define popular fiction as a field of complex ideological configurations, characterized by a multitude of historically changeable, also contradicting ideological discourses and counter-discourses. Of course, according to Bennett and Woollacott, it is possible to describe Bond films as sexist, racist and reactionary. But that did not explain why the mass audience would like to see these films unless one asserts that the mass audience just likes sexist, racist and reactionary films. Bennett and Woollacott put forward the thesis that the character James Bond found acceptance among the audience and was so popular because it enabled viewers to deal with a whole range of cultural and political configurations: with the political conditions during the Cold War and afterwards, with the relationship between capitalism and communism, but also with gender configurations. If one compares the individual James Bond films with one another, it can be stated that the character remains the same in a certain way, but the way in which the dominant discourses in the protagonists are played in or mixed up differs. By being a sign of his time, Bond moves and changes in it and embodies different cultural values. If Bond has functioned as a sign of the times, it has been as a moving sign of the times, as a figure capable of taking up and articulating quite different and even contradictory cultural and ideological values, sometimes turning its back on the meanings and cultural possibilities it had earlier embodied to enunciate new ones. When Bennett and Woollacott argue with verve when dealing with popular fiction, it makes sense not always to stigmatize the cultural objectivations with which one is concerned as ideological and cultural-industrial (with the intention of to ignore them as far as possible), but rather to reconstruct precisely which ideologemes, in our case: which gender texts are inscribed in the films and how the films process these gender constellations. The negotiation figures that come into view through such a perspective are full of tension, which the lectures undertaken want to prove. The way in which gender configurations are acted out and staged in the selected films show the differentiated negotiations of gender orders and gender constellations. It is not that the films viewed are based on traditional narrative models, only that the boy-meets-girl scheme is absolutely dispensed with: For example, love stories are made in the


Recourse to current conventions, the films operate, however, as already mentioned, with displacements, with chiasms, which require a second and third look at the narrative models, which are supposedly not intricate. The lectures undertaken here follow on from the differentiated research results of feminist film studies. Since the late 1960s, women film scholars inspired by the so-called second women's movement, including Molly Haskell, Marjorie Rosen, and Joan Mellen, have contributed feminist issues to the field of film studies. They asked about the representation of women in film, examined the cinematographic voyeuristic constellation and analyzed the connection between gender and genre. The focus of interest was on melodrama, westerns and, since the 1980s, horror and action films; With regard to the Western genre, for example, the dominance of male protagonists and actions, the homosocial configurations, the inexplicability of the masculinity project, and the female trigger function as movens of the action were worked out. In 1975 Laura Mulvey presented Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema 27, one of the most printed and most discussed film studies of all and a founding text for feminist film studies and film theory. Based on the cinematographic apparatus theory (Jean-Louis Baudry, Jean-Louis Comolli) and psychoanalytic film theory (Christian Metz, Raymond Bellour), Mulvey argues that the unconscious of patriarchal society inscribes itself in the Classical Narrative Cinema of Hollywood films. For Mulvey, the central point is the analysis of the relationship between spectator identification and male gaze; According to her, the success of Hollywood cinema is based on the skillful manipulation of the culturally male connotation of curiosity or scopophilia, which in patriarchal society is organized analogously to the inequality of the sexes. Mulvey assumes a dichotomization of gender representations and contrasts the active male subject (viewer / protagonist) with the passive female object (the icon in the film): the man has the gaze (determining male gaze), while the woman has the gaze (he ) wear (holds the look). These subject-object positions are generated by various point-of-view mechanisms (shot / counter-shot, lingering close-up, etc.) in Hollywood cinema; Women are portrayed as sexual objects in mainstream films, functioned as the erotic object of the male protagonists in the film plot and as an erotic object for the viewer; thus female spectators are also forced to adopt this male gaze position. Always

Male-positioned viewers feel pleasure in the phallus, the exhibited female body, but are at the same time confronted with castration fear. He reacts with fetishistic curiosity and sadistic voyeurism. Mulvey's article, which operates with central psychoanalytic categories (fetish, sadism, masochism, phallus, castration or castration fear, scopophilia) had a groundbreaking effect because it linked the question of the representation of gender with the question of the order of the gaze. However, the very rigid, poorly differentiated dichotomy of male / active / sadistic and female / passive / masochistic and the disambiguation of multivalent representation structures in Mulvey's concept were rightly criticized. Teresa de Lauretis and other postmodern theorists have called into question the woman category on which Mulvey’s analysis is based, for example by pointing out that the paradigm of sexual difference is crossed by race 28 and class that every construction of women is already interspersed with deconstruction. De Lauretis does not plead for feminist (film) aesthetics, but for what she calls feminist deasthetics.29 Mulvey’s concept has also been continued and refined with reference to the criticism given to him, for example in E. Ann Kaplans Is the gauze male? and in Mary Ann Doane's film and the Masquerade. Theorising the Female Spectator.30 Gender-specific film analyzes are repeatedly referred to, revise and update these attempts at conceptualizing the gaze order or masquerade. The theoretical framework of the film lessons undertaken here is determined by the discussion about performance or performativity, which endeavors to deontologize. Representation, including the representation of gender, is not understood as a sign or image that stands for something a priori that is independent of the representation. Rather, the interest lies in the process of cinematographic construction of the gender category. The cinematic construction of gender identities cannot be understood as an unambiguous, self-contained product [], but as a heterogeneous, crisis-ridden representation process.31 The gender category, which is the focus of the film lessons presented here, is not defined in terms of biological substance, but rather in terms of performance. The dominance of performance theory in the field of gender studies corresponds to the importance of the performative in many currents of contemporary theory formation; The main factor behind the transfer of the performance concept from linguistic speech act theory to cultural and artistic studies32 was the debate between Searle (Reiterating the


Differences) and Derrida (Limited Inc.) on Austin's How to Do Things with Words.33 Austin concludes with the classic linguistic distinction between constatives and performatives (by showing that all constative speech acts can be transformed into performative), but introduces one new one: the one between serious and irrelevant speaking, for example as quoted, repetitive speaking on the theater stage. The contamination of the linguistic technical term with performance is already inherent in Austin. In the following, the performance concept is applied from a gender and film studies double perspective. Gender configurations are thus determined as constitutive media performances. The medium of film not only documents the everyday practical production of femininity and masculinity, models and pre-configures our gender behavior, but also refers self-reflexively to the staging or performative aspect of gender. The most pronounced proponent of this gender performance theory is known to be Judith Butler, who with her book Gender Trouble 1991 put the distinction between sex and gender that has been popular since the 1970s to the test. Butler deconstructs this difference; she argues that the gender category intricately refers to the concept of a pre-discursive nature. Gender cannot be separated from sex; rather, both should be described equally as the effect of displaying facial expressions, gestures and language.34 Judith Butler was widely received not only in the USA, but also in German-speaking countries. Its strictly constructivist, performance-theoretical arguments changed the thought patterns of gender research, however, traditional gender research also raised objections, for example, to Butler's handling of the materiality of the body, physique or biology; Butler was also accused of the fact that her concept of doing gender was too voluntaristic.35 On the one hand, it must be countered by the fact that Butler does not deny the materiality of the body, but rather only points out that we have no prdiscursive access to this materiality. On the other hand, Butler's performance concept is very well aware of the iterative parts that go along with it; It reflects that performative actions are always also compulsive actions that are dictated by guidelines.36 However, the aim of the following is not to re-examine the gender performance theory, which has meanwhile been extensively discussed; Rather, it is about an analysis of doing gender as an inevitable prerequisite for media practice. Films know no natural bodies, but only representations, more precisely: performative

tive constructions of the sexes, and thus repeatedly negotiate, more or less explicitly, gender-crossing subjects. Research has repeatedly looked at these gender-crossing configurations, especially because they have not only been a popular film topic in recent years. Garbo already plays with the gender boundary in queen christina 37, and Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon stage travesty in Billy Wilders some like it hot 38, to name just two film examples. Since the 1980s, however, the subject has experienced an extraordinary boom, 39 in which it is remarkable that it not only accompanied, but helped to initiate the academic discussion that has been taking place in cultural studies and gender studies, especially in queer and gender studies, since the mid-1980s Male Studies (to which the readings of this study owe decisive suggestions), about the performative construction of gender. The cinematic gender-crossing discourse of the 80s and 90s on the performative construction of gender differs from that of previous decades in that the few patterns that traditionally claim to be valid for transvestism films up to the 80s (and for which some axioms are multiplied and diversified) are being multiplied and diversified apply like the one that women playing men are always weird: like in charley's aunt 40 or some like it hot). The recent travesty films do not stage the decline of the gender difference, but they replace one (gender) difference with an ensemble of differences, 41 the configuration of which has to be described. In the context of this book, the subject of gender crossing is important but not with a view to travesty films; rather, the thesis advocated here is that it infiltrates films of the most varied of genres. This infiltration of mainstream films is of interest. In contrast to the present research literature, implicit gender crossing is addressed; 42 the examined film corpus includes almost no gender crossing films in the explicitly narrow sense.43 It is analyzed how gender implications shift, invert and interfere in this selected corpus how the films bring in traditional gender topics and set them in motion. As little as films know natural bodies, just as little do they know culturally unmarked, semantics-free, especially gender-semantics-free spaces; rather, they operate with set designs, with film architectures and film landscapes that have always been charged with meanings, usually with contradicting and aporetic interlinked ones. The following lectures will be devoted to these complex semantization processes, the cinematic staging of gender topics, in detail.


The present volume was created in the context of my work at the cultural studies research college for media and cultural communication; I benefited enormously from the impulses of the college. I also need to thank those who took the trouble to read the resulting manuscript repeatedly, to comment on it, to accompany it with criticism and encouragement: Gereon Blaseio, Stefan Brnchen, Katrin Oltmann, Tina Pusse, Nicole Raab, Sandra Rausch, Franziska Schler and Ines Steiner. Without the intensive and, for me, fruitful discussions with them, without their cheerful commitment, their enjoyment of the lectures, without their varied suggestions, their competent objections and insistent contradictions, the gender topographies would have given me far less pleasure. Thank you all very much. Cologne, June 2002, Claudia Liebrand

1 In the following, I usually prefer the English term gender because, unlike the German term gender (which also means biological gender), it denotes the cultural and social construction mechanisms of gender; I am orienting myself on the use of language, as it has established itself in German-speaking countries in gender studies after Judith Butler's Gender Trouble (Judith Butler: Gender Trouble. Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, New York / London 1990, dt Version: The unease of the sexes, Frankfurt / M. 1991). 2 I do not speak of the male and the female as ontological, essential categories. Masculinity and femininity are the effects of a precarious cultural construction process. 3 In this context of argument, femininity and spatiality would be the same, so to speak. 4 Sigrid Weigel: Topographies of the sexes. Cultural history studies on literature, Reinbek 1990. In her volume, Weigel deals with the different places of women and men in the history of European civilization: These different places of the sexes in Western cultural history have also left their traces in writing: in metaphors, in Thought patterns, discourse figures and in specific practices of the constitution of meaning. The topographies of the sexes record these traces with a view to exemplary constellations of femininity and masculinity in literature (ibid., P. 11 f.). 5 Annegret Pelz: Journeys through one's own foreign travel literature by women as autogeographical writings, Cologne 1993. 6 Barbara Schaff: Gendered Cities. Italian cities in the eyes of British travelers, in: Andreas Mahler (ed.): Stadt-Bilder. Allegory. Mimesis. Imagination, Heidelberg 1999, p. 173196. 7 Teresa de Lauretis: Technologies of Gender. Essays on Theory, Film, and Fiction, Bloomington 1987. De Lauretis explains the connection between narrative structures and gender-specific constellations in the narrative typology of Jurij Lotman: The Origin of Plot in the Light of Typology, in: Poetics Today 1/12 (1979), S. 161184. 8 In addition, a whole series of other films are devoted to longer and shorter digressions. After all, texts (including film texts) write themselves from other texts. Intertextual arguments will be made over and over again, reference films and key films, cinematic citation or parody procedures etc. 9 THE ENGLISH PATIENT: Year of production: 1996, US release: November 15, 1996 (wide release), German publication: February 27, 1997 (German start); THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY: year of production: 1999, US release: 12.12.1999 (premiere) / 25.12.1999 (wide release), German publication: 13.02.2000 (Berlinale) /

02/17/2000 (German start); ANNA AND THE KING: Production year: 1999, US release: December 15, 1999 (premiere) / December 17, 1999 (wide release), German publication: January 27, 2000 (German.Begin); WO HU CANG LONG (CROUCHING TI GER, HIDDEN DRAGON), production year: 2000, US release: 09.10.2000 (NY Film Festival) / 08.12.2000 (Wide Release), German publication: 11.01.2001 (German start) ; PEARL HARBOR: Year of production: 2001, US release: May 21, 2001 (premiere) / May 25, 2001 (wide release), German publication: June 7, 2001 (German start); THE OTHERS: Production year: 2001, US release: August 2nd, 2001 (premiere) / August 10th, 2001 (wide release), German publication: January 10th, 2002 (German start). The concept of the original is not without problems, especially from a film studies perspective. In any case, the original is in a dependent relationship, for example to the synchronicity, to the remake, etc. Only in order to stay in our argumentation context does the synchronized version allow us to speak of an original version at all. Susan Bassnett / Andr Lefevere (eds.): Translation, History and Culture, London 1990, p. IX. It is not about the investigation of culturally different gender performances qua synchronization, the films of interest are not looked at in terms of their cultural productivity as translations (if that were the insight-guiding consideration, the synchronized versions would also have to be used), the gender-specific ones are focused Reading the US versions. Only in TO CATCH A THIEF (USA 1955, D: Alfred Hitchcock), W INGS (USA 1927, D: William A. Wellman) and M. BUTTERFLY (USA 1993, D: David Cronenberg) had to rely on US-American resp. German video cassettes can be used. HSIA NU (Taiwan 1969, D: King Hu, German title: A TOUCH OF ZEN) was only available as a video recording of a television broadcast by WDR. THE - KING - AND - I -DVD is not an American, but a British DVD. This correspondence was checked with recourse to the International Movie Data Base (IMDB). PEARL HARBOR's analysis also did not work with the Directors Cut published in 2002, but with the theatrical version shown at the first screening of the film. Linda Sunshine (ed.): Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. A Portrait of the Ang Lee Film Including the Complete Screenplay, New York 2000. The films I examined were usually made by the Hollywood majors, the large US production companies. Miramax, the production company of THE ENGLISH PATIENT and THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, sometimes referred to as independent, but this labeling has to be contradicted. Miramax has been operating as a subsidiary of the WaltDisney Group since 1993. Jerry Bruckheimer, the producer of PEARL HARBOR, also claims to be producing independently, but Michael Bay, the director of the film, reports in the DVD audio commentary about specifications from Touchstone Pictures (another subsidiary of Walt Disney) that he had to adhere to. The films I have looked at are in no way real independent productions. Mieke Bal: Reading Rembrandt. Beyond the Word-Image Opposition, Cambridge 1991. Cf. Andreas Huyssen: Mass Culture as Woman. Modernisms Other, in: ders .: After the Great Divide. Modernism, Mass Culture, Postmodernism, Bloomington / Indianapolis 1986, p. 4462. Bal: Reading Rembrandt (note 17), p. 23. So the starting point is the concept of a performative reading that is conscious in its implementation of what it claims To make sense. With regard to reading interested in the gender problem, this means that this is also an act that does not take place beyond the gender matrix, but at the same time quotes and paraphrases it. On the cultural studies text concept: Rick Altman: Sound Theory, Sound Practice, New York / London 1992; Mieke Bal: Art, Language, Thought, and Culture. Cultural Analysis Today, in: Federal Ministry of Science and Transport / International Research Center for Cultural Studies Vienna (ed.): The Contemporary Study of Culture, Vienna 1999, p. 169192; Jacques Derrida: The voice and the phenomenon, Frankfurt / M. 1979; Clemens Knobloch: On the status and history of the text term, in: Zeitschrift fr Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik 77 (1990), p. 6686; Graeme Turner: Cultural Studies and Film, in: John Hill / Pamela Church Gibson (ed.): The Oxford Guide to Film Studies, Oxford 1998, p. 195201. On cultural studies in general: Tony Bennett / Janet Woollacott: Bond and Beyond. The Political Career of a Popular Hero, Basingstoke 1987; Simon During: The Cultural Studies Reader, New York / London 2 1999; John Fiske: Understanding Popular Culture, Boston 1989; Stuart Hall: Culture, Media, Language, London 1986; Rolf Lindner: The Hour of Cultural Studies, Vienna 2000; Tim OSullivan /


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