Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 12-7-2016

Faculty Advisor(s)

Veronique Olivier


This research explores representations of sexually deviant women in French film beginning with the New Wave film movement of the1960s and continuing to present day. This work examines the extent to which the gender of a film’s director affects the presentation of female nudity, infidelity, homosexuality, BDSM, and pornography onscreen. Through the lens of scholarly articles of film theorists and feminists such as Laura Mulvey, Simone de Beauvoir, and Hélène Cixous; and of both feministic and anti-feministic works of famous French directors such as Jean-Luc Godard, Catherine Breillat, and Emmanuelle Bercot, this capstone work identifies filmic triumphs and failures of French feminism. Furthermore, by applying feminist film theory, it analyzes which cinematographic, rhetorical, and narrative techniques best serve to liberate women onscreen and tell the stories of their sexuality accurately and honestly in the hopes of creating a reference point for future feminist filmmakers. The probable conclusion of this research is that in most every instance, with few notable exceptions, only a female director can truly express the sexual lives of designated female at birth individuals (DFAB). It is important to note that this work excludes an examination of transsexuality in French film, due to a lack of existing scholarly works on the subject, and focuses exclusively on representations of the DFAB sexual experience.


Presented at the Fall 2016 Student Research Day at Chapman University.