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Genre, Authorship and Contemporary Women Filmmakers$
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Katarzyna Paszkiewicz

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474425261

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474425261.001.0001

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Repeat to Remake: Diablo Cody and Karyn Kusama’s Jennifer’s Body

Repeat to Remake: Diablo Cody and Karyn Kusama’s Jennifer’s Body

Chapter:
(p.60) 2. Repeat to Remake: Diablo Cody and Karyn Kusama’s Jennifer’s Body
Source:
Genre, Authorship and Contemporary Women Filmmakers
Author(s):

Katarzyna Paszkiewicz

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474425261.003.0003

If, as Jane Gaines (2012) suggests, instead of ‘transgressing’ the formal dictates of the industrial genre (that is, instead of ‘going against genre’), some women filmmakers ‘go with genre’, this might be particularly so in the case of horror cinema. The analysis of the much-maligned Jennifer’s Body (2009), written by Diablo Cody and directed by Karyn Kusama, demonstrates precisely this point. The chapter begins by discussing the marketing of Jennifer’s Body, in order to show how those in charge of film distribution and publicity used the director’s and writer’s gender as a promotional tool, and how the filmmakers themselves might have determined certain feminist and postfeminist readings of their film. These readings are contextualised within Diablo Cody’s broader self-promotional activities and her “commercial auteurism” (Corrigan 1991) and raise several questions about what is at stake when women practitioners make horror films and the implications should a filmmaker self-identify as a feminist filmmaker. The chapter then offers a close examination of Jennifer’s Body by rethinking the theories of Barbara Creed (1993) and Carol J. Clover (1992) and by inscribing the film within the wider context of teen movies and postfeminist media culture, making room for reflection on female spectatorial pleasures. It concludes that rather than undoing the horror genre, Jennifer’s Body explores its productive potential, participating in its continuous re-inscription of the relationship between women and violence.

Keywords:   horror film, teen movies, gender, commercial auteurism, feminism/postfeminism, female spectatorial pleasures, violence, Jennifer’s Body, Diablo Cody, Karyn Kusama

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