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Author: Dragon, Zoltán| Date: 09. 06. 2008. | Type: Article, Essay | Subject: Feminism and Filmtheory | Published: Metropolis - 2000 / 4. - Feminism and Filmtheory

Picture, Function, Structure
Woman in the films of István Szabó

The author analyses, with the use of feminist film theory, the role of female characters in István Szabó’s films. The starting point for the analysis is the figure of Valeria Sonnenschein Szabó’s film Sunshine. The study tries to show that female characters are at least as important from the point of view of film as the male heroes often cited in film history as being important to Szabó.
In this case Sunshine counts as a subject to examination, because the structure of classical narrative marginalises female characters, creating the challenge of the feminist reading of texts. Through the theoretical thinking of three feminist theorists the study analyses in detail the figure of Valeria Sonnenschein, the structure of the film’s narrative and themes.
In terms of Teresa de Lauretis’s thinking the female role is the basis of narrative logic, for the woman/mother brings difference into the story and starts every story off. On the basis of Annette Kuhn’s research into Hollywood films, the study shows how in Sunshine the female figure becomes the organising principle of the text. Finally Julia Kristeva’s thoughts on the „khora” are used to analyse Szabó’s film.
In conclusion, the author briefly looks at girls’ place in other Szabó films (Confidence, Mephisto, Love Film, The Age of Daydreaming), which similarly have decisive roles in filling out the shape of the film.

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