Mixing art cinema, fantastique and exploitation, Jean Rollin created a unique cinematic world, transgressive and oneiric, and dominated by the feminine. His films, steeped in the roman noir of the 18th and 19th century via his love for Surrealism, are peopled by damsels in distress who reveal themselves much less vulnerable than they initially appear.
Electric Sheep editor Virginie Sélavy will look at the way in which Rollin’s films use Gothic motifs such as the castle and the vampire to question social and moral norms and subvert conventional gender expectations. She will also explore the conflation of exploitation and aesthetic vision in his work, and the insight it offers into the tensions around the representation of the female body in the sexual liberation era.
Longtime genre critic Marcelle Perks will investigate Final Girl strategies in the films of Rollin, looking at the ways his predominantly female protagonists depart from the tropes emerging from the slasher films of the time, as analysed by Carol Clover in her 1987 essay ‘Her Body, Himself’, which became the basis of the seminal Men, Women and Chainsaws. Perks will also examine Rollin’s unique approach to concepts of contagion and infection, with an emphasis on Les raisins de la mort (1978) and La nuit des traquées (1980).
Both Marcelle Perks and Virginie Sélavy contributed to the new book Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin, edited by Samm Deighan and written by entirely women critics, scholars and film historians, which will be available for sale at the screening.
About the instructors:
Marcelle Perks is a British author and journalist. Since 1993 she has contributed freelance articles to magazines such as Redeemer, Fangoria, Shivers, Flesh and Blood, SamHain, Kamera, Rue Morgue, Nerve.com, Film Maker magazine, The Dark Side and Videoworld. She has an MA in Media Studies and has taught creative writing at Leibniz University. She has contributed to The BFI Companion to Horror, British Horror Cinema, Gothic Lifestyle, Cinema Macabre, and Alternative Europe: Eurotrash & Exploitation Cinema since 1945. She’s also written how-to guides on sexuality and writes erotica and crime novels. Since 2001 she has lived in Germany.
Virginie Sélavy is the founder and editor of Electric Sheep, the online magazine for transgressive cinema. She has edited the collection of essays The End: An Electric Sheep Anthology, and has contributed to World Directory Cinema: Eastern Europe and written about Victorian London in Film Locations: Cities of the Imagination – London. Her work has appeared in various publications, including Sight&Sound, Rolling Stone France, Cineaste and Frieze.
About the Miskatonic Institute:
Named for the fictional university in H.P. Lovecraft’s literary mythos, The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is a non-profit, community-based organization that started in Canada, founded by Kier-La Janisse in March of 2010. The school currently has branches in Montreal and London, with Miskatonic London operating under the co-direction of Kier-La Janisse and Electric Sheep Founder/Editor Virginie Sélavy.
All classes take place at the historic Horse Hospital, the heart of the city’s underground culture. Season ticket is £35 and will be available shortly. Individual class tickets are £10 advance / £11 on the door / £8 concessions and will be available 30 days in advance of each class.
For full details of the next courses please check the Miskatonic website. For all enquiries, please email Miskatonic.london[at]gmail.com.