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PG Research Forum: Ana Maria Sapountzi & Shruti Narayanswamy

November 28, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Please join us for the inaugural meeting of the PG Research Forum in Film Studies. For our first session, Ph.D. students in Film Studies Ana Maria Sapountzi and Shruti Narayanswamy will share work in progress drawn from their thesis projects-

Ana Maria Sapountzi will be discussing Laurence Olivier’s Queer Orientations in The Prince and the Showgirl:

In England in 1956, enchanted by film directing and eager to adapt material other than the Bard’s for the screen, Laurence Olivier decided that his next directorial project would be Terrence Rattigan’s play The Sleeping Prince (1953). At the same time across the Atlantic Marilyn Monroe, having founded Marilyn Monroe Productions, had come by the idea of wanting to star in a film alongside Olivier. Soon after having learned of her desire, Olivier met with Monroe and a contract was signed. The play was to be renamed The Prince and the Showgirl for the screen; Monroe was to be the showgirl and Olivier the Prince. The film was released in the summer of 1957 and quickly received perplexed and disappointed reviews, mainly criticising the film’s striking lack of sex despite its highly erotic leads. Adopting Sara Ahmed’s notion of Queer Phenomenology, this paper principally investigates Olivier’s movements in relation to Monroe-Hollywood’s unrivalled sex symbol and object of desire at the time-to argue how his orientations in the film are ultimately queer when read against concepts of sexualised space and “orientation devices.”

Shruti Narayanswamy will be discussing The use of film genres in advertising targeted at women audiences in Bombay in the 1930s:

This paper will look at how films were being advertised as ‘Dynamite Socials’, ‘Domestic Pictures’, ‘Provocative Socials’ etc. with taglines that were aimed at women. These were films that dealt with issues of women’s reform such as birth control and divorce, and I will be outlining how these ‘sub-genres’ were created at the publicity/ distribution level specifically to attract women audiences during this period. While some studios clearly had the means to execute more elaborate publicity campaigns, other studios had to differentiate their products through print advertising. I will be analysing how these publicity strategies were drawing from contemporary social/political discourses to attract women to the pictures in 1930s Bombay.


November 28, 2018
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Paul Flaig


The Boardroom, 99 North Street