Vision Machines: Cinema, Literature and Sexuality in Spain and Cuba, 1983-1993 (Hardback)

by Paul Julian Smith

Format: Hardback 160 pages

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Over the last decade, visibility and sexuality have become a major theme in Spanish and Cuban cinema, literature and art. This book explores this development in the light of contemporary history and recent theoretical accounts of sight by writers, including Paul Virilio, Gianni Vattimo and Teresa de Lauretis. The very visible women of Almodovar's cinema, from the early "Dark Habits" to the recent "Kika", are the author's first subject. His second test site is Cuba where, in films such as Almendros's "Improper Conduct" and Alea's "Strawberry and Chocolate", homosexual desire and its conflicts are at last beginning to be explored. Smith then returns to Spain to consider the response of artists and intellectuals to the public invisibility of the AIDS epidemic in a country with one of the highest rates of HIV transmission in the European Union, and to examine the first signs of a challenge to other hitherto taboo subjects, notably Basque nationalism and female sexuality. This wide-ranging study is united by three themes: lesbian, gay and straight sexuality; nationality; and visibility itself as both a pleasure and a problem at the heart of Spanish-language cultural production. Paul Julian Smith is the author of "The Body Hispanic", "Laws of Desire", "?Entiendes?: Queer Readings/Hispanic Texts" (with Emilie Bergmann) and "Desire Unlimited: The Cinema of Pedro Almodovar".

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