GIRLS IN UNIFORM: LANDMARKS OF LESBIAN CINEMA
These two films belong to a rich history of “girls school” melodramas focusing on the blossoming sexual infatuations between students and their teachers. Both films were largely influenced by Leontine Sagan and Carl Froelich’s Mädchen in Uniform, their 1931 adaptation of Christa Winsloe’s source material. Though highly controversial on release, this sensual yet subtle work has cemented itself as one of the true landmarks of lesbian cinema and its mark is easily identifiable in this program.
The night commences with Jacqueline Audry’s Olivia (1951). Daring for its time, this classic of lesbian cinema delves deep into the female psyche, exploring awaken passions and the amorous relationships between students and teachers at an exclusive French finishing school. Notable for being written, directed, produced and acted almost entirely by women, it also stars Simone Simon of Cat People (1942) and La ronde (1950) fame.
This is followed by Alfredo B. Crevenna’s Muchachas de uniforme (1951), a remake of the aforementioned German classic Mädchen in Uniform. One of the most fascinating films from the golden age of Mexican melodrama, it follows an orphan (Irasema Dilián, of Buñuel’s Wuthering Heights (1954)) who develops a passionate infatuation with her teacher (Marga López) in an all-girls Catholic school. Recently rediscovered, this adaptation is an absorbing and sometimes hysterical cross-cultural variation on Christa Winsloe’s libidinous source material.
Girls in Uniform: Landmarks of Lesbian Cinema
Venue: Australia Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square