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Ebook Information

Into the Vortex

Female Voice and Paradox in Film

A pathbreaking feminist analysis of sound's shifting relation to image in film

Into the Vortex challenges and rethinks feminist film theory's brilliant but often pessimistic reflections on the workings of sound and voice in film. Including close readings of major film theorists such as Kaja Silverman and Mary Ann Doane, Britta H. Sjogren offers an alternative to image-centered scenarios that dominate feminist film theory's critique of the representation of sexual difference.

Sjogren focuses on a rash of 1940s Hollywood films in which the female voice bears a marked formal presence to demonstrate the ways that the feminine is expressed and difference is sustained. She argues that these films capitalize on particular particular psychoanalytic, narratological and discursive contradictions to bring out and express difference, rather than to contain or close it down. Exploring the vigorous dynamic engendered by contradiction and paradox, Sjogren charts a way out of the pessimistic, monolithic view of patriarchy and cinema's representation of women's voices.


"In Into the Vortex, Britta Sjogren presents a sustained argument that takes on directly--and counters successfully--the dominant position in the field. Well documented, well argued, and well written, this important book will be widely debated for years to come." --Rick Altman, professor of cinema and comparative literature, University of Iowa


Britta H. Sjogren is a filmmaker and associate professor of cinema at San Francisco State University. Her films include Jo-Jo at the Gate of Lions (1992), A Small Domain (1996, Grand Jury Prize for Best Short Film at Sundance) and In This Short Life (2005).

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