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Femina Ridens/The Frightened Woman (1969) - Piero Schivazappa
Dagmar Lassander and Phillipe Leroy in Femina Ridens
Femina Ridens/The Frightened Woman (1969) - Piero Schivazappa [Amazon US]
Isabel Cristina Pinedo [...] writes in Recreational Terror: Women and the Pleasures of Horror Film Viewing (1997), "If a woman can not be aggressive and still be a woman, then female agency is a pipe dream. But if the surviving female can be aggressive and be really a woman, then she subverts this binary notion of gender that buttresses male dominance." This is exactly what occurs in the Italian sex-horror film Femina Ridens (Frightened Woman, 1969), by director Piero Schivazappa, who plays his cards up front by displaying a huge vagina dentata in his set design (more than a decade before all these feminist accounts), and has a twisted, millionaire playboy character literally walk out of it! --Donato Totaro, http://www.horschamp.qc.ca/new_offscreen/final_girl.html [Dec 2004]
In this film [Femina Ridens] the male character, Dotto (Philipe Roy), invites a young female employee Mary (Dagmar Lassander) to his modish house for a weekend of S&M. Dotto is James Bond and Austin Powers rolled into one, but the tables slowly turn to the point where Mary becomes the willing master (similar to the dynamic power shift in Losey's The Servant, 1963). In fact, by the end of the film we discover that Mary was never a victim, but had actually planned the event. In this latter case, the female spectator is given ample space within the narrative to identify with the woman's sexual (and not necessarily violent) empowerment. --Donato Totaro, http://www.horschamp.qc.ca/new_offscreen/final_girl.html [Dec 2004]
see also: Femina Ridens (1969)
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