Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media


The Feminist Cinema of Joanna Hogg: Melodrama, Female Space, and the Subversion of Phallogocentric Metanarrative

Ciara Barrett


Abstract: In this article, I provide a scholarly introduction to the cinema of contemporary British director Joanna Hogg that stands in direct contravention to existing auteurist and concomitantly phallogocentric critical discourses on her work. Thus I establish an alternative, feminist theoretical framework for analysis of Hogg’s films, synthesising feminist and structuralist methodologies. Via close textual analysis of each of Hogg’s three feature films, emphasising their implicit critique of phallogocentric narrativisation vis-à-vis the deployment of certain “melodramatic” conventions, I argue that the director creates a filmic space both literal and conceptual for “the female”. Significantly, this contravenes the inherently phallogocentric theoretical framework by which auteurist film criticism has (up until now) largely attempted to “package” Hogg’s work. I thus conclude the cinema of Joanna Hogg represents a subversive challenge to phallogocentric metanarrative, within which auteurist film criticism has traditionally been imbricated.


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