Femmes fatales: representation in the movies and the spectrum of modernity

Rita de Cássia Eleutério de Moraes


In this essay, I aim at analyzing the popular reception of the femme fatale in the 1920’s, relating the emergence and presence of this figure to the modernist period by analyzing the female characters namely Lulu, in Pandora’s Box by G.W. Pabst (1928-9), The Woman from the City in Sunrise by F.W. Murnau (1927), and Maria the Robot in Metropolis by Fritz Lang (1926-7), as well as to verify how they fit the concept and can be addressed as “femme fatales” or “vamps”. My intention is to trace a root for the appearance of the femme fatale or vamp, beginning with an analysis of the term “flapper” and its origins as well as to trace a parallel among the female characters in the films under analysis to demonstrate how they  [the flappers/ femmes fatales] influenced and were influenced by modernity. 

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DOI: 10.3895/rl.v19n24.2893


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