“Castles of Subversion” Continued: From the roman noir and Surrealism to Jean Rollin

I contributed an essay on the castle in Jean Rollin, exploring the Gothic and surrealist origins of one of the director’s preferred settings, the real locations used, and their subversive significance to LOST GIRLS: THE PHANTASMAGORICAL CINEMA OF JEAN ROLLIN, edited by Samm Deighan and written by all women critics, scholars and film historians, published by Spectacular Optical.

This collection of essays covers the range of Rollin’s career from 1968’s LE VIOL DU VAMPIRE through his 2010 swansong, LE MASQUE DE LA MÉDUSE, touching upon his horror, fantasy, crime and sex films—including many lesser seen titles. The book closely examines Rollin’s core themes: his focus on overwhelmingly female protagonists, his use of horror genre and exploitation tropes, his reinterpretations of the fairy tale and fantastique, the influence of crime serials, Gothic literature and the occult, and much more.

“Lost Girls is an exquisite book about the acclaimed French film director Jean Rollin, a master of the surreal and the poetic, whose classic films with their haunting images embody a dark playful female aesthetic. The essays in this fine collection capture Rollin’s love of the supernatural, the dreamlike, poetic gore and female vampirism – to mention a few of themes that Rollin subjects to his strange subversive eye. This outstanding collection pays tribute to Rollin’s world of surreal fairy tales, sadean narratives and disturbing journeys into the dark side of the soul. Lost Girls is a must for lovers of the cinematic underworld in which female characters reign supreme.” – Barbara Creed, author of The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis

“No serious student of the cinefantastique will want to be without this beautifully illustrated collection of essays dedicated to the eerie, sensual cinema of Jean Rollin.” – Maitland McDonagh, author of Broken Mirrors, Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento

The book features a foreword by Françoise Pascal, the star of Rollin’s beloved La rose de fer, and cover art by Jessica Seamans, known for her work with Landland and posters for MONDO.

Published by Spectacular Optical, 2017.

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