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Appears in Collections:Communications, Media and Culture Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: 'There is a reason why Sporty Spice is the only one of them without a fella . . . ': The 'lesbian potential' of Bend it Like Beckham
Author(s): Lindner, Katharina
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Keywords: desire
textual analysis
Bend it Like Beckham
Women athletes
Sports in motion pictures
Sex role in motion pictures
Lesbianism in motion pictures
Issue Date: 2011
Date Deposited: 14-Mar-2012
Citation: Lindner K (2011) 'There is a reason why Sporty Spice is the only one of them without a fella . . . ': The 'lesbian potential' of Bend it Like Beckham. New Review of Film and Television Studies, 9 (2), pp. 204-223.
Abstract: Drawing on debates around lesbian (in)visibility, representability and appropriation in cinema, this paper explores the ways in which Bend it Like Beckham (Chadha, 2002) opens up possibilities for lesbian spectatorial engagements. Situating the film within the larger generic context of the (female) sports film, I argue that Bend it Like Beckham uses the lesbian recognisability and representability provided by the contemporary sports context for an articulation of non-heteronormative identities and desires, blurring the boundaries between lesbian visibility and invisibility. Questioning traditional and binary understandings of gendered spectatorship, and with a particular focus on moments of athletic performance, I suggest that the athletic (bodily, emotional and looking) relations between the central female characters allow for appropriative viewing pleasures to be taken in this superficially ‘straight' text.
DOI Link: 10.1080/17400309.2011.556946
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