From Perversion to Purity

The stardom of Catherine Deneuve

Edited by Lisa Downing and Sue Harris

From Perversion to Purity

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7339-7
  • Pages: 194
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £13.99
  • Published Date: June 2011
  • BIC Category: The arts / Individual film directors, film-makers, Individual Actors & Performers, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / Direction & Production, PERFORMING ARTS / Individual Director, Individual film directors, film-makers, Film history, theory & criticism, Film and Media


Catherine Deneuve is indisputably one of the world's most celebrated actresses, both in her native France and throughout the world. Her career has spanned five decades during which she has worked with the most significant of French auteurs, as well as forging partnerships with international directors such as Buñuel and Polanski.

The Deneuve star persona has attained such iconic status that it now symbolises the very essence of French womanhood and civic identity. In this wide-ranging and authoritative collection of essays by a selection of international film academics and writers, the Deneuve persona is scrutinised and illuminated. Beyond the glamorous iconographic status of Yves Saint Laurent's muse, and the epitome of sexual inviolability, Deneuve's status as actress is foregrounded.

The book will be essential reading for students and lecturers in star studies.


A studious but approachable collection of essays and discussions, this should more than satisfy admirers of the star, as well s more serious students keen to explore the myth and meaning of her important contribution to international cinema.


Lisa Downing and Sue Harris
1. Polanski's Deneuve. 'Frigidity' and Feminism
Lisa Downing
2. Buñuel Blonde
Peter William Evans
3. Demy and Deneuve: The Princess and the post-68 Fairytale
Susan Weiner
4. Deneuve's Italian Interludes
Pauline Small
5. Incongruous Femininity: Catherine Deneuve and 1970s Political Culture
Bridget Birchall
6. 'Madame La France': Deneuve as Heritage Icon
Sue Harris
7. Of Faces and roles: Deneuve/Téchiné
Bill Marshall
8. Deneuve in the 1990s
Cristina Johnston
9. The Killing of Sister Catherine: Deneuve's Lesbian Transformations
Andrew Asibong
10. Belle Toujours : Deneuve as Fashion icon
Fiona Handyside


Lisa Downing is Professor of French and Director of the Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Sexuality and Gender in Europe at the University of Exeter. Sue Harris is a Reader in French Cinema Studies at Queen Mary, University of London.

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