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I'm a 2nd year grad student at Kansas State University in the English department. I am a cultural studies major and I am currently working on a project in film. My theory, sketchy as it is, is that the "New Jersey Trilogy" represents a dynamic approach to women in that it begins with a representation of women as pure "whores" ("Clerks") and ends with a woman who, though defined by her sexuality (Alyssa in "Chasing Amy") is a much stronger character than her predecessors. I was wondering if anyone there had any feelings about this and if so I would love to hear them. Also, if you can reccomend any texts that might aid me in developing my thesis I would be greatly appreciative. Thanks again. Hope to hear from someone soon.

J. S. Atkins
Kansas State University

Dept. of English

Thanks for your note and for thinking of us for your project. I haven't actually seen "Clerks" or "Chasing Amy", so I can't offer an opinion specific to these two films. I can however, say that other feminist friends I know--have not liked these films. Also, as I read your letter, I happen to be sitting here with my friend David Lasky who has just completed a research paper on women's representation in film. Given his expertise in this area, I've asked him to respond to your question and share some of his research, so here it goes:

"Hi. The book Backlash by Susan Faludi is very helpful in its chapter on Fatal Attraction and other women-as-victim films. Try the British journal Sight and Sound for articles relating to women's sexuality on screen. Also, watch the Coen brothers films for insight into independent features and women's roles, i.e. "Raising Arizona", etc. I just finished the Westinghouse project on the evolution of women's roles in film. It is a really fun topic but becomes unwieldy if you analyze too many films. Good luck with your paper."

So from David and I - good luck.


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