The Artist's Institute | 163 Eldridge Street
Horror movies of the 1960s were energized by the emergence of a new sub-genre: the “Grande Dame Guignol”. Movies like What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, Strait-Jacket starring Crawford, and Dead Ringers and The Nanny starring Davis allowed the aging female star to dominate the screen and to pursue sexual conquests with an aplomb and a visibility offered by no other genre. And yet when comparing these films to the 1980s hit Driving Ms. Daisy, it is apparent that in later years the older female star can dominate only if she is desexualized.
Thinking through the history of the woman’s film from the 1930s to Lifetime TV, scholar David Greven will talk about the controversial intersection between the aging female star and the horror genre, along with the queer significance of the sub-genre “horror woman’s film” and images of fierce aging femininity in later eras. The title of Greven’s talk is “Driving Ms. Diva: The Intransigence of the Aging Female Star in 60s Horror and Beyond.”