Critical topography of female vampiric cinematic narratives

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Dominguez, Celine
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Film, Literature and Drama
Dublin Business School
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The objective of this examination stems from a curiosity as to where the vampiric blood cult originated from and how it morphed into an iconic genre that is still prevalent in modern day cinematic narrative. It is an assessment of what type of ideology governs the vampiric discourse and whether those principles reinforce cultural belief systems. The inquiry will consider the vampire as a paradoxical metaphor for a variety of dominating principles as well as taboos within society. Furthermore, it is a specific analysis of how female characters are represented throughout the vampire cinematic genre. An exploration to determine whether there is a correlation between the varied portrayals of female representation within vampiric film narratives and any linear developments within cultural attitudes and perceptions. By tracing various personas attributed and imposed on the female gender from the advent of the vampire cinematic genre, it is anticipated that a pattern will emerge, initially of depictions that constrain and subjugate women, according to dominating patriarchal governing authority. However, what should also materialise, during evolutionary periods within cinema and culture, is a reconstruction of identities and representation regarding the female and male gender. The necessary application of theories developed within disciplines such as feminism, psychoanalysis and gender studies, will aid in interpreting these new symbolic cinematic representations. What should emerge is, like the vampire, a pattern of constant shift from disintegration and renewal amongst feminine representation within contemporary cinema narratives aligned with cultural alterations.