Seminar: Desperately Seeking Susan



Mon 4/29
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"Susan! My god, we all thought you were dead!"

"No, just in New Jersey."

Newly inducted into the Library of Congress's National Film Registry, Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) is a pioneering work of collaborative female authorship and a feminist update of the screwball/buddy comedy, shot in still-gritty downtown Manhattan and featuring Madonna's breakout (and still best) screen performance.

In this seminar, Maria San Filippo (Emerson College) will explore the film's production history and genre revisionism, and will offer an appreciation of its Alice in Wonderland-like adventures of a desperate housewife, charmingly played by Rosanna Arquette, in search of her best self.

About Maria San Filippo

Maria San Filippo is Associate Professor of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College. Her teaching and scholarship center on screen media's intersections with gender and sexuality, focusing on feminist and queer works of contemporary film and television. She is a two-time Lambda Literary Award-winning author of The B Word: Bisexuality in Contemporary Film and Television and the Queer Film Classics volume Appropriate Behavior, as well as author of ‘Provocauteurs’ and Provocations: Screening Sex in 21st Century Media and editor of After ‘Happily Ever After’: Romantic Comedy in the Post-Romantic Age, both of which were 2022 BAFTSS Award finalists.