The films of Roberta Findlay 1

Authored by: Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

The Routledge Companion to Cult Cinema

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138950276
eBook ISBN: 9781315668819
Adobe ISBN:


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“Taste classifies, and it classifies the classifier”, Pierre Bourdieu once famously stated (1984: 6). Chances are he probably hadn’t intended the statement to be used in reference to pornographer and horror director Roberta Findlay, but in terms of her cult appeal it’s a useful starting point to begin thinking through the work of a filmmaker whose broader oeuvre can be best summarised by that most hackneyed of critical terms, “problematic”. Staking a claim as a Findlay “fan” implies a complex ideological positioning: on one hand a seemingly progressive alignment through the championing of a woman filmmaker, yet this lies at odds with the inescapable fact that this same filmmaker is the driving force of some of the nastiest and inescapably regressive exploitation and pornographic films of the late-twentieth-century American cinema.

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