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The Viewer and the Viewed: Sex and Desire in Body Double

The Viewer and the Viewed: Sex and Desire in Body Double

Julia Croft rehearses Body Double
Julia Croft & Karin McCracken rehearse Body Double
Karin McCracken rehearses Body Double.

As a naive eight year old, I thought Rose and Jack in Titanic were the greatest love story of all time. I would dance around the lounge singing to Céline Dion, truly believing in ‘The Power of Love’ and I desperately wanted to be the ingénue Christine in The Phantom of the Opera (even though I suspected it would be so much more fun playing the Phantom). I grew up on a diet of Disney and Broadway musicals, always trying to insert myself into the expectations of my gender. Yet once I reached high school, I realised that the reality was much messier, more confusing, and life was nothing like 10 Things I Hate About You.

So many of the narratives we are fed through cinema, television, music and canonical literature rely on entrenched gender roles. They present women as passive: their desire isn’t important; they are secondary characters; the plot happens to them. In Body Double, creators Eleanor Bishop, Julia Croft and Karin McCracken seek to offer a counter-narrative, an alternative script to that which we’ve consumed our whole lives.

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