Festival of the Femme Fatale

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Event Date: 
28 February 2018
Author / Presenters: 
Alicia Byrnes (The University of Melbourne) and Trevor Poultney (Melbourne Gaol)

Since Eve, defiant women have had a bad reputation. Labelled Femme Fatales these women have been used to maintain a conservative patriarchal line in film and the real-world. Throughout the month we will screen classic Femme Fatal films and hold a talk that re-claims and re-imagines this image of woman.

Alicia Byrnes (The University of Melbourne) will examine the Femme Fatale through a Feminist lens in classic and science-fiction film. Followed with real-life accounts of female inmates from historian Trevor Poultney (Melbourne Gaol) the talk will end with a 15 minute Q & A.

Alicia Byrnes is a Ph.D. Candidate and Tutor in Screen and Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne. She received her M.A. in Cinema Studies at New York University in 2014. Her dissertation considers how posthuman narratives in contemporary science fiction cinema privilege embodiment, specifically female embodiment. Her research interests include feminist film theory, phenomenological film theory, cinephilia and documentary cinema.

After a long career teaching in New Zealand, Trevor Poultney began working as a tour guide at the Old Melbourne Gaol in 2000. He accompanies school groups and members of the public on their visits to the Gaol, telling them of the history of this grand old building and introducing them to the lives of some of the intriguing men and women who spent time there. Trevor has been involved in many research and education projects at the Old Melbourne Gaol and has written books on the hangmen of Victoria and their victims. In 2011 he developed a new tour of the Gaol in which he tells some of the intriguing gaol-centred ghost stories he has collected over the years.