"Dancing through the Minefield": Passion, Pedagogy, Politics, and Production in The Tango Lesson
Cinema Journal - 43, Number 3, Spring 2004, pp. 42-58
University of Texas Press
Lucy Fischer - "Dancing through the Minefield": Passion, Pedagogy, Politics, and Production in The Tango Lesson - Cinema Journal 43:3 Cinema Journal 43.3 (2004) 42-58 "Dancing through the Minefield": Passion, Pedagogy, Politics, and Production in The Tango Lesson Lucy Fischer Abstract This article provides an in-depth analysis of Sally Potter's The Tango Lesson (1997), viewing it as a highly theoretical and pedagogical work of feminist film theory. While creating a modernist narrative concerning her real-life adventures in learning the tango and falling in love with her dance instructor, Potter simultaneously touches on such complex issues as female authorship, sexual representation, the politics of romantic pleasure, the history of the film musical, and the cultural and gendered legacy of ballroom dancing. When Sally Potter came of age as a filmmaker in London in the 1970s, she did so within the force field of two powerful cultural movements: structural film and feminist theory. From the former, she inherited an appreciation for experimental cinema of a conceptual bent, and from the latter, she gained an understanding of the ways in which issues of gender might be integrated into works of art. Her first major film, Thriller (1979), was immediately hailed by E. Ann Kaplan as a groundbreaking "feminist theory film," a work "concerned with demystifying representation so as to make women aware that texts are producers of ideology." Such films were said to...