Sources and references


For a general discussion of the ‘Gothic’ dimensions of contemporary representations of girlhood, as well as some analysis of The Virgin Suicides, see:

Koehler, Carla (2017) ‘Sweet sick teens: Gothic narratives of American adolescent sexuality’, European Journal of American Culture 36(2): 137-157

For a parallel discussion of ‘teen witches’, see:

Moseley, Rachel (2002) ‘Glamorous witchcraft: gender and magic in teen film and television’, Screen 43(4): 403-422

A sharp critical account of Freud’s ideas on ‘hysteria’ may be found in:

Webster, Richard (1995) Why Freud was Wrong: Sin, Science and Psychoanalysis London: Harper Collins


Picnic at Hanging Rock

There are various versions of Picnic at Hanging Rock: my account here is based on the ‘director’s cut’, released in 1998. The most significant differences between this and the original are the omission of material relating to Michael’s developing relationship with Irma, as she recovers from her ordeal on the Rock; and the cutting of scenes from the very end, showing Mrs. Appleyard climbing the Rock and seeing an image of Sara (who of course did not visit the Rock in the first place). This final scene is replaced with a brief voice-over, which uses the language of an official report.

Aitken, Stuart and L.E. Zonn (1993) ‘Weir(d) sex: representation of gender-environment relations in Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock and Gallipoli’, Environment and Planning D, 11: 191-212

Keesey, Douglas (1998) ‘Weir(d) Australia: Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Last Wave’, Lit: Literature Interpretation Theory, 8(3-4): 331-346

Rayner, Jonathan (2003) The Films of Peter Weir 2nd edition, London: Continuum

Schiach, Don (1993) The Films of Peter Weir London: Letts

Starrs, D. Bruno (2008) ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock and the puzzle of the art film’, Screen Education 48: 139-144

Wild, Harriet (2014) ‘Darling Miranda: courtly love in Picnic at Hanging RockStudies in Australasian Cinema, 8(2-3): 123-132


Heavenly Creatures

Bennett, James (2006) ‘Medicine, sexuality and high anxiety in 1950s New Zealand: Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures (1994)’, Health and History 8(2): 147-175

Columpar, Corinn (2002) ‘’Til death do us part’: identity and friendship in Heavenly Creatures’, in Frances Gateward and Murray Pomerance (eds.) Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice: Cinemas of Girlhood Detroit: Wayne State University Press

Laurie, Alison J. (2002) ‘Heavenly images’, Journal of New Zealand Studies 1: 131-150

Marsh, Huw (2010) ‘Adaptation of a murder/murder as adaptation: the Parker Hulme case in Angela Carter’s “The Christchurch Murder” and Peter Jackson’s “Heavenly Creatures”, Adaptation 4(2): 167-179

McDonnell, Brian (2007) The physician who assumed his patient’s fever: Peter Jackson’s narrative strategy in Heavenly Creatures’, Studies in Australasian Cinema, 1(2): 161-173

Scahill, Andrew (2012) ‘“Wonderful, Heavenly, Beautiful, and Ours”: Lesbian Fantasy and Media(ted) Desire in Heavenly Creatures’, Journal of Lesbian Studies, 16(3): 365-375


The Virgin Suicides

Backman Rogers, Anna (2012) ‘Ephemeral bodies and threshold creatures: the crisis of the adolescent rite of passage in Sofia Coppola’s ‘The Virgin Suicides’ and Gus Van Sant’s ‘Elephant’’, NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies 1(1): 149-168

Handyside, Fiona (2017) Sofia Coppola: A Cinema of Girlhood London: I.B. Tauris

Kennedy, Todd (2010) ‘Off with Hollywood’s head: Sofia Coppola as feminine auteur’, Film Criticism 35(1): 37-59

Monden, Masafumi (2013) ‘Contemplating in a dream-like room: The Virgin Suicides and the aesthetic imagination of girlhood’, Film, Fashion and Consumption 2(2): 139-158

Palmer, R. Barton (2012) Some thoughts on New Hollywood multiplicity: Sofia Coppola’s Young Girls trilogy’, in Claire Perkins and Constantine Verevis (eds.) Film Trilogies: New Critical Approaches (London: Palgrave MacMillan)

Smaill, Belinda (2013) ‘Sofia Coppola: reading the director’, Feminist Media Studies, 13(1): 148-162

Stefanelli, Maria Anita (2015) ‘Permanence and transience in Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides’, RSA Journal 26: 39-60


The Falling

Carol Morley’s observations on the film, and on the wider issues of ‘mass hysteria’, can be found in a couple of Guardian/Observer articles:

An interview with Morley and Tracey Thorn (who wrote the soundtrack) by Peter Bradshaw: ‘Girls’ schools? They’re a hotpot of urges’:

‘Mass hysteria is a powerful group activity’ by Morley:

Morley’s short film The Madness of the Dance is included in the DVD of The Falling.

On real-life cases relating to the film, see:

Benaim, Silvio, John Horder, and Jennifer Anderson (1973) ‘Hysterical epidemic in a classroom’, Psychological Medicine 3: 366-373

Wessely, Simon (1987) ‘Mass hysteria: two syndromes?’ Psychological Medicine 17: 109-120

Wessely, Simon (2015) ‘Tumbling down’, The Lancet Psychiatry 2: 500-501


The Fits

Benthaus, Elena (2018) ‘Dis/orientation: rhythmic bodies and corporeal orature in The Fits’, International Journal of Screendance 9: 29-49

Bradley, Rizvana (2018) ‘Black cinematic gesture and the aesthetics of contagion’, TDR (The Drama Review) 62(1): 14-30

White, Patricia (2017) ‘Bodies that matter: black girlhood in The Fits’, Film Quarterly 70(3): 23-31

There’s a 2016 interview with the director Anna Rose Holmer on MTV News at: