8 December 2011

Prof Sue Harper (University of Portsmouth)

The Lion’s Mane: Sexual and Racial Politics in Samson and Delilah (1949)

The FilmTalk series 2011/2012 will open with Sue Harper’s lecture on Samson and Delilah (1949).

This lecture series is organised by the LBI London in cooperation with the Wiener Library.

FilmTalk 2011/2012: Sleeping with the Enemy

Samson and Delilah presents us with fascinating contradictions. It is a film made at the height of the Hollywood studio system, which celebrates the heroic underdog and racial minorities: it both reviles and celebrates the
female body: and it combines a lush visual texture with a stern moralism.
Besides trying to reconcile these contradictions, Sue Harper will analyse the symbolism of hair (not just Samson’s) and will examine the function of Edith Head’s costume designs, particularly the peacock cloak. She will assess the input of the Zionist thinker Vladimir Jabotinsky to the film’s script, and will compare the film’s treatment of Jewish/Arab relation with others in the same period.

Sue Harper is Emeritus Professor of Film History at the University of Portsmouth. She has written numerous books and articles on British cinema, and has made many radio and television appearances.

Lectures are held at the Wiener Library, 29 Russell Square, London WC1B5DP Underground: Russell Square, Bus: 188, 168, X68, 7, 59, 68

Lectures will begin promptly at 6.30pm. Latecomers may not be admitted. Admission is free but places must be reserved in advance with the Library. email: info@wienerlibrary.co.uk tel: 020 7636 7247

Click here for the entire programme of the FilmTalk series 2011/2012.

You can download the leaflet here.