Stranger Than Fiction: Gothic Intertextuality in Shakespears Sister’s Music Videos

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18778/2083-2931.10.12

Keywords:

Gothicism, intertextuality, Shakespears Sister, female rivalry, Grande Dame Guignol, music video

Abstract

The following article is going to focus on a selection of music videos by Shakespears Sister, a British indie pop band consisting of Siobhan Fahey and Marcella Detroit, which rose to prominence in the late 1980s. This article scrutinizes five of the band’s music videos: “Goodbye Cruel World” (1991), “I Don’t Care” (1992), “Stay” (1992), “All the Queen’s Horses” (2019) and “When She Finds You” (2019; the last two filmed 26 years after the duo’s turbulent split), all of them displaying a strong affinity with Gothicism. Fahey and Detroit, together with director Sophie Muller, a long-time collaborator of the band, have created a fascinating world that skillfully merges references to their tempestuous personal background, Gothic imagery, Hollywood glamour and borrowings from Grande Dame Guignol, a popular 1960s subgenre of the horror film. Grande Dame Guignol is of major importance here as a genre dissecting female rivalry and, thus, reinterpreting a binary opposition of the damsel in distress and the tyrant, an integral element of Gothic fiction. Therefore, the aim of the article is not only to trace the Gothic references, both literary and cinematic, but also to demonstrate how Shakespears Sister’s music videos reformulate the conventional woman in peril-villain conflict.

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Author Biography

Tomasz Fisiak, University of Lodz

Tomasz Fisiak is Assistant Professor in the Department of Canadian, Intermedial and Postcolonial Studies, Institute of English Studies, University of Lodz. His book She-(d)evils? The Construction of a Female Tyrant as a Cultural Critique was published in 2020 by Peter Lang. Gothicism as a widely understood cultural phenomenon, as well as gender/queer/feminist issues, remain the main subjects of his research. His publications include articles on feminist auto/biographies, horror cinema in the 1960s and the 1970s, and modern erotic fiction. He is currently a team member of the project Word, Sound and Image: Intertextuality in Music Videos no. 2019/33/B/HS2/00131 financed by National Science Centre in Poland.

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Published

2020-11-24

How to Cite

Fisiak, T. (2020). Stranger Than Fiction: Gothic Intertextuality in Shakespears Sister’s Music Videos. Text Matters: A Journal of Literature, Theory and Culture, (10), 194-208. https://doi.org/10.18778/2083-2931.10.12