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The Damned$
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Nick Riddle

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781911325529

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781911325529.001.0001

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Creating Woman, Falling Man

Creating Woman, Falling Man

(p.67) Chapter 7: Creating Woman, Falling Man
The Damned

Nick Riddle

Liverpool University Press

This chapter addresses how women artists were not a common sight in the cinema of the period; in fact, it is hard to think of any that predate Freya in Joseph Losey's The Damned (1963) — any who are treated seriously, anyway. The introduction of this worldly, European female artist is the film's biggest alteration from the novel, and is a piece of brilliance on Losey's part. Yes, it risks pretension, and some critics judged that the risk was realised, but its effects on the dynamics and the structure of the film are invigorating. Freya's sculptures provide an answering force for the kitsch on the Esplanade and the corrupt powers that it represents. The use of British sculptor Elisabeth Frink's work is crucial to the film's tone and its imagery; Losey conceived the part of Freya with her art in mind, having lately become acquainted with her, and even considered casting her.

Keywords:   women artists, British cinema, Freya, Joseph Losey, The Damned, European female artist, Elisabeth Frink, imagery

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