2009 | 66 | 37-59
Article title

A CAMP ANDROGYNE. JIM SHARMAN'S 'THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW' (Campowy androgyn. 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' Jima Sharmana)

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'The Rocky Picture Horror Show', a film by Jim Sharman based on a play by Richard O'Brien (The Rocky Horror Show), is a classic example of a cult movie. It is one of those films that fully, openly and consciously use camp aesthetics and strategies. It is according to this strategy that gender and sexuality of the three main characters: Frank and the couple Janet and Brad are constructed. While the couple represents an oversimplified stereotype of puritan idea of femininity and masculinity, Frank smashes and transcends all norms of and categories of gender and sexuality. Although he calls himself a sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania, one cannot define him. He comes from a different world, and he represents an order that is completely different from that which is constructed by the social norms of this world. It is a character that places 'itself' not simply on the border between the genders, but outside of such classifications. At the same time Frank maintains fullness of erotic potential. Frank is an androgyne that fascinates and seduces both Brad and Janet. A lover like that, a being without well defined gender or sex, is a kind of model, a symbol of passage, of initiation, androgynisation, which he applies to the 'innocent' couple. Thanks to or perhaps because of him Brad and Janet leave their ideal roles, and open up themselves to things hitherto unknown to them, such as sexuality in general and the freedom of creating one's own identity.
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  • Karolina Kosinska, Instytut Sztuki PAN, ul Dluga, 26/28, 00-238 Warszawa, Poland
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