Performative Opacity in the Work of Isabelle Huppert

Ian Fleishman


Performative Opacity in the Work of Isabelle Huppert argues that the career of this singular French actor—constituting a corpus of well over a hundred films—offers a unique testing ground for current approaches in film studies and affect studies. Attention to Huppert’s performances can reframe recent discussions on the social and cultural dimensions of emotion and normativity through a compelling paradox: her roles tend to express grandiose and overwhelming conditions central to debates in the humanities—negativity, dispossession, trauma—but through elusive and at times resistant or diminutive forms of expression: what J. Hoberman once called her "genius to distinguish 47 varieties of blankness." Including diverse contributions from an international line-up of established scholars, this volume examines Huppert’s flat affect and other registers with an eye to their significance for cinema and media studies, queer and gender studies, star studies and world cinema.