Olivier Assayas's 1994 tribute to Louis Feuillade with Maggie Cheung, Irma Vep is framed around the production of a remake of Les vampires. Jessica Burstein, Associate Professor of English at the University of Washington, will discuss the cultural history of the catsuit entitled "The Face of Fetish and the Skin It's In: The Catsuit In and Out of Film."
Presented in conjunction with Michelle Handelman's Irma Vep, The Last Breath, this series presents four talks paired with four screenings. Rather than serving as introductions to the films, the talks present topics that dialogue with the screenings in unpredictable ways.
Jessica Burstein works on modernism, the avant-garde, fashion, and technophilia—particularly prosthetics. Her area of expertise is British literature from the late 19th century through the 1930s, and its West European contexts. She has published on Dorothy Parker, Wyndham Lewis, crowds, and once in a while in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Her book Cold Modernism engages Wyndham Lewis, Mina Loy, Balthus, Hans Bellmer, Henry James, and Coco Chanel, and covers the period 1896-1948. She has served as acting editor of Modern Language Quarterly, and is a member of the editorial committee of Modernism/modernity.