Mayer, Ruth (2021):
"Unique Doubles: Ornamental Sisters and Dual Roles in the Transitional Era Cinema." JCMS 60.5: 22-47.
Journal Article

This paper investigates the representation of female family relations— particularly constellations of sisterhood and of mothers and daughters—in US-American films of the 1910s against the backdrop of a larger aesthetics of doubling. It addresses the close interaction of the cinema of the decade with the variety stage and its predilection for synchronized and ornamental arrangements and then moves on to reflect on the cinematic conventions of double acts and dual roles in the context of the star system. It argues that by enacting female relations as disturbing or delightful doubles, the entertainment culture of the 1910s takes issue with the period’s conceptualization of gender and sexuality.