This article is situated within a critical context in which phenomenological approaches to film intersect with debates around queer cinema, and lesbian film in particular. With a specific focus on Apflickorna (She Monkeys, dir. Lisa Aschan, Sweden, 2011), it proposes ways of accounting for the queerness of queer cinema through a consideration of embodiment, intercorporeality, kinesthetic empathy, and a phenomenological understanding of orientation. By exploring the links between (cinematic) texture and spatiality, the article accounts for the tactile and muscular encounters on offer in cinema and how they might speak to, and resonate with, queer habits, alignments, and tendencies. In doing so, it gestures beyond a concern with representation, (in)visibility, identity, and related concerns around appropriation and queer readings that have historically dominated studies of gay and lesbian (and queer) film. Instead, and using She Monkeys as a case study, it proposes ways of grasping—in both a rational as well as tactile, kinesthetic, and muscular sense—the queer implications of cinema by drawing on phenomenological approaches to film as well as to gender and sexuality.

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