Coming across the divide

Sharon Ouditt


‘I am coming across the divide to you’, sings an angel, towards the end of Sally Potter's film of Orlando. The angel is poised above Orlando and her daughter, resplendent and androgynous, pealing out the ecstasy of being ‘neither a woman nor a man’, its (only slightly mournful) exuberance inviting the audience to celebrate the eradication of chronology, distance and gendered characteristics. The mind opens out to consider not only Orlando's previous incarnations within the film, but also the previous incarnation of the film itself, in the form of Virginia Woolf's novel. But the angel croons on: ‘I am born and I am dying.’ Are we catching echoes of the death knell of the printed book? Do the ...

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