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Arty: Sleeping Beauty


Co-edited by Sarah Kathryn Cleaver (Zodiac Film Club), Arty 45 is devoted to the 2011 film Sleeping Beauty, the first and only (to this point) film by Australian director Julia Leigh.

Much admired for its cool, restrained aesthetics, the film's subject matter was however more of a puzzle for critics, who struggled to decide if it was critiquing the male gaze, or simply following the lead of so many other films by trading on it. It was compared to Eyes Wide S and Sucker Punch (which also stars Emily Browning) and unceremoniously dismissed.

Alongside an interview with Sleeping Beauty's production designer Annie Beauchamp and notes written at the time of its release by Julia Leigh, the contributors to this issue who include, Davina Quinlivan, Claire Marie Healey, Abigail Fine, Georgina Evans and Lydia Ronstant, offer psychoanalytical and feminist readings of the film, look at its reception and life on social media, reveal its fairy tale roots, trace the recurring motif of the blank female face, examine the sleeping beauty figure in popular culture, and taking advice from the film, try and find the perfect lipstick colour. We also have a curated portfolio of 'sleeping woman' with artworks by Julie Curtiss, Katherine Tulloh, Ilona Szalay, Suzanne Clements, Kirsty Buchanan, and Henry Fuseli.


The issue was launched at a special reduced price at The Castle Cinema alongside a Zodiac Film Club screening of Sleeping Beauty on 21 February 2023.

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