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Re: women in neo-noirs (erotic thrillers)
In the post-Production Code era, sex/sexuality (sometimes limited only to a few seconds of female nudity) clearly helps sell a film, due to those well-known "changes in society" and a trickle-down effect from critics (who don't generally want to look too prudish, so their discourse helps to blur any standards of decency). But Williams is undoubtedly right that a separate sub-type of neo-noir that evolved around psychosexual perversity has sprung up, and it also radiates itself into other neo-noirs depending on how a "femme fatale" is characterized, or on how a "toxic male" uses gender relations to advance a suppressive agenda.
Williams also places BODY HEAT in the "erotic thriller" category, which suggests that we should examine her filmography in greater detail in order to determine the linkages and disjunctures in this sub-type. Clearly we can discount 95% of the output in this area as it is nothing but prurient product barely disguised with "thriller" overtones.
I'll have to check down at the office to see which of her books I've managed to acquire--the early part of the book per the Google Books link sounds familiar to me, but it would've been 10-12 years since I looked through anything related to neo-noir...