Where to go to start thinking about these questions?
The films of Robert Altman: especially Shelley Duvall's remarkable performance as Milly in Three Women. Milly's incessant stream of chatter—made up entirely of the detritus of so-called women's culture—stands in contrast at first to the silence of Pinky Rose (Sissy Spacek). Though as those of you who have seen this film know, Pinky eventually becomes more Milly than Milly. It's all very SWF avant la lettre.
More on this film in my next post.
In the meantime, it's also worth thinking about Billie Whitelaw's performance in Beckett's Not I.