Feminist film theoryFeminist view film to be a cultural practiserepresenting myths about women and femininity aswell as men and masculinity. (They see this type ofrepresentation as unreal)Representation and Spectatorship are central toFeminist Theory.
The roots of feminist film theory.Started as a social movement.Early feminist theory and criticism was directed at the stereotypedrepresentation of women in classic Hollywood film.This stereotyped image of women in classic Hollywood had a negativeeffect on female spectators.Therefore, their was a call for a more positive representation of women inHollywood.
In Classic Hollywood film a drive towards a more positive representation ofwomen was not enough.Main Problem: Classic cinema narrative is constructed by men.Therefore, representing women from a male perspective.In Classic cinema the representation of women was how menviewed women.Do you think men have had a specific view of women withinFilm??????
The representation of women in Classic film is to look Natural,Realistic and Attractive.Within Classic Film Narrative the following generally takesplace:The Male character is established as active and powerful. Thestory will unfold around him.The Female character is passive and powerless. She is theobject of desire for the male character.
(The Male Gaze) Male point of view.Voyeurism: how we get visual pleasure through looking at (Characters,figures and situations).Camera: physically shoots from the male Characters point of view.Characters: male character is viewing and gazing at the women.Spectator: you are made to identify with the male characters and simple viewa women as a spectacle.Narcissistic: visual pleasure derives from the spectators self-identificationwith the characters and environments.Hollywood is tailor made for male desires.
Counter cultural of feminist film from the 1970s onwards.Destroy classic male narrative.Destroy the Male Gaze getting rid of visual pleasure designed for the male audiences.How did they change classic conventions???Female characters started to question their position within classic cinema.Spectators attention is refocused on how the female characters exists within classicnarrative.
Is their a female spectator?????Does the female spectator identify with passive images offemininity???????Do female spectators identify with Masculinecharacters?????????????????Do female spectators have a desire when viewing characterswithin film?????????????
Consider modern Hollywood filmsSex and the cityTomb RaiderUnderworldDo these films empower women????Are they still male dominated narratives???????The women may appear in control and strong, but this may justbe a role reversal placing the women within the male positionwithin the narrative. (Is this a positive femalerepresentation?????)What does it take for a film to represent femalespositively??????????
When considering your essay:Identify and discuss the roots of feminist film theory. Look at a classic film.How have women been represented in classic Hollywood cinema:The way they look?Their power within the narrative?Consider the Male gaze?• Camera.• Character.• Spectator.Look at a modern film:How has the representation of women changed?Is this a positive representation?????• Role reversal?• Is there now a female spectator?