Laura mulvey, the male gaze


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Laura mulvey, the male gaze

  1. 1. Laura Mulvey’s Male Gaze theory
  2. 2. Laura Mulvey’s Male Gaze theory •Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema was an essay written by Laura Mulvey •An essay which coined the term “Male Gaze” which soon went on to become a very well know and discussed theory •In film, the male gaze occurs when the audience is put into the perspective of a heterosexual man. A scene may focus on the curves of a woman's body, putting you the viewer in the eyes of a male •However it is only the Male Gaze theory if these curves are highlighted with specific conventions such as slow motion, deliberate camera movements and cut aways.
  3. 3. •The theory suggests that the male gaze denies women human identity, relegating them to the status of objects to be admired for physical appearance •The theory suggests woman can more often than not only watch a film from a secondary perspective and only view themselves from a mans perspective Remember the stat from mis representation, only 16% of media creaters are female. Laura Mulvey’s Male Gaze theory •The “masculinisation” of the viewer
  4. 4. Laura Mulvey’s Male Gaze theory •However the presence of a woman in mainstream film texts is something that is vital •Often a female character has no real importance herself, it is how she makes the male feel or act that is the importance. •The female only exist in relation to the male
  5. 5. Laura Mulvey’s Male Gaze theory •The male gaze leads to Hegemonic ideologies within our society Hegemonic = ruling or dominant in a political or social context
  6. 6. Visual Pleasure Mulvey states that the role of a female character in a narrative has two functions 1.As an erotic object for the characters within the narrative to view 2.As an erotic object for the spectators within the cinema to view
  7. 7. Gender roles in film The characters that look at others are seen as the active role (male) The characters that are to be looked at are passive (female) They are under control of the males gaze and only exist for visual pleasure. Females often slow the narrative down, they act as inspiration for men to act. Males on the other hand, push the narrative forwards and make things happen and are seen as active
  8. 8. Mulvey also discussed the term Scopophilia
  9. 9. Female Objectification Objectification is related to the gaze The persons gazed at are objectified, treated as an object whose sole value is to be enjoyed or possessed by the voyeur Objectified characters are devalued and their humanity removed.
  10. 10. Patriarchal society = Men dictate the rules Mulvey argued we live in a patriarchal society in which men set the majority of the rules and construct and represent the ideal visions, roles and male dominance over woman. The worry is a passive audience will be influenced by this representation of reality and copy it and it will actually become reality…if it hasn’t all ready.
  11. 11. The mass media were once thought of as holding up a mirror to, and thereby reflecting, a wider social reality to what you the individual would see in your local environment. However in the past it was thought TV reflected reality. The Theory of Post modernism says yes. Traditional media representation of reality
  12. 12. - Now reality is only definable in terms of the reflections of that mirror. - It is not a question of distortion since that implies that there is still reality, outside the influence of the media, which can be distorted. -Now we are copying copies of reality and representing hyper reality as reality and thus being influenced by a fake constructed representation of reality, - The actual reality seems to have been lost, so what actually is reality now? Post Modernism representation of reality ‘Pure’ reality is thus replaced by the hyperreal where any boundary between the real and the imaginary is eroded. What we see on television, we see as the real and thus copy it within our lives, so the real is being lost unconciously. This influenced the film the Matrix.
  13. 13. So are we being influenced by a hyper reality? Has Hyper reality become reality? Does the Male Gaze influence and serpress females? Is there a lot of evidence of female objectification via male controled technical conventions?
  14. 14. The Male Gaze is very common in James Bond films
  15. 15. List 3 elements from the scene you think prove the statement below is correct. The James Bond franchise is a clear example of film objectifying females and forcing the audience to view females via the male gaze. The scene within, “Die Another Day” when James Bond meets the character Jinx demonstrates my previous statement by……
  16. 16. • A constructed representation of reality • The female character has been coded • The post production of the film has edited • Vignette • Hyper reality • A masculine voyeuristic position • Objectified female • Representation • Hegemonic • Scopophilia • Patriarchal society
  17. 17. This applies when the character Jinx enters the text. Jinx has been swimming in the sea and is coming onto shore. Bond picks up binoculars to watch jinx swim from a far from a beach side bar. As Bond picks up the binoculars and looks through them, the camera takes up the binoculars vignette forcing the audience to look at the female through Bond’s Gaze. Male or female, the audience has been forced to objectify the character via a masculine voyeuristic position. The female character has been coded to ensure she has a strong visual and erotic impact, with large breasts, flawless skin, fully make uped when swimming and a tiny waste, which draws in “To be looked at ness” (1) The shot then shows Jinx walking to the bar on the beach dripping wet in a bikini. The post production of the film has edited Jinx into slow motion. Her body movements are racy and exaggerated her hips sway side to side and her facial expression is somewhat sexually suggestive. This slow motion edit represents the intense scrutiny and examination Bond is giving the female form. We at this point could argue that this racy and suggestive body language is not how she is actually moving, it is how Bond sees her move in his mind. The character of Jinx has been objectified before we even know her name or narrative role. The objectification is not discreet and is confirmed, with Bond’s first words when meeting Jinx, “Magnificent View” playfully tricking and making fun of the female character into believing he is talking about the landscape, when the audience knows he is referring to her body. This is also an issue of female representation as Bond is ridiculing her intelligence, and she is oblivious.
  18. 18. • 1.Define the key features of Mulvey’s theory. 2. What effect could this theory have upon woman viewers? • 3. What effect could this theory have on male viewers? • 4.Why do we believe the male gaze is present in films/adverts and T.V today? • 5.What effect can this have upon society?