Mulvey lesson 8

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Mulvey lesson 8

  1. 1. The Male GazeThe Male Gaze Laura MulveyLaura Mulvey ““Visual Pleasure andVisual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”Narrative Cinema”
  2. 2. What is the Gaze?What is the Gaze? The concept of gaze is one that deals with how an audience views the people presented. For feminists it can be thought of in 3 ways: • How men look at women, • How women look at themselves • How women look at other women.
  3. 3. Gaze and feminist theoryGaze and feminist theory Laura Mulvey coined the term ‘Male Gaze’ in 1975. She believes that in film audiences have to ‘view’ characters from the perspective of a heterosexual male.
  4. 4. Features of the Male GazeFeatures of the Male Gaze The camera lingers on the curves of the female body, and events which occur to women are presented largely in the context of a man's reaction to these events. Relegates women to the status of objects. The female viewer must experience the narrative secondarily, by identification with the male.
  5. 5. The Male Gaze • Constructing the male gaze
  6. 6. “I love the way she fills her clothes. She looks just like them girls in Vogue.” Watch the video and then be prepared for questions
  7. 7. Watch the following and be prepared to answer some questions. • Scouting for girls
  8. 8. Quick questionsQuick questions What colour top was he and she wearing? What bowling lane was used? What colour belt did he and she wear? What colour shoes did he and she wear? What colour eyes did he and she have?
  9. 9. Why some of you might not have known the answers to all the questions. You were too busy looking at the woman.
  10. 10. Use of the Male Gaze inUse of the Male Gaze in everyday lifeeveryday life Some theorists also have noted the sexualizing of the female body even in situations where female sexiness has nothing to do with the product being advertised. Can you think of any examples of this?
  11. 11. Criticism of Mulvey and Gaze theoryCriticism of Mulvey and Gaze theory Some women enjoy being ‘looked’ at e.g. beauty pageants. The gaze can also be directed toward members of the same gender for several reasons, not all of which are sexual, such as in comparison of body image or in clothing. Are there any ‘flaws’ in these arguments?
  12. 12. Categorising facial expressionsCategorising facial expressions Women: • Chocolate box • Invitational • Super-smiler • Romantic or sexual Marjorie Ferguson (1980) MenMen:: •CarefreeCarefree •PracticalPractical •SeductiveSeductive •ComicComic •CatalogueCatalogue Trevor Millum (1975)Trevor Millum (1975)
  13. 13. Key theorists beliefs Jonathan Schroeder (1998), “to gaze implies more than to look at – it signifies a psychological relationship of power, in which the gazer is superior to the object of the gaze.”
  14. 14. Charlie's Angels femaleCharlie's Angels female empowerment vs sexualityempowerment vs sexuality Watch this clip and note down examples of female empowerment and sexuality. Are they mutually exclusive? Does Shroeder’s belief apply to this trailer?
  15. 15. • Charlie's Angles Full Throttle Trailer
  16. 16. Spot the difference…
  17. 17. Wallis – Dress to Kill campaign
  18. 18. Boticelli – The Birth of Venus
  19. 19. Freud & Lacan • We construct our identities by looking at ourselves and at each other. As children we derive pleasure from looking at other people’s bodies – scopophilia. • The first time we fully see ourselves (in a mirror) is the first time we understand ourselves as people • Cinema allows as to look at other people without being seen ourselves. We enjoy this voyeurism.
  20. 20. Laura Mulvey - 1975 • Feminist argument to make political use of conventional Hollywood film. • Film places woman as subordinate, inactive and limits them to narrow and two dimensional roles. • The audience are asked to take a male ‘point of spectatorship’ in most cinema
  21. 21. The Male Gaze • Identification with the male lead. – His actions become a surrogate for our own part in the narrative. We psychologically align ourselves with his point of view. He is the ideal ego. • Objectification of the male lead’s romantic interest. – The male lead desires the female form. As we are aligned with his point of view, the audience desire the female lead also.
  22. 22. What roles for women? • The Madonna and the Whore Madonna Whore Object of reverence Purity ‘on a pedestal’ Object of desire Sexual object Promiscuous
  23. 23. • In your own words, describe the processes of looking that are happening in this picture.
  24. 24. Did I leave the gas on?
  25. 25. • Guy blows her clothes off whilst the other woman looks on admiringly.
  26. 26. • Cover up luv. Get yourself a new frock as lush as mine be like.
  27. 27. Yeah but what’re you lookin’ at? Is you doggin’ I up? But seriously…how are YOU being invited to ‘look’ at this image?
  28. 28. Evaluate! • Mulvey was writing in the 1970s with a political agenda about Hollywood cinema. But are there still such narrow roles for women? What’s changed? What hasn’t?

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