Feminism to Film A critical approachWhat‟s wrong with images of womenin the cinema? lGreater differentiation of men‟s roles than women‟s roles. lMen portrayed as actors within history; femininity as ahistorical and eternal (myth). lMen represented as active subjects, controllers of look; women objectified as a passive “to-be-looked-at-ness.” lIdentification of femininity with the sexual and erotic. “Woman is presented as what she represents for man”: woman as phallic replacement, a projection of male narcissistic fantasy.
Feminism to Film A critical approach Jacques Lacan: Symbolic The Symbolic includes all expressive behaviors: language and art as well as social structures such as kinship relations (Claude Levi-Strauss). The Symbolic includes not only language and expression, but all the positions of identification and subjectivity that individuals must take up in order to have a "place" in society.
Feminism to Film A critical approach Psychoanalysis and sexual differencemeans to identity themselves with the lHaving the phallus, men have a privileged access to the law, authority, and symbolic manipulation; lFailing this identification women do not. lFrom the point of view of men, women come to represent lack, an anxiety that they will fail before the Law. Women are represented has “failing” the symbolic and relegated to a negative representation, what is “not- male.”
Feminism to Film A critical approach Are women “outside” the symbolic? If women stand outside the symbolic . . . Women are not represented for themselves, but rather as that which is “not male.” Women are occluded from positions of identification and pleasure in the cinema. Mulvey: [and so elude the snare of identification] Doane: “filming a women becomes equivalent to a terrorist act.” Or, perhaps women have a different relation to language and identification?
Feminism to Film A critical approach Feminism and political modernism Mulvey: the history of women‟s participation in filmmaking is allied with both an independent and avant-garde practice. The threat of negativity implied by the imaging of women in classical films are the source for anti-illusionist counter-strategies that undermine new cinematic forms and meanings. Redirecting negativity to undermine masculine pleasure in looking. Doane: to define an autonomous space of language and desire for women. Michèle Montrelay and Luce Irigaray To define a non-phallic language or desire A feminist political modernism must define a feminine poetic syntax and position of looking and desire that derive from a new way of imaging the female body.
Feminism to Film A critical approach Theories in Summary Mary Ann Doane The search for a feminine poetic syntax (A set of rules for Poetry/Film which are inline with femininity) “which constitutes (establishes) the female body as a term.” (rather than an object) Doane desires „a feminine poetic syntax and position of looking and desire that derive from a new way of imaging the female body.‟ (we have to look at things not from a Male perspective)
Feminism to Film A critical approach Theories in Summary Teresa De Lauretis We should rethink the idea of women in cinema… She is searching for films whose visual and symbolic spaces addresses the spectator as a woman. (Very Few, even if directed by a woman) Understanding That there is a difference between the general women from each Woman, as well as there being differences among women. (They are not all the Same) The audience should be conceived as a heterogeneous community (A DIVERSE COMMUNITY, ie not just White rich MEN).
Feminism to Film A critical approach Laura Mulvey and Narrative Cinema” “Visual Pleasure She argued that the spectator is put in a masculine position with the woman on screen presented as an object of desire Three Different Looks The camera (shot types and angles used) The audience (voyeuristic) The actors (interaction with each other) The main idea that seems to bring these actions together is that "looking" is generally seen as an active male role while the passive role of being looked at is immediately adopted as a female characteristic.
Feminism to Film A critical approach The Role of Women Mulvey argues that women in film are tied to desire and that female characters hold an "appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact"
Feminism to Film Three Different A critical approach Looks The camera (shot types and angles used) The audience (voyeuristic) The actors (interaction with each other) The main idea that seems to bring these actions together is that "looking" is generally seen as an active male role while the passive role of being looked at is immediately adopted as a female characteristic.
Steve Neale – The Gay GazeIt can be argued that we can also have a „gay malegaze‟ (Steve Neale, 1992)Images which show men passive, submissive,sexual poses – lying down, looking up at thecamera so that the viewr is dominant can bedescribed a HOMOEROTIC. In this case the malesubject will have hands behind their heads in apose which could suggest relaxation but could alsobe read as submissive and non-aggressive.
Feminism to Film A critical approach Where can we apply this to fight club?