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FIlm Lecture - feminism .doc
FIlm Lecture - feminism .doc

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Western University
Film Studies
Film Studies 1020E

Film Lecture – 14 January Laura Mulvey − patriarchal society assumes men are superior, women inferior − patriarchal society – phallocentrism – penis as a symbol of masculinity and masculine energy that comes out of sexuality − phallus is privileged in understanding meaning or social relations − woman is defined by her lack of phallus − psychoanalytic theory conceives of the women castrated – powerless − depends on the image of castrated women to give order and meaning to its world – becomes important because half of us don't have it – this difference has been assigned a hierarchy – women below men − psychoanalytic theory posits that women wish to possess the penis – the power it represents − faced with the possibility of attaining a penis – two options – accept subordination – stay in half light of the imaginary – that is delude herself into thinking she actually has agency, that she is self-determining even though she is not – we are shaped by symbolic world – determined by the patriarchal world in which we live – people around us and the institutions in our culture (school, government, media etc) we do not form from within, we are shaped from without − women can resist subordination by understanding the nature of the patriarchy as a trap even though we are trapped in it − do this by using patriarchal tools – IE psychoanalysis – − suggest hollywood cinema as another tool - affirms subject positions under the patriarchy − reduces women to sexual object − brief relief of fear of castration for the man (always present by woman) from sense of lack of coherence and sense of alienation − classical hollywood cinema has assumed the male gaze and has made the woman Other 3 gazes – camera as it films – the audience – characters within the film and how they look at each other − Laconce mirror stage – infant sees itself in mirror and recognizes itself from its mother, image in mirror – sense of self that is distinct and separate from other people − origin of fundamental alienation – there is no definite sense of self – we have consciousness and unconsciousness − always at odds with how other people perceive us and how we perceive ourselves − truest desire
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