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Lecture 3

WGSST 2230 Lecture 3: Week 3 - The Gaze


Department
Women's, Gender&Sexuality Sts
Course Code
WGSST 2230
Professor
Denise Delgado
Lecture
3

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LECTURE
"Visual Pleasure in narrative cinema" her article, is one of the most cited and anthologized
articles in all of contemporary film theory
A.
Professor of Film and Media Studies at Birkbeck, U of London
B.
Avant
-
C.
Laura Mulvey
I.
Men project themselves onto the male leads and live through them
i.
Uses psychoanalytic theory to argue male domination shapes film
A.
Ideal audience is men, main character is usually a man, a man is responsible for
filming
i.
Not inaccurate since most directors and main characters are men
ii.
3 gazes: ideal spectator, male character in the film, man behind the camera
B.
Explains importance of what women look like in cinema: woman are more sexualized and
supposed to be looked at
C.
Influences how women are framed and shot
D.
Regulated to prize, obstacle, sidekick
i.
Women are 3rd parties
E.
Men drive narratives
F.
Psychoanalytic Analysis of Film: Mulvey's Theory of the Male Gaze (1978)
II.
Female self
-
surveillance and object of male gaze
i.
"Men act and women appear"
A.
Men embody what they can do to other people, women embody what can be done to them
B.
Still with us today
i.
Power relations evident in European nudes
C.
In cinema: female spectacle
-
woman's looks more important than men's
D.
Close
-
ups on body parts, makeover, romantic framing, sexualization
i.
Film conventions objectify the female body
E.
Berger doesn't argue against Mulvey's premise but rather believes that the male gaze and
the focus on women's beauty and sexuality is created by cultural and historical factors, not
the function of psychology
F.
Cultural View on the Male Gaze: Berger, "Ways of Seeing"
III.
Why and how do women enjoy movies?
A.
How can a film "position" all spectators the same way?
B.
Cannot consider intersectional identities of characters and spectators: many social factors
influence identity and spectatorship
C.
What about gay/lesbian gazes, desires, characters, innuendoes?
D.
For instance, a black man might not identify with a main character who is a white
man, but may instead see himself more aligned with a black woman
i.
How does race, nationality, class complicate spectatorship and identification?
E.
That is not to say, however, that the critique is invalid. Women are shot differently than
men. Men are more likely to be shown as active, even while partially clothed, while
women's bodies are often portrayed as more passive.
F.
Limitations of "Male Gaze" Theory:
IV.
Usually, but not always, we are supposed to like the main character
i.
Texts are meant to be read in a certain way
A.
We, as the audience, are supposed to read the text the way the creators intended us to
B.
When race, nationality, class, sexuality, religious, etc differences come into play, there's a
C.
Where does Oppositional Gaze Come In
V.
What We See, What We Want, and Why We Should Care
Week 3
-
The Gaze
Thursday, September 8, 2016 10:42
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