How could you use an analysis of the pattern of looks or the identity of the gaze to develop a critical reading of contemporary mainstream film?

2543 Words Feb 5th, 2015 11 Pages
Critical Introduction
How could you use an analysis of the pattern of looks or the identity of the gaze to develop a critical reading of contemporary mainstream film? Your answer should include a close textual analysis of a recent film (produced within the last three years) and reference to relevant scholarly literature to support your argument.

The term of ‘Gaze’ describes the mode of viewing that reflecting a gendered code of desire, according to Laura Mulvey’s famous feminist psychoanalytic film studies essay ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ (Mulvey, 1975) she introduced the concept of gaze as “how an spectator views the people presented”. Mulvey using the Freudian theories of scopophilia to explain that the audience’s
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Why is female body on the screen being the source of erotic pleasure but not male body? And where the place of the feminine subject is? There are several possible answers offered according to Feminist film theory, the first has been explored from the different gendered positions that audiences can be read and enjoyed in a film. Hollywood cinema as a monolithic unit producing unified and masculinised spectators, it explained the pleasure of Hollywood cinema grounded on sexual difference, the term of ‘sexual difference’ signifies the cinematic pleasures of spectatorship are highly contestable. A psychoanalytic understanding of the meaning of sexual difference leads a space of female desire in the film. Due to Raymond Bellour’s argument, he sticks to the masochistic nature of the female spectator’s pleasure in Hollywood film, women’s desire engaged in a futilitarian way, the desire only appears on the screen to be punished and controlled by assimilation to the desire of the male character (Bellour 1979, p. 97). The second rethinking of the ‘male gaze’ provides a more variable example of cinematic spectatorship, according to Mulvey’s another essay ‘Afterthoughts on Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ she attempts to build a more mobile position for the women spectator, she claims women are different as men to relinquish phallic activity and the female object of infancy, women were oscillating between masculine and feminine narrative identifications

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