Laura Mulvey

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    Laura Mulvey states in male controlled society “the pleasure in looking is split between the active-male and passive-female.” this is echoed in the dominant forms in film. Classic Hollywood narratives traditionally focus on a male protagonist with an assumed male viewer. Men are presented as controlling characters and treat women as docile objects of desire; this applies to both on screen and to viewers. Women are objectified in relation to the male gaze, showcasing women as an image and men as owner of what is to be viewed. Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window gives us that male protagonist who observes voyeuristically at his neighbors, including the highly sexualized Miss Torso for most of the duration of the film, perfectly amplifying the patriarchal…

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    Most movies are structured for the male audience’s pleasure, “His Girl Friday” is no exception to that. Directed by Howard Hawks, “His Girl Friday” is a 1940’s screwball comedy that is full of wit and most describe as ahead of it’s time. On the surface, the movie seems like a great start of the commentary of role-reversal or being a working female of the time. However, upon deeper inspection that isn’t the case. “His Girl Friday”, though progressive for the time with the main female lead being…

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    Hitchcock's Psycho

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    In Alfred Hitchcock's classic movie Psycho, we can analyze the overall components that went into the movie to create its aesthetic. Components such as how the movie was made, to even the ideas discussed in Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema written by Laura Mulvey. The times we currently live in (and even the times during which the movie was produced) has hidden meanings that we would not normally notice, but through the film Psycho, we are able to analyze these things and understand how…

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    Voyeurism In Rear Window

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    have a bearing on Jeff 's view of love and marriage." (Arnold, Nixon and Stafford). There are several parallels between Jeff’s relationship with Lisa and the scenarios he observes voyeuristically. These parallels are especially striking between Jeff, Lisa and the Thorwalds, but in this case we can observe that the gender roles are reversed. Mr. Thorwald and Lisa are always active and dominantly standing over their counterparts, while Mrs. Thorwald and Jeff are immobilized in one space and…

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    Women's Pay Inequality

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    Mulvey states that the male gaze is the directing of images/ sexual images toward male audiences and their amusement. Mulvey also institutes the ideal of voyeurism and sadism and how those who create projects use these conceptions in order to gain publicity or a reputation. Both of these phrases relate to the sexual pleasure one receives; "refer(ing) to pleasure in looking and exhibitionism" ( Cartwright & Sturken, 124). Look at me- The "male gaze" has dominated every form of…

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    Laura Mulvey argues in her essay that women do not see the world as observers and instead, they are only to be seen. Outlets of popular culture, such as magazines, tell women to wear certain clothes, stand with a specific posture, and make a pouty, sexy face to obtain a man. These attributes put together symbolize the straight female. In a heteronormative world, this is what it means to be beautiful and sexually available. Thus, the male gaze is ubiquitous in culture of the past and present.…

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    The term, “the gaze” has turned into a concept in feminist theory but is more notably known as “the male gaze”, which refers to how men look at women; coined by the feminist film critic Laura Mulvey, introduced in her essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema which was published in 1975. The male gaze enforces the sexual politics of the gaze and states that in film, women are typically the objects of heterosexual male desire. It is a sexualised way of looking that objectifies women and empowers…

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    Laura Mulvey’s piece, Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, emerged during second wave feminism and the classic Hollywood Film era. Mulvey’s work has since received various criticisms (Torres Lecture 10) however, several of her ideas are still prevalent in films today –specifically male characters as active and female characters as passive (Mulvey). Mulvey theorizes, “pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female. The determining male gaze projects its fantasy onto…

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    Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills have been at the centre of Post Modernist and Post-Structuralist discourse since the 1980s. This paper will address the arguments made by Rosalind Krauss, Judith Williamson, Laura Mulvey and Jui-Ch’i Liu surrounding these film stills. The work at hand consists of a series of black and white photographs where Sherman plays the role of the director and the agent to construct an image and mise en scène that has an uncanny resemblance to 1950s snapshots of…

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    In Her (2013), by Spike Jonze and Vertigo (1958) by Alfred Hitchcock, violence is aestheticized through the use of romance. Scottie and Theodore’s sadistic tendencies are masked by their obsession with love. Scotty and Theodore convey the characteristics of men who are hopelessly in love with the women they are with, but in reality they simply want to control them. Vertigo and Her’s aestheticization of violence and the protagonists’ need for control are emphasized by the fact that both Scottie…

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