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Film Theory: Laura Mulvey and the Problematic of Racial Difference - Essay Example

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Film Theory: Laura Mulvey and the Problematic of Racial Difference

She incorporated their theories as “political weapons” (Mulvey 833) into her own work. Based on these concepts, she contended that conventional Hollywood cinema place the viewer in a masculine subject situation; and women are depicted as mere objects of admiration. Traditional Hollywood cinema fostered spectators to relate to the hero, evidently a man. She states (Mulvey 837):
“In their traditional exhibitionist role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so that they can be said to connote to-be-looked-at-ness. Woman displayed as sexual object is the leit-motif of erotic spectacle: from pin-ups to striptease, from Ziegfeld to Busby Berkeley, she holds the look, plays to and signifies male desire. Mainstream film neatly combined spectacle and narrative.”
On the other hand, Mulvey states that women were “to-be-looked-at-ness” (Mulvey 837). She conceived two primary roles in which males construed female characters during this era. These were “voyeuristic” and “fetishist”. Therefore, she advocated remodelling film strategies with substitute feminist techniques as she explicitly wrote “It is said that analysing pleasure or beauty annihilate it. That is the intention of this article” (Mulvey 835).
Not astoundingly, ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ was met with controversy and was the target of interdisciplinary debates by film theorists. The criticism pointed out that Mulvey’s perspective was against the possibility of truly enjoying feminine roles of the traditional cinema. In addition, that she had not borne in mind that the impact of a feminist role might be different on bisexual or heterosexual spectators. Moreover, she failed to account for media audience researches related to fans and their interface with celebrities. Mulvey wrote in rebuttal that the purpose of her writing was to provoke though and present novel notions ...Show more
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Her essay greatly contributed towards steering films to a more psychoanalytic approach. Film theorists including Jean-Louis Baudry and Christian Metz had been…
Film Theory: Laura Mulvey and the Problematic of Racial Difference
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