Friday, 22 August 2014

Laura Mulvey (Theorist) on Representation

Laura Mulvey ‘Gaze theory’ – Pete Fraser
In the essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”, Laura Mulvey introduced the concept of The Male Gaze as a feature of power asymmetry
In film, the male gaze occurs when the audience is put into the perspective of a heterosexual man. A scene may linger on the curves of a woman's body, for instance. Feminists would argue that such instances are presented in the context closest relating to that of a male, hence its referral to being the Male Gaze.
The theory suggests that male gaze denies women human agency, relegating them to the status of objects, hence, the woman reader and the woman viewer must experience the text's narrative secondarily, by identifying with a man's perspective.
“Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” expands on the theory, saying that sexism exist not only in the content of a text, but may also exist in how the text is presented; through its implications about its expected audience. Theorists note the degree to which people gaze at women in advertisements that "sexualizes" a woman's body even when the woman's body is unrelated to the advertised product
"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," and as a result contends that in film a woman is the "bearer of meaning, not maker of meaning."
Mulvey argues that Freud's psychoanalytic theory is the key to understanding how film creates such a space for female sexual objectification and exploitation through the combination of the patriacal order of society, and 'looking' in itself as a pleasurable act of voyeurism, as "the cinema satisfies a primordial wish for pleasurable looking."

Print off and add to Section A: Question 1b of your exam folder. 
Task: Create your own resources and post on Mulvey 

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