Analysis Of Laura Mulvey 's Film, Visual Pleasure And Narrative Cinema

1712 Words7 Pages
Katlyn Riggins
WGST 343: 500
Fall 2015
Topic Number 4

Women in film are often portrayed in a manner deemed pleasurable to the male viewer. Laura Mulvey takes this concept and dissects it within her article “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.” Mulvey references the term male gaze, “wom[en] displayed as sexual object[s] is the leitmotif of erotic spectacle: from pin-ups to strip-tease, from Ziegfeld to Busby Berkeley, she holds the look, and plays to and signifies male desire” (Mulvey 40). Because of this interpretation it is relevant to examine different forms of media, such as films, to establish if the male gaze is present. Furthermore, it is appropriate to analyze films directed by women to identify the male gaze, due to their unique interpretation of female character’s visual representation. In the essay that follows, it will consider Girlfight and Dance, Girl, Dance to analyze how two separate female filmmakers, Karyn Kusama and Dorothy Arzner respectfully, challenge the theory of the male gaze, along with comparing and contrasting the methods in which such challenges were made, and finally it will address how any filmmaker may object the male gaze.
Within the film Girlfight, director Karyn Kusama presents the audience with a strong female protagonist. Actor Michelle Rodriguez debuts her career portraying the lead role of Diana and gives the audience a unique interpretation of the character. We first see the heroine, through a crowd of teenagers walking
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