Laura Mulvey’s “Visual Pleasure in Narrative Cinema” By: Kiana Cardenas, Allie Lopes About The Author Laura Mulvey A British feminist ﬁlm theorist. Born August 15, 1941 Went to college at St. Hilda’s College in Oxford Created the theory of the “Male Gaze” Main Points ● Traditional ﬁlm depends upon and reinforces the power of the ‘male gaze’ ● We have normalized looking at the divided between “active male and passive female” ● Women are seen as the object of desire ● Traditional ﬁlm reinforces what Rich would call compulsory heterosexuality Key Words Phallocentrism: focused on the phallus or penis **It is seen as a symbol of male dominance** Scopophilia: human sexuality that revolves around the sexual pleasure that one obtains by looking at pictures or videos of eroticism. Voyeuristic gaze: Controlling gaze, women objectiﬁed, eroticized, frozen Fetishized gaze: ‘object becomes reassuring rather than dangerous’ Important Quotes “Unconscious of patriarchal society has structured ﬁlm form” “Silent image of women still tied to her place as bearer of meaning [object], not maker of meaning [subject]” “Female unconscious which are scarcely relevant to phallocentric theory: the sexing of the female infant and her relationship to the symbolic” Main Theme In Her Own Words... “Ultimate challenge: how to fight the unconscious structured like a language (formed critically at the moment of arrival of language) while still caught within the language of patriarchy” Mulvey wishes for us to acknowledge the inﬂuence the patriarchy has over ﬁlm and the audience’s participation in the objectiﬁcation of women. Questions Why is gender so central to cinema in Mulvey’s point of view? In your opinion, has society inﬂuenced the way we create and/or view media? Why/why not? Are there any movies that are out today that prove Mulvey’s argument?Are there any movies that counteract her argument?