Sunday, 16 December 2007

Summary of Mulvey's Theory

Mulvey's essay 'Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema' uses ideas from Freud's psychoanalytic theory and it's revised version by Jacques Lacan to argue Classic Hollywood Cinema puts the spectator in a masculine subject position (audience positioning/spectatorship), with the figure of the woman on screen as the object of desire (objectification).

Expanding on the idea of objectification, Mulvey suggested there were two distinct modes of the male gaze, voyuerism (woman viewed as beautiful) and fetishistic (woman are viewed sexually). This relates to the concept of scopophilia, a term used to describe the pleasure of watching. Mulvey goes on to say by having women in passive roles, the media creates misogyny. Most films use male protagonists, reinforcing patriarchy.