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Visual Pleasure and the Narrative Cinema Article by: Laura Mulvey Presentation by: Evelyn Walker.

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Presentation on theme: "Visual Pleasure and the Narrative Cinema Article by: Laura Mulvey Presentation by: Evelyn Walker."— Presentation transcript:

1 Visual Pleasure and the Narrative Cinema Article by: Laura Mulvey Presentation by: Evelyn Walker

2 Purpose of this discussion b To understand concepts of scopophilia (voyeurism) and scopophilia in its narcissistic aspect (fetishistic scopophilia) b Analyzing Sternberg and Hitchcock and how their techniques differ from one another b Gaining a better understanding of why women are treated as objects in film and forgotten as spectators

3 Outline b Purpose of the Discussion and Outline (1 minute) b KEY TERMS (3 minutes) b Quick Demonstration (2 minutes) b Why active/male and passive/female? (3 minutes) b Sternberg and Hitchcock (3 minutes) b Vertigo AND Marnie (10 minutes) b Discussion questions (3 minutes)

4 Scopophilia b One of the component instincts of sexuality b Freud associated with taking other people as objects, subjecting them to a controlling and curious gaze b Looking at another person con tinues to be the erotic basis for pleasure

5 Scopophila (con’t) b The story unfolds, and the people onscreen are indifferent to the presence of the audience, producing a sense of separation, which plays on the voyeuristic fantasy b The darkness of the auditorium contrasts with the brilliance of the images on screen to perpetuate this fantasy. Spectators are also isolated from each other in the dark.

6 Scopophilia in its narcissistic aspect ( fetishistic scopophilia) b Where curiosity and the wish to look intermingle with a fascination with likeness and recognition b Cinema has structures of fascination strong enough to allow temporary loss of ego while simultaneously enforcing the ego (character in the story has control, so spectator has control)

7 Demonstration b I will be right back. b Notice the way that I am “coded”. b Was I more “Hollywood worthy” BEFORE or AFTER I left the room?

8 “Woman As Image, Man As Bearer of the Look” b Pleasure in looking has been split between ACTIVE/MALE and PASSIVE/FEMALE b Women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for a strong visual and erotic impact

9 “Women As Image...” (things to contemplate) b “What counts is what the heroine provokes, or rather what she represents. She is the one, or rather the love or fear she inspires in the hero, or else the concern he feels for her, who makes him act the way he does. In herself, the woman has not the slightest importance.”--Budd Boetticher b The male figure cannot bear the burden of sexual objectification. Man is reluctant to gaze at his exhibitionist like. (Hmm…is this why most men that I know cannot stand “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” ?)

10 Josef von Sternberg’s Style b Woman is not the bearer of guilt, but a perfect product whose body is the content of the film and the direct recipient of the spectator’s gaze. b Most important absence is that of the controlling male gaze within the screen scene

11 Alfred Hitchcock’s Style b Male hero sees exactly what the audience sees b Male heroes are exemplary of the symbolic order and law BUT erotic drives lead them into compromised situations b Male hero controls the female: she is “castrated” by a certainty of legal right AND the established guilt of the woman; therefore, the man is on the right side of the law, the woman on the wrong

12 Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” b The narrative revolves around what Scottie sees or fails to see b Scottie seeks to control Madeleine--at first, voyeuristically, then by questioning her b Later, Scottie’s fetish is to reconstruct Judy as Madeleine b Judy is both masochistic and the passive counterpart of Scottie

13 Hitchcock’s “Marnie” b Marnie also performs for Mark Rutland’s gaze and masquerades as the perfect to- be-looked-at image b Mark controls her by guilt (catching her stealing) AND eventually by legal right (marrying her)

14 Discussion and Review Questions b Explain how Sternberg and Hitchcock use scopophilia and scopophilia in its narcissistic aspect. b Can you think of other contemporary movies that use scopophila and/or scopophilia in its narcissistic aspect?

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