Thursday, April 8, 2010


A couple years ago too...

First two paragraphs Chapter 1 from WOMEN AND FILM Both sides of the camera

E. Ann Kaplan 1983 Methuen & Co

Related post

1. Is the gaze male?

Since the beginning of the recent women’s movement, American feminists have been exploring the representation of female sexuality in the arts – in literature, painting, film, and television. As we struggle towards meaningful theory, it is important to note that feminist criticism, as a new way of reading texts, emerged form the daily, ongoing concerns of women re-evaluating the culture in which they had been socialized and educated. In this sense, feminist criticism differs in basic ways from earlier critical movements, which evolved out of reaction to dominant theoretical positions (i.e. out of a reaction which took place on an intellectual level). Feminism is unusual in its combination of the theoretical and (loosely speaking) the ideological (Marxist literary theory alone shares a similar dual focus, but from very different premises).

The first wave of feminist critics adopted a broadly sociological approach, looking at sex roles women occupied in various imaginative works, from high art to mass entertainment. They assessed roles as “positive” or “negative” according to some externally constructed criteria describing the fully autonomous, independent woman. While this work was important in initiating feminist criticism (Kate Millett’s Sexual Politics was a ground-breaking text), feminist film critics, influenced by developments taking place in film theory at the start of the 1970’s, were the first to point out its limitations. First, influenced by semiology, feminist theorists stressed the crucial role played by the artistic form as the medium for expression; second, influenced by psychoanalysis, they argued that Oedipal processes were central to the production of art works. That is, they gave increasing attention to how meaning is produced in films, rather than to the “content,” which had preoccupied sociological critics; and they stressed the links between the processes of psychoanalysis and cinema.


thanks for the vid ticklebear4U


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