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July 1995, Week 5


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Marsha Derrickson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 30 Jul 1995 14:35:07 -0400
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As I recall Mulvey began that article stating its intent to "use"
psychoanalysis to describe the dynamics at work between new and preexisting
patterns of "fascination" in film.  I don't think at any time Mulvey was
suggesting that the phallocentrism of culture and freud are synonymous. Film
merely demonstrates how the role of women is that of the fetish or object
that cannot escape representing the castration threat and the phallocentrism
that is quite apparent in culture. Mulvey also concludes that women
characters can never transcend their role as objects of fetishistic
scopophilia and voyeurism because of penis envy and castration in relation to
the phallic stage and as objects of the male charcters in the film and of the
audience.  Furthermore, she speaks mainly of the role of women and the way
the audience of a patriarchal society gazes at women in film not the totality
or essence of masculine viewing. Her development of the origin of viewing,
"primordial wish for pleasure seeking", uses a child (no gender specified)
and refers to Lacon (not Freud) when describing the mirror phase.
I am not going to boast and say Mulvey is my hero but her work is indelible
and a great learning tool for those new to poststructuralism and critical
theory.  Her work should be taken for what it is not used as an origin of a
movement geared towards an anti-cinematic feminist stand.
Thanks Doug, great input :-)
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