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Feminist Film Theorist Laura Mulvey And Classicism

857 words - 4 pages

Feminist film theorist, Laura Mulvey, refuses to use classicism. She structures her film, Riddles of the Sphinx, through modernism. Mulvey believes that classicism is built for the male’s pleasure. This attraction can be explained through the term scopophilia, the pleasure of looking. Society has limits, but films can explore these desires according to Mulvey. She also expresses the desire of narcissism, being in love with yourself. Narcissistic visual pleasure can be derived from self-identification, someone’s ideal self ego. Mulvey integrates the structures of scopophilia and narcissism into the story as well as the image of her film, Riddles of The Sphinx.
Laura Mulvey used ...view middle of the document...

Films try to lessen the fear from women. The viewer is strongly enforced to identify with the male rather than with the female character in film.
According to Mulvey, the image of a woman combines attraction and seduction with a form of castration anxiety categorized through fetishistic scopophilia and sadistic voyeurism. The fear of loss represented by the woman is known as, castration anxiety. Classical cinema explains the risk of castration through fetishism. In order to reject the castration anxiety that the female figure stimulates, she is turned into a fetish; a perfected object of beauty which is satisfying rather than threatening. Fetishizing the woman character through her dangerous figure into a character of attractiveness. Fetishism in film upholds the symbol of the female figure and fails to symbolize the woman out of the phallic norm. In the case of fetishism, classical cinema reestablishes the lacking phallic symbol in the form of a fetish. The heterosexual male’s fetish is observed through violence and action.
In Mulvey’s film, Riddles of the Sphinx, the symbol of the Sphinx occupies the position of an imaginary narrator, a clearly fictionalized voice-over. This film’s voice-over technique speaks a wide variety of dialogue including motherhood, from psychoanalysis to feminist politics. The voice-over strongly establishes the maternal voice within the symbolic form. The film is centered upon the female longing to retrieve the symbolic mother, which is represented by the Sphinx. In this film, you can hear the voice of the Sphinx almost narrating the scenes. ...

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