Hello! So I've been reading a lot about the male gaze in film lately and, as a woman, sometimes I fear that that gaze has been ingrained in my perception of how a woman can be looked at just because it is in our culture so much (I mean sort of?? but I'm not sure what exactly constitutes as a male gaze). With that being said, do you have a any film recommendations that don't contain or slack off on the male gaze? Thanks!
oh wow! what a question. well, as a woman who was raised on a steady diet of the classic american genre picture (gangsters, westerns, film noir), i have definitely internalized the male gaze!
i think it’s very difficult to be totally free of the idea of the male gaze in cinema, if you’ve been raised in a western society that has been profoundly influenced by freudian theory. certainly, if you grew up watching hollywood cinema, you cannot escape it. i don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing, but certainly one of the great benefits of a film education is learning to be aware of the constructs ingrained in the cinema we digest; armed with this knowledge, we can make more careful choices and be aware on another level of what our supposed ‘invisible’ entertainment is really saying.
as for films that don’t contain the male gaze? good luck finding that in classic narrative cinema! i would suggest feminist and/or experimental filmmakers like maya deren, catherine breillat, chantal ackerman, julie dash, sally potter, andrea arnold, jane campion.
for further reading, check out molly haskell, b. ruby rich, carol clover.
i know there are a lot of people on tumblr with more knowledge on the subject than myself, so please leave a comment or ask on the male gaze/feminist filmmakers! thanks!!
A follow-up to the Cassavetes post: When you start exploring a new director you haven't seen do you go for the big work everyone talks about first or do you try to watch lesser stuff and then "build up" to the bigger work?
it depends. since i have limited resources right now, it often depends on accessibility. i got into cassavetes because hulu was highlighting his films in the criterion collection for free. crackle has GLORIA for free right now, too. sometimes i go whole hog on a director & actor and see as much of their filmography as is available. sometimes i just casually browse and see a film here and a film there (as is the case with cassavetes). basically, when a director comes up on my “radar,” i make a mental note to be aware of their films and see them either online or at a rep. screening, since being in los angeles, i have that opportunity frequently.
Do you think Michael Bay must quit on directing films?
no. michael bay still shoots on 35mm. i may not be a big fan of his films, but at least he’s got principles. (and his movies make a TON of money, which is good for the film business & health of 35mm as a whole).
Aw, yiss, MAD MEN recaps are back! I was out and about during last Sunday’s premiere, so this one is a twofer! Sad that this is MAD MEN’s last season, but we’re going out in style. Let’s party like it’s 1969!!!
Mad Men, 7x01 “Time Zones” (wri. Matthew Weiner, dir. Scott Hornbacher)
“It’s hard to describe this, but she has an inner and outer beauty. She is like this perfect being, she’s intelligent and funny, she’s captivating and she’s non-judgmental, she’s the best friend a human being could ever have, like ever.”—Fred Armisen on his favorite thing about Carrie Brownstein (x)
omg you guys i haven’t had a chance to post about the tcm film fest yet, but i had THE BEST TIME.
hangin’ with every single classic film fan from twitter/tumblr/facebook, fangirling over tcm staffers, drinking way too much free heineken, eating a lot of free appetizers and schmoozing with ben mankiewicz, EVERY MOVIE BEING PERFECT, crying over maureen o’hara, singing along with the beatles…
i’m queuing photos and working on my festival wrap-up for moviemezzanine. stay tuned this week for a lot of fun stuff!!!