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Film & Gender - Movie Review Example

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Documentary films are based on the endeavor to document reality by portraying some aspects of reality on the screen. Documentary films are made with purpose of capturing some aspect of real life and presenting them for viewing by the public…
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Film & Gender
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Film & Gender

Download file to see previous pages... It inspires the students to critically reflect on the social, cultural as well as political matters. This paper tries to address the issue of gender which is a big concern in the present times throughout the globe. Presented below is a review of the well known short documentary movie The Codes of Gender: Identity and Performance in Popular Culture. The documentary has been written, directed and produced by Sut Jhally, founder of the Media Education Foundation (MEF). The central idea conveyed through this film is that the gender identity we maintain throughout our lives is imparted to us by the society we live in. The film is a riff to the book Gender Advertisement written by Erving Goffman. It presents a critical analysis of the gender issue in media. Media is one of the most prominent forms of America’s popular culture. Jhally has argued that advertisement over the media does not only promote sales of products. Advertisement is a medium that helps in spreading ideas rapidly and widely. The commercial culture of America is making use of gender representations that are quite reactionary in nature. The movie looks beyond the conventional concept of gender that focuses on the physical and biological features that a human is born with. According to the communication scholar, Sut Jhally, a sense of identity is developed on the basis of the physical trait that the particular person possesses. The gender identity and hence the roles and codes of conduct is assigned to the person by the external society. Gender identity is therefore not a natural phenomenon. The gender ideals represent a remarkable pattern of masculinity and femininity, their display and postures. The society has established itself on a two-tiered terrain that recognizes two separate identities of the human existence. The identity of each defines their mutual relationship and access to power. The Codes of Gender provides an important insight into the social framework catering to masculinity and femininity. The cultural norms act as superior guidance to any human being as he or she grows and adapts in the society’s dictum. The codes and conventions govern our senses about what we think to be normal for a particular gender and what should be the judicious behavior by a male and a female. These conventions are normalized in the sense that we have been taught to stand up on this system as our base. Hence these rules do not seem to be visible to us. They lie deep inside our senses and affect every decision we make. Advertisement is making a massive use of these codes of gender. The movie makes an analysis of the ways and extent to which gender is being portrayed for advertisement purposes. The relationships and differences between the codes attributed to each of the two genders are exclusively made use of in advertisements. One can figure it out if she tries to think of any advertisement and interchange the male or female figure with the other counterpart. The portrayal of the figures is made consciously vivid and elaborate as a part of marketing strategy. The suggestive sexual poses, catalogue of different body postures and other physical cues are all aimed at employing the body as text in advertisement for the audience to read. The bold images of femininity and female empowerment shown in the advertisements are merely a wrapper on the same old rituals of female subordination. While ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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