Nobody downloaded yet

Representation of the Feminine in American Feminist Cinema - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
This thesis explores the development of feminism in American cinema as a way to encourage greater equality between the sexes by focusing on the evolving representation of femininity and why such is a significant achievement against the opposing efforts of a predominantly masculine establishment.
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER93.5% of users find it useful
Representation of the Feminine in American Feminist Cinema
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample
"Representation of the Feminine in American Feminist Cinema"

Download file to see previous pages The film "Rebecca" shows how women who strayed outside the lines of pre-defined social roles were generally demonized by society, which includes opposition from other women who are comfortable in fulfilling their traditional roles, but occasionally worshipped by other women who longed for freedom of being. The film captured Rebecca’s loss of identity as a woman who is expected to live according to traditional norms of behavior, handing down this mindset to succeeding generations as a continuation of the old ways and old ideals, despite their personal desire for the freedom to express their individuality. In a sense, the film showed that in their uphill quest for freedom, women had to go through several barriers imposed by gender and social tradition. This landmark film established the base for similar Hollywood films against which subsequent cinematic outputs would be compared.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966) demonstrated in a clearer manner the feminist stirrings of American cinema. The depiction of women in Martha combined the traditional - stay-at-home and career-less daughter of a well-known university professor who married a loser - and the modern - childless but with an imaginary child, aware of her sexuality, cursing and nagging her husband in public, and flirting openly with a young married guest in front of her husband and the guest's wife.
In contrast to other portrayals of women in the past, the film signified a certain degree of equalization between the sexes. Elizabeth Taylor's Academy Award as Best Actress for her portrayal as Martha in a film laced with profanity and feminine sensuality that shocked audiences at the time may have marked a turning point as it showed that a woman could be the mistress of her destiny.
Some two decades later, Desperately Seeking Susan (1981) seemed to move towards closing the loop as it directly addressed the concepts of female voyeurism and female desire. It starred the 1980's icon of the fun-loving material girl (pop star Madonna) and featured a young woman obsessed with another young woman whom she had never met, and although there is a strong element of lesbian criticism involved, there is little indication that the women are true lesbians.
A psychoanalytic approach to the film necessarily excluded the possibility that the desire inherent in the film is not for the female body but is instead a desire for the 'other', an idealized fantasy life believed to be lived by this other. This film introduced different viewpoints raised regarding its message that addressed the concept of the feminine directly, making it an ideal framework for studying how femininity is reflected in modern cinema ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Representation of the Feminine in American Feminist Cinema Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Representation of the Feminine in American Feminist Cinema Essay)
“Representation of the Feminine in American Feminist Cinema Essay”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document
Feminine Mystique for American society in 1960
...?English Comp I Magi Smith 12/06/ Catchy Here Feminine Mystique for American society in 1960   In the era of 1960s and before that women in America, especially married women, spent their entire life taking care of their husbands and children. Their whole life was confined to household chores and babysitting. However , the year of 1960 brought with it a wave of change in society and cultural transformation. The year witnessed thousands of women entering workplace and transforming themselves into an earning member of family. There was a sense of realization among women to open out to the outside world and gain independence financially rather than being a complete homemaker. Feminine...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
Feminism in American Cinema
...argues (p. 28), there is a need to consider "what relationships women have had traditionally and historically, as filmmakers and as film consumers, to the medium" in order to "understand how women make movies". Nothing could be farther from the truth, but this one-sided argument founded on masculine logic hides a basic natural fact: that men and women are different, and thank heavens that they are, and that women and their feminist representation in cinema would be a constantly evolving and a permanently complex and elusive goal. Mayne explains (p. 33-34) that while it is true that having women at the other end of the keyhole is a typical sign of masculine voyeuristic tendencies, it is...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
Film 152G Contemporary american cinema
...wondered if Mr. Scott had chosen that camera position to feature Ms Weaver's derriere because, after all, Ripley had been throughout much of the movie its protagonist and most resourceful character - assuming in the story a role usually portrayed by a man - and the director's (or editor's) selection of this 'take' was intended to reveal a softer, more feminine aspect of her. If that were so, however, it's valid to ask why and how showing the 'crack in that ass' above the panty-line would feminize Ripley. Or were Mr. Scott and his producers thinking that maybe their action thriller needed at least a dollop of sex, a glimpse - however brief - of feminine derriere The point of that admitted...
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay
Independence in American Cinema
...Independence in American Cinema Hollywood has become synonymous with world-class quality cinema. Because of marketing and promotional dominance and state-of the-art technology in film production, any film produced here will afterwards become global cinematic masterpieces, with millions of viewers scrimmaging for front seats in cinema houses just to watch Hollywood celebrities. According to Shaw (2002) since the advent of major studios and film sound in the early half of the 20th century, cinema production houses on the national scale around the world have been unified in the threat of Hollywood global dominance. By holding the crown of global...
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay
American cinema
... American Cinema One of the more successful American films of the 1990s was the movie Pulp Fiction, written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. The movie was produced in 1994 and was greatly affected by events occurring in that time period. Part of this influence can be seen in the film’s postmodern style of expression while numerous references to the American pop culture of the decade can be traced throughout. The themes carried out in the film bring into the light some of the major questions of the 90s, including the search for spirituality and the value of human life in an increasingly mechanized, dissociated and cynical world. Concerns of the 90s are also brought out in the film, including increased violence, changing rates... and...
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay
Femininity in American Cinema
...Femininity in American Cinema The attempt to implement some form of categorization of human characteristics and behaviors into the two seemingly distinct classes, namely "feminine" and "masculine" would be to openly rely on the currently dominant, yet often misrepresented culture of society, as well as to lay stress on the dependence of the perspectives on the essentialist notions of the binary woman/man[1]. During the so-called Golden Age of Hollywood, which lasted from the end of the silent era in American cinema in the late 1920s to the late 1950s, movies were issued from the Hollywood studios like the cars rolling off Henry Fords...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
American Cinema in the 1960s
...American Cinema in the 1960’s Order No. 309095 No. of pages 6530 Cinema of the sixties and today One of the greatest trends in Film makingduring the sixties was that of sex, violence and horror. The reason for such trends was mostly alluded to the prevailing times of political turmoil and unrest. The poverty occurring due to the Depression, led a lot of producers to shut down or turn to other avenues to help with their financial constraints. Hence, movies that were politically charged or filled with sex and violence helped some of them to keep afloat. The Wild and fiery movies of the 60’s can hardly be compared to the contemporary scene of today where science and technology take over and...
1 Pages(250 words)Assignment
Latin American Cinema (mexico)
...Latin American Cinema (Mexico) Table of Contents Answer 3 Answer 2 4 Answer 3 5 Bibliography 7 Answer Los Olivadados by Luis Bunuel is a cinema that has truly changed the parameters and paraphrase of Latin American motion pictures, despite of being the odd bird from the director’s nest. The film is essentially surreal and satiric in nature that exposes the defensive protest against attuned injustice against poverty. All the films of Bunuel are mounted up in the cruelty and harshness of life. This film is not an exception either. The class that Bunuel targets to satirize is the bourgeois class that under the mask of veneer sophistication, actually extracts the last drop of...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
The American model of representation
...The American Model of Representation Introduction Many nations have focused on implementing democracy. From the definition of democracy, it emerges that decision-making should rely on the will of the people and promote the public interests. However, it is unrealistic for each individual to contribute to active decision making. This is the reason why representative democracy has been adopted. In the United States, representative democracy is implemented by ensuring that the people choose representatives who sit in the two houses of the congress. The founders of the American constitution acted proactively in support of democracy. The founders ensured that two houses of the congress existed...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
Horror Films In American Cinema
...Horror Films In American Cinema Horror films have been around from their inception in the 1890s when very few directors decided to draw on the negative emotions of people and develop movies that challenge human imagination and knock on the doors of the impossible and undefined. The appearance of ghosts in real life, their existence, the debate around it, the mystery and fear of death and the growing frustration over Church activities were all channeled in the movie scenario using rudimentary scripts and some awesome pictures that thrilled the audience and superceded their visual expectations. Horror movies are an all time favorite for those looking to learn from the world of unknown that surrounds us. Although most of the movies... before....
23 Pages(5750 words)Movie Review
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.
Let us find you another Essay on topic Representation of the Feminine in American Feminist Cinema for FREE!
logo footer
Contact us:
Contact Us Now
FREE Mobile Apps:
  • StudentShare App Store
  • StudentShare Google play
  • About StudentShare
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ
  • Blog
  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays
  • Miscellaneous
  • The Newest Essay Topics
  • Index samples by all dates
Join us:
Contact Us