StudentShare
Contact Us
Sign In / Sign Up for FREE
Search
Go to advanced search...

Critique of Feminism in American Cinema - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Summary
The essay attempts to show how and why the development of feminism in American cinema continues to be filled with bright opportunities. Although past achievements have been substantial, despite the best of intentions, the results were below what could have been achieved…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER93.6% of users find it useful
Critique of Feminism in American Cinema
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Critique of Feminism in American Cinema"

Download file to see previous pages In the process, feminist ideologies in American cinema were hijacked, distracted, thwarted, and softened by masculine logic from the promising ambition to change and transform gender-biased patriarchal social structures. These three articles explained where feminism in American cinema came from, how it got to where it is now, and suggested ways to resolve issues and discover important answers.
Writing more than 25 years ago, Mayne (1981) gave two clearly distinguished meanings of women's cinema. One meaning is "films made by women," and the other meaning is "films made for women" (p. 27). The first part of her article attempted to explain how films within each of these traditional definitions were transformed by feminists over time, using the "woman at the keyhole" metaphor to show how women gained status from being objects of voyeuristic curiosity and into curious voyeurs themselves.
Mayne argued that there is a need to consider "what relationships women have had traditionally and historically, as filmmakers and as film consumers, to the medium" (p. 28) in order to "understand how women make movies" (p. 28). This argument founded on masculine (business-based) logic masks a basic natural fact: that men and women are different and that women and their feminist representation in cinema would be a constantly evolving and a permanently complex and elusive goal. Mayne explained that while it is true that having women at the other end of the keyhole is typical of masculine voyeuristic tendencies, it is also true that women love being seen, watched, and admired (p. 33-34).
They want to feel and look beautiful, not for any reason or motive that is a sign of inferiority, but because that is how they are wired, and nothing is bad about that. It is only "not good" if such a natural human tendency is associated with a (blonde-haired or beautiful-faced) lack of intellectual capacity. This hasty subjective reaction, no matter how one looks at it, and whether it is applied to women or men, is more a reflection of the one who makes rash judgments based on looks and appearances and not based on interior substance.
This is why women are the ultimate dialecticians, Mayne declared, recalling Ruby Rich, who argued that "for a woman today, film is a dialectical experience in a way that it never was and never will be for a man under patriarchy" (p. 40). Like Brecht's ultimate dialectician who lives the tension of two different cultures, "women bring into the movie theater a context and a certain coding from life outside the theater." This is perhaps the reason why women love different films in different ways, and why some films made by and for women reach their audiences in unique ways.
Feminism in cinema has certainly shaped the way actors act and filmmakers - both men and women - do films, making the human experience richer and more sophisticated. This is good for all, not only for men and the patriarchy to understand women a bit better, but also for women to better understand themselves and how they look at the world. Making, watching and critiquing movies are, indeed, different and complex (p. 41-42). Also, they reflect the natural differences between men and women that provide the artistic cinematic world a dialectic tension that contributes to its magic, as cinema as a powerful medium of gender-based artistic expression must necessarily clash with cinema as an ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
  • CHICAGO
(“Critique of Feminism in American Cinema Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words”, n.d.)
Critique of Feminism in American Cinema Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words. Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1499107-critique-of-feminism-in-american-cinema
(Critique of Feminism in American Cinema Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 Words)
Critique of Feminism in American Cinema Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 Words. https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1499107-critique-of-feminism-in-american-cinema.
“Critique of Feminism in American Cinema Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1499107-critique-of-feminism-in-american-cinema.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Critique of Feminism in American Cinema

Engaging With Critique: Feminism and classism

...?Engaging With Critique: Feminism and ism The critique most often leveled at second-wave American feminism, apart from specious and absurd linesabout bra-burning, is that it was essentially a movement for the liberation of middle-class white women. While this is an oversimplification, there is certainly a grain of truth to it, and both bell hooks and the Combahee River Collective were early critics of this unfortunate tendency. The issue of class and its relationship to feminism is one such intersection, and one deserving of specific examination as to its nature and history. Ultimately, that history shows that feminism responds to criticism from within, and as a movement has learned to engage with class issues more constructively than...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Feminism in American Cinema

...Critique of Feminism in American Cinema This essay attempts to show that feminism in American cinema is full of unfulfilled promises, and that despite the best of intentions the results have been much less than what was expected and what could have been achieved. Three articles from the readings - by De Lauretis, Mayne, and Hammett - will be used to support the arguments showing that feminism in American cinema over-promised and under-delivered and that they were driven by their over-powering ambition to use masculine logic in order to change and transform gender-biased patriarchal social structures with the use of pass intellectual fads that were verbalized by a troupe of homosexual male (Foucault), Freudian (Lacan) and Marxist...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Sexism and the American Movies

... 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 vulgarity is that it puts the lie...
7 Pages(1750 words)Movie Review

American Cinema: Heat

... American Cinema: Heat “Heat” (1995). Warner Bros. Pictures. Written and Directed by Michael Mann. Cinematography by Dante Spinotti; Music by Elliot Goldenthal; Edited by William Goldenburg; Starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Ashley Judd, John Voight and Natalie Portman. Heat is simply just one of those types of films; the kind that gets under your skin and flows all the way through your body like a drug. Set in Los Angeles, and packed with well-rounded characters troubled by their own past, Heat is a superior film which is sexy, stylish, atmospheric and includes an abundance of action. This film review will discuss some of the technical aspects of Heat by using appropriate filmic terminology to describe its various...
3 Pages(750 words)Movie Review

Ancient Greek Sculpture and the American Cinema

... Teacher 30 September 2007 Ancient Greek Sculpture and the American Cinema The evolution of ancient Greek sculpture from 600 to 323 BC reflects the development of the American cinema since its start more than 100 years ago. Both artistic styles began with rudimentary, rigid conception and presentation that, while entirely functional and remarkable for their time, were destined to be outdone by later artists. Greek sculpture from the Archaic period (600-480 BC) to the end of the Classical period (480-323 BC) changed aesthetically due to a changed perception of the human body and form; American films have changed since the first production in 1912 due to changes in technology and also the mindset of the filmmakers and viewing audiences...
4 Pages(1000 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 cinema studio leadership, movie aficionados all over the world closely relates Hollywood...
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay

Pulp Fiction and Hope for Redemption

... 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...
9 Pages(2250 words)Movie Review

Femininity in American Cinema

... of the male labeled to be the villain is seen to affect the so called hero only when it is targeted directly at the female element. This basic trend is essentially the nature of the feminity angle in virtually all of American cinema, in spite of being projected against varying backdrops and at various ages. Works Cited [1] "Youve Got Mail.", “Feminity”, “Savior”, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 24 Jul 2007, 03:13 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 2 Aug 2007...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

American Cinema in the 1960s

The Wild and fiery movies of the ’60s can hardly be compared to the contemporary scene of today where science and technology take over and play the major part. There is no doubt that Michael Moore has indeed been a very great influence on contemporary film making as he is a complete democrat who does not fight shy of bringing into the public eye the evils that are conveniently swept under the carpet.
References
Film History of the 1960s
www.filmsite.org/60sintro6.html
1 Pages(250 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...
23 Pages(5750 words)Movie Review

August Wilson as One of the Greatest African American Playwrights

Born in 1945, August Wilson was raised in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He lived in a two-room apartment behind a grocery store on Bedford Avenue. At fifteen he quit high school, choosing to educate himself at the Carnegie Library. After working a bunch of assorted jobs, he began writing poems at twenty. Being raised in a time of segregation, then coming of age in the era of the Civil Rights Movements must have affected him deeply. Just from reading Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, the reader can see the racial oppression Mr Wilson must have felt throughout his life being an African American male.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom opened on April 6, 1984, at the Yale Repertory Theater in New Haven, Connecticut. The cast included Richa...
9 Pages(2250 words)Coursework

Malcolm X: a Typical Religious American

His growing up years did not sound very appealing. He became involved in drug dealing, gambling, robbery, burglary, racketeering, steering prostitutes and carrying firearms in which he got imprisoned. In his prison cell, he denounced the bible and started the onsets of his connection with the Nation of Islam through his brother. He then maintained a connection with its leader, Elijah Muhammad. When he was finally released, he immediately joined the Nation of Islam, spread the Islamic teachings and became Malcolm X, symbolizing the rejection of ‘slaves names’ and the absence of an inherited African name. He soon became the minister of the Nation of Islam’s Temple Number Eleven after staying in Chicago with Elijah...
7 Pages(1750 words)Assignment

Contemporary American Catholic Homiletic Theory and Practice

...Overview of Contemporary American Catholic Homiletic Theory and Practice Luke 4:16-21 The foundation moment in Christian preaching is written in Luke4:16-21, when Jesus went into the synagogue in Nazareth and stood up to read the scroll of the prophet Isaiah “and he begun by saying to them, ‘today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’”. (Luke 4:21) Upon the ripening of time, Jesus stood at that moment as the prophetic speaker proclaiming God’s scriptural Word, declaring the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah in his person. He spoke in revelation of the fulfillment of written words to a congregation, laying down the foundation of Christian preaching that has since been the basic implement in the sustenance and propagation...
6 Pages(1500 words)Case Study

The American Nation: A Melting Pot of Asian Americans

As a result, American society is experiencing dramatic transformations (Skop & Li, 2005).
The Asian community in the United States is a cultural group that has assumed form since the passing of the 1965 immigration legislation. Even though Asians have been arriving in the United States since the middle of the 1980s, only in the previous four decades have the waves been remarkable. At some stage in that period, the U.S. Asian population has increased dramatically, and Asians one of today’s fastest-growing ethnic and racial minorities in the nation (ibid).
Asian immigration to and settlement in the United States is somewhat well recognized. Generally, Asian immigrants are geographically concentrated, with the imm...
7 Pages(1750 words)Assignment

Women in American Politics: Past and Future Challenges

The official political role of women in the colonial period was not definite at all. Political rights were founded profoundly on ascribed status such as birthrights and on achieved status such as property. Religion also contributed in determining who could and could not play a part in politics. There was no steady and widespread difficulty in the participation of women in political life, yet only a small number of women voted in England and North American colonies, and hardly any women participated in politics to the degree of putting into effect political influence (ibid). In reality, the minority had any public office at all in England, and no women can be recognized as holding elective political office in the colonies.
It...
19 Pages(4750 words)Research Proposal

American Airlines: Supply Chain Nightmare

For this reason, it is necessary that all business sectors are carefully reviewed – as often as possible – for the appropriateness of their structure and their daily needs; managers may fail to evaluate with accuracy their firm’s needs, a fact that can cause the failure of plans applied on the relevant organization (Hardless, 2005). On the other hand, the needs of various organizational departments are different; the methods used for the improvement of a firm’s activities should be flexible taking into consideration the characteristics of the specific organizational sector, its strengths/ weaknesses but also its role in the development of the firm’s activities. Boeing is a firm with a long presence in...
15 Pages(3750 words)Case Study

Sociology and the Cinema

However, sometimes, we need a little help; we don’t know everything in the world and we never will. We need to be educated.
To do that, this paper will place a movie under a sociological perspective, to be more specific, Pretty Woman (1990). While the story may be one from rags to riches it certainly isn’t a Cinderella one. In real life, there aren’t any fairy godmothers who can Bibbidibobbidiboo away our problems. Instead, we try and figure them out, attempt to solve them, and hope for the best.
I’ve decided to use two theories that I think best explain the way the characters in the movie behaved the way they did—the theory of individualism by Alexis De Tocqueville and the theory of feminis...
8 Pages(2000 words)Assignment

Asher B. Durand and the American Landscape

...ASHER B DURAND Asher Brown Durand (August 21, 1796-September 17, 1886) was an American painter of Hudson River School. He was born at Jefferson Village which is now known as Maplewood, New Jersey. He was the eighth child of the eleven children of his father who was a watchmaker and a silversmith. Durand died at the age of 90 years, an exceptional expanse of time in an era when the life expectancy was limited to 45 to 50 years in America. Durand was an accomplished etcher before he turned his attention to painting. He was the acknowledged dean of the American landscape school from his election as president of The National Academy of Design in 1845, until his death. During these forty years, he set the tone for American landscape painting...
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay

The Values of Japanese Manga and American Comics

...The Values of Japanese Manga and American Comics: a comparative perspective on heroes, their symbolism, and envelopment A comic, an extremely popularart form of the modern times, is widely considered as an essential companion for children and teens. Due to its abundant use of imagery, incorporation of fantasy materials and emphasis over basic emotions of both childhood and adolescence, comics, in the recent times, have created a separate range of appeal at the psychical level of youngsters. However there are several disputes regarding inception of comics as a special kind of art form in the modern world. Douglas Wolk observes in this context, “A whole subculture of comics expert spend their time debating what the first comics was, trying...
14 Pages(3500 words)Thesis

American Political Communications

... positive feeling expressed by any person or event. In contrast, it contains a shot of a group of Americans protesting against the health plan which induces a negative feeling as the target audience usually relate to the public shown in tapes. There are no shots in this ad showing the American flag which usually gives the audience a sense of oneness, leaving a positive effect. The video does not have any positive comments regarding the health plan which means that both sides of an argument are never featured in the same ad. There are several shots in this advertisement showing various political leaders making comments regarding the health plan which aims at statistically proving the lack of support regarding the same. It includes shots...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
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 Critique of Feminism in American Cinema for FREE!

Contact Us