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46-57). Kjell (1999, pp. 115-128) and Pointon (1994, pp. 25-33) state that these works are simply a reflection of the society’s view by analysing how the women portrayed in film relate to the broader historical context, the stereotypes depicted, the extent to which the women are shown as active or passive beings and the amount of screen time given to them.
The early works of Marjorie Rosen and Molly Haskell on representation of women in film was part of a movement to make depictions of women more realistic both in documentaries and narrative cinema. According to Armstrong and Catherine (2006, pp. 23-34), the growing female presence in the film industry was seen as a positive step towards realisation of this goal by drawing attention to feminist issues and putting forth alternatives and more true to life views of women. However, these images are still meditated by the same factors in the tradition film such as moving camera, composition, editing, lighting and all varieties of sound (Barnet 1993, pp. 45-51; Pointon 1994, pp. 25-33). It is important to acknowledge the value of inserting positive representation of women in film but real change would only be realised by considering the role of film in society from the semiotic point of view.
It is important to understand the role of women as defined by the male gaze is central to understanding the position of women in society (Armstrong and Catherine 2006, pp. 23-34). A woman’s position in social stratification is defined by her outward manifestation and thus a person is identified first by their gender (Kjell 1999, pp. 115-128). The film is a major form of visual popular culture and it is associated with visual representations and the gaze (Barnet 1993, pp. 45-51). In film, the gaze is basically the outlook of the camera (Kjell 1999, pp. 115-128). The gaze can be used as a powerful discourse because the outlook of the camera fosters identification with the audience. Armstrong and Catherine
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