Week 3 Spectatorship and Gaze

KEY BULLET POINTS:  from Chandler’s version of Mulvey
  • Mulvey notes that Freud had referred to (infantile) scopophilia – the pleasure involved in looking at other people’s bodies as (particularly, erotic) objects
  • In the darkness of the cinema auditorium it is notable that one may look without being seen either by those on screen by other members of the audience.
  • She declares that in patriarchal society ‘pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female’ (Mulvey 1992, 27)
  • Traditional films present men as active, controlling subjects and treat women as passive objects of desire for men in both the story and in the audience, and do not allow women to be desiring sexual subjects in their own right.
  • Men do the looking; women are there to be looked at.
  • The cinematic codes of popular films ‘are obsessively subordinated to the neurotic needs of the male ego’ (ibid., 33). It was Mulvey who coined the term ‘the male gaze’.

Here is an example of a bollywood song and how the narrative is interpreted which defines the key points I have mentioned above.

Song: From recent film Dabang 2010

Taakte rehte tujhko saanjh savere – ( I keep looking at you evening and morning)
Nainon mein haye ( there is something in your eyes)
Nainon mein haye

Taakte rehte tujhko saanjh savere
Nainon mein basiya jaise nain yeh tere
Nainon mein basiya jaise nain yeh tere
Tere mast mast do nain ( your two beautiful eyes)
Mere dil ka le gaye chain ( stole my thoughts)
Mere dil ka le gaye chain
Tere mast mast do nain
(Tere mast mast do nain
Mere dil ka le gaye chain
Mere dil ka le gaye chain
Tere mast mast do nain)

Pehle pehal tujhe dekha toh dil mera dhadka haye dhadka dhadka haye – (when i so you for the first time my heart beats)

The song has a very significance meaning between the spectatorship and gaze however when you watch the clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZO1beTG2o7E&feature=related

focuses on the  joy and pleasure in the way how men would like the women to be the perfect image in society and how they idiolise, the perfect body, men do the looking; women are there to be looked.

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