Feminism On Screen

Comparing and discussing the two clips depicting women in different manners highlighted the underlying power of cinematic techniques. The first clip portrayed a woman doing typical mundane tasks through the perspective of a stagnant filming apparatus and the use of long takes. At first, I thought the lack of cuts added to the male gaze, working against feminism because it allowed the viewer to spectate for a long period of time as if subject were a zoo animal. However, after watching the entire clip and realizing that nothing demeaning or sexually arousing was occurring, it was evident that this clip was not a typical portrayal of women in Hollywood Cinema. Furthermore, in comparison to the clip from Klute, the absence of any significant dialogue, music or intricate costumes in the first clip also added to the dull portrayal.

The second clip from the film Klute depicted the female character in an entirely different manner using sexual language, the introduction of two male protagonists, and exotic music in the background. Although the lighting prohibited the audience from explicitly viewing the promiscuous details, the mise-en-scene was enough to convey a sexual image of the female. Mulvey stated that Hollywood Cinema inevitably privileges the male in terms of narrative and spectatorship, which is overt in clips such as Klute, and less so in the first screening we viewed. Nevertheless, the comparison of the two clips was crucial in pointing out the power of lighting choices, camera angles, the use of sound and various other cinematic aspects.

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