Feminism and Film

Feminism and Film

Feminism and Film

Feminism and Film

Synopsis

The first study to apply a broad range of theory to contemporary film. With dazzling insight and critical aplomb, Maggie Humm highlights and explains feminist issues and offers a fascinating array of original film analyses. She draws on the work of Laura Mulvey, Annette Kuhn, E. Ann Kaplan and bell hooks to examine films such as Klute, Dead Ringers, A Question of Silence, Orlando and Daughters of the Dust.

Excerpt

In Adam's Rib, Spencer Tracy tells Katharine Hepburn: 'You get cute when you get causey'. One of the many reasons I began to explore feminist theory was my very sad discovery that there is a vast discrepancy between Tracy's delight and most other men's attitudes. What such an exploration inevitably teaches is that forms of language are not simply technologies of communication but are intensely caught up in social judgements about gender. This applies equally to visual languages and thus the language of film. Yet in film studies, contemporary feminist social theories and film analysis are not usually considered together. Film studies, like much of communication studies in general, often separates its areas of inquiry from feminism's social insights. There are good historical reasons which go some way to explain why film theory is somewhat immured in racially undifferentiated psychoanalytic theory at the expense of other more general ways of thinking: for example, the institutional centrality of important, key theoretical journals like Screen as well as social sciencesʹ and humanities' focus on specific theories of psychoanalysis at the expense of more racially problematised theories. But currently in a time of backlash against feminism there is a good deal at stake in extending, not curtailing, feminist critiques and in trying to use feminism's analytical tools.

Feminism and Film, then, involves a discussion both of feminist theories and of what feminist theories can help us to see and newly understand in some contemporary films. Why the linkage of feminism and film matters is because all representations, visual or otherwise, are what make gendered constructions of knowledge and subjectivity possible. Without representations we have no gender identities, and through representations we shape our gendered world.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.