Seeing our like: Conceptualising a post-‘male gaze’ style of filmmaking

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Authors
Berry, Ingrid
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Degree
Master of Creative Practice
Grantor
Unitec Institute of Technology
Date
2022
Supervisors
Wood, Becca
Wagner, Daniel
Type
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Keyword
film studies
Hollywood films
male gaze
women in film
feminism
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Citation
Berry, I. (2022). Seeing our like: Conceptualising a post-‘male gaze’ style of filmmaking (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Creative Practice). Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5966
Abstract
For over a century society has shown a huge appetite for Hollywood films. Hollywood films have been successful in reaching a wide and diverse audience. Despite the breadth of exposure, a dominant lens, that of the White heterosexual male prevails over this industry. Over time, conventions in filmmaking have been established that have placed this group in the centre; distancing, objectifying and ultimately dehumanising ‘other’ groups, such as; women, African American, Indigenous, and gender diverse people. Ryan Gosling’s character looks up at a massive hologram of a slim nude woman walking and crouching in slow motion in Blade Runner 2049 (2017), Lost in Translation (2003) opens with a partial shot of Scarlet Johansen’s bottom in underpants as she is lying on a bed, and a close up of Margot Robbie lifting her skirt to reveal her knickers in Bomshell (2019) are some examples that indicate that the ‘male gaze’ term that feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey introduced us to 45 years ago is just as relevant now as ever. Feminist film theorists identify dualisms that exist in the ‘subject’ – ‘object’ style of filmmaking, the power inherent in modes of looking, and the scope of representation of women in films. In my search for ways to put these theories into practice I discovered common concepts in the work of filmmakers such as Agnes Varda, Chantal Akerman and Jane Campion who have successfully disrupted patriarchal film constructs and offered alternative methods of film language. I have created a series of short clips applying techniques from a post-‘male gaze’ framework I have developed based on my practice-led research. The short clips along with my exegesis offer a collection of concepts that dismantle patriarchal film structures and present alternative methods of storytelling through a feminist lens.
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