w o m e n & c i n e m a …The Making and Unmaking of Reality… Viewing Exercise The Office (UK) The Office (US) Look for: Differences in photographic technique. Differences in mise-en-scene. Consider: The affect of these differences on the audience in how they interpret the story.
…The Making and Unmaking of Reality…
Differences in photographic technique.
Differences in mise-en-scene.
The affect of these differences on the audience in how they interpret the story.
The social and political implications of these differences in reception.
“Changing how we see images is clearly one way to change the world” (6).
Representations can go a long way to making one feel like one is seeing oneself as part of the world, but as bell hooks warns, they can also be misleading.
Merely seeing a lot of women in movies doesn’t mean we’re seeing an accurate or meaningful representation of women’s lives, or a critical engagement with the categories of gender themselves.
The same is true of race…
Filmmaker Issac Julien:
“…blackness as a sign is never enough. What does that black subject do, how does it act, how does it think politically?”
Cultural Theorist Stuart Hall:
“the moment the signifier ‘black’ is torn from its historical, cultural, and political embedding and lodged in a biologically constituted racial category, we valorize, by inversion, the very ground of the racism we are trying to deconstruct” (7).
“Whether we like it or not, cinema assumes a pedagogical role in the lives of many people. It may not be the intent of a filmmaker to teach audiences anything, but that does not mean that lessons are not learned” (2).
It might be that we learn more about race, class and sex at the movies and other dominant forms of moving picture media than we do from any other cultural source!
We may go to the movies to travel, to see difference, to be scared, to be taken out of our comfort zone, but often what we receive in these experiences teaches us to retreat from these desires for otherness rather than to affirm them.
“Movies remain the perfect vehicle for the introduction of certain ritual rites of passage that come to stand for the quintessential experience of border crossing for everyone who wants to take a look at difference the different without having to experientially engage “the other.”