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Flashcards in Feminism Deck (15):

John Berger - division of labor

Men act + women appear. M look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at
•Specific division of labour
•Women serve as muses + subject matter
•Men are artists
•When both function as matter, represented differently


division of labor in film

men function as protagonist, setting narrative action in motion + focus of spectatorial identification, while women have existed to be looked at and/or play a supporting role.
•W role has remained consistent throughout eras even among all the changes
•We become privvy into info with men, we see world as they do, share perspective, we become aligned with them


Cinematic representation of women

Counter examples can be found throughout film history, but they have been especially pointed since the 1970s
•Great disparity still exist in female participation in film culture


Cinematic representation of women

•Linda Ruth Williams: things have actually changed a lot
•What used to be marginal is now mainstream + vice versa
•Now more W are active + drive narrative


Positive Images

earliest feminist film critics + filmmakers argued in most films women are portrayed in a stereotypical fashion + negative light


Positive images

•W talking about films + making films in hope of contributing to feminist film culture
•Call hollywood on its excesses + blindsights
•More images of w that girls can relate to + learn from


Modern feminist women – 60s-70s

•70s – documentary about women: lives + experiences
•Joyce at 34: career + pregnancy
•union maids: role of women in union movement
•images that recognize women’s lives
•best way to rectify situation is allow W to talk about their lives


positive images flaw

positive feedback + positive as in scientifically (empirical/factual)?
•Should it dedicate itself to good role model/to be grounded in truth/or follow both accounts
•If both, then it’s gonna be very limited


feminist counter-cinema

foregrounds questions of form over those of content
•Film constructs a version of reality
•even if they try to capture reality as much as possible, it is simply the status quo they are capturing
•in order to counter dominant ideology, they must do so through form


feminist counter-cinema - Claire Johnston

•“women’s cinema cannot afford such idealism the truth of our oppression cannot be captured on celluloid with the innocence of the camera: it has to be constructed/manufactured. New meanings have to be created by disrupting the fabric of the male bourgeois cinema within the text of the film”


Claire Johnston - Women’s Cinema as Counter-Cinema

“any revoultionary strategy must challenge the depiction of reality. It is not enough to discuss the oppression of women within the text of the film; the language of the cinema/the depiction of reality must also be interrogated so that a break between ideology and text is effected”


Claire Johnston - Women’s Cinema as Counter-Cinema

•Feminist cinema should dedicate itself to how film constructs gender
•Focus less on content, more on form: how represented through manipulation of style + narrative
•Problem: women is presented as what she represents for man (135)
•How she is understood within patriarchal logic


Claire Johnston - Women’s Cinema as Counter-Cinema

"in order to counter objectification in cinema must embody the working through desire: such objective demands the use of the entertainment film. Ideas derived from the entertainment film should inform the political film + political ideas should inform the entertainment cinema: two way process"


Claire Johnston - Women’s Cinema as Counter-Cinema

She wants the bringing together of entertainment + politics
•Manipulating form in order to present women’s perspective + challenge cinematic conventions within patriarchal system


feminist counter-cinema

blueprint that includes radical films (Riddles of the Sphinx + Orlando) + more conventionally narrative + illusionistic, but tell story from woman’s perspective (Working Girls).
have in common an imperative + a capacity to challenge patriarchal norms