American Independent Cinema: Representational Analysis of Women

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American Independent Cinema:
Representational Analysis of Women

Throughout the years women have had a very hard time making their presence known in the male-dominated film industry. Since the very beginning females have been overlooked in the film and television industries. In the competitive harsh world of cinema women have been represented in numerous ways. They have been traditionally viewed in an over-sexualized manner, as objects, or as secondary characters supporting a male character within these films. They have been given minor or less important roles such as housewives, girlfriends, and caring/ sweet individuals.

“The Hollywood film industry itself has been (and continues to be to a large extent) male-dominated. Hence, male directors, producers, writers, and cinematographers all use the camera as an instrument to look at women.” (Benshoff, pg.235)

Gender also plays a large responsibility in the film industry when pertaining to what females can and can not do in films. Male characters are usually main characters and “in charge” within films, whereas the
female characters are usually limited to just looking pretty while still remaining passive and somewhat outside of all the action within the story. Women today feel a large amount of pressure to look and behave like these female actresses portrayed on the big screen. With the preparation of these films women usually take a very long time in hair and make-up for the sole purpose of looking attractive and gaining more male attention in the films. Many females fail to realize how much time and preparation really goes into the looks and costume designs of the characters that are being portrayed within the film industry. In today’s society female’s feel as though they have to be beautiful and live up to a certain stereotype and “look” that is extremely unrealistic. “Real Women Have Curves (2002)” was a film directed by Patricia Cardoso that challenges...
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