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In considering the way that films are put together, many feminist film critics have pointed to the "male gaze" that predominates in classical Hollywood filmmaking; Patricia Earens says that” Hitchcock depicts women in classic Hollywood cinema as they are inevitably made into passive objects of male voyeuristic and sadistic impulses; how they exist simply to fulfill the male desires and express their anxieties in the audience” TANIA MODLESKI Hitchcock , feminism, and the patriarchal unconscious Indeed, for women filmgoers can only have masochistic relation to this cinema . "What counts is what the heroine provokes, or rather what she represents. She is the one, or rather the love or fear she inspires in the hero, or else the concern he feels for her, who makes him act the way he does. In herself the woman has not the slightest importance." Laura Mulvey's influential essay "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” expands on this conception of the passive role of women in cinema to argue that film provides visual pleasure through scopophilia, and identification with the on-screen male actor. She asserts: "In their traditional exhibitionist role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so that they can be said to connote to-be-looked-at-ness,” and as a result contends that in film a woman is the "bearer of meaning, not maker of meaning.” Mulvey argues that Lacan's psychoanalytic theory is the key to understanding how film creates such a space for female sexual objectification and exploitation through the combination of the patriarchal order of society, and 'looking' in itself as a pleasurable act of voyeurism, as "the cinema satisfies a primordial wish for pleasurable looking." Whilst Laura Mulvey's paper has a particular place in the feminist film theory, it is also important to note that her ideas regarding ways of watching the cinema (from the...
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