Readings for 4/14

For my paper, I’m going to be researching “Psycho” by Alfred Hitchcock. The readings for this week were supposed to, in a sense, aid me in my research. However, the reading by Laura Mulvey kind of confused me. “The paradox of phallocentrism in all its manifestations is that it depends on the image of the castrated woman to give order and meaning to its world” (p711) Considering that was in just the second paragraph, I had to prepare myself for the rest of the reading.

What I did find interesting about the reading was section 3 “Woman as image, man as bearer of the look” I thought this section was really interesting because Mulvey hit the nail on the head. While men have a tendency to stare, women have a tendency to possess a look that has a very strong visual and erotic impact. We have a certain “to-be-looked-at-ness”, as Mulvey puts it. The image of a woman is material for the male fantasy. This, in a sense, solidifies the ideology that women have a certain power over men, although socially, men are considered to be more powerful.

Learning about the signified and signifier is something that I went over back in Media 300. The reading by Christian Metz definitely touches on those points. “What is characteristic of cinema, is no the imaginary that it may happen to represent, but the imaginary that is from the start, the imaginary that consitutes it as a signifier…” (p 695). This sentence, in a way, sums up what cinema is a signifier for in somewhat of a simplistic way. Aside from documentaries, cinema is used to represent something that isn’t real, and it isn’t real from beginning to end. Movies are something that someone creates in a controlled environment, not real life. However, Metz is correct in saying that there is a certain presence and certain absence of the imaginary. From what I gathered, I understood that on the one hand, there is the absence of real life, but there is also the presence of an idea created, and therefore signifies something else.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

Spam prevention powered by Akismet

Skip to toolbar