Feminist Film Theory: A Reader

Overview

For the past twenty-five years, cinema has been a vital terrain on which feminist debates about culture, representation, and identity have been fought. This anthology charts the history of those debates, bringing together the key, classic essays in feminist film theory. Feminist Film Theory maps the impact of major theoretical developments on this growing field-from structuralism and psychoanalysis in the 1970s, to post-colonial theory, queer theory, and postmodernism in the ...
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Overview

For the past twenty-five years, cinema has been a vital terrain on which feminist debates about culture, representation, and identity have been fought. This anthology charts the history of those debates, bringing together the key, classic essays in feminist film theory. Feminist Film Theory maps the impact of major theoretical developments on this growing field-from structuralism and psychoanalysis in the 1970s, to post-colonial theory, queer theory, and postmodernism in the 1990s.

Covering a wide range of topics, including oppressive images, "woman" as fetishized object of desire, female spectatorship, and the cinematic pleasures of black women and lesbian women, Feminist Film Theory is an indispensable reference for scholars and students in the field.

Contributors include Judith Butler, Carol J. Clover, Barbara Creed, Michelle Citron, Mary Ann Doane, Teresa De Lauretis, Jane Gaines, Christine Gledhill, Molly Haskell, bell hooks, Claire Johnston, Annette Kuhn, Julia Lesage, Judith Mayne, Tania Modleski, Laura Mulvey, B. Ruby Rich, Kaja Silverman, Sharon Smith, Jackie Stacey, Janet Staiger, Anna Marie Taylor, Valerie Walkerdine, and Linda Williams.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Beginning with an essay by Sharon Smith from the first issue of the American journal in 1972, this anthology brings together key and classic essays that chart a history of feminist debates about culture, representation, and identity within the context of the film media. Edited by Thornham (media and cultural studies, U. of Sunderland), contributors include bell hooks, Molly Haskell, Claire Johnston & B. Ruby Rich; and topics range from oppressive images to the cinematic pleasures of black women. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
From the Publisher

"Feminist Film Theory . . .collects many of the most important contributions to feminist debates about film on both sides of the Atlantic into a well-organized anthology . . ."

-Resources for Feminist Research,

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814782446
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1999
  • Pages: 361
  • Sales rank: 753,827
  • Product dimensions: 6.74 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Sue Thornham is Professor and Head of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Sunderland.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. I Taking up the Struggle 7
1 The Image of Women in Film: Some Suggestions for Future Research 14
2 The Woman's Film 20
3 Women's Cinema as Counter-Cinema 31
4 The Crisis of Naming in Feminist Film Criticism 41
Pt. II The Language of Theory 51
5 Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema 58
6 Caught and Rebecca: The Inscription of Femininity as Absence 70
7 Oedipus Interruptus 83
8 Lost Objects and Mistaken Subjects 97
Pt. III The Female Spectator 109
9 Women and Film: A Discussion of Feminist Aesthetics 115
10 Afterthoughts on "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" inspired by King Vidor's Duel in the Sun (1946) 122
11 Film and the Masquerade: Theorising the Female Spectator 131
12 Women's Genres: Melodrama, Soap Opera and Theory 146
Pt. IV Textual Negotiations 159
13 Pleasurable Negotiations 166
14 Video Replay: Families, Films and Fantasy 180
15 Feminine Fascinations: Forms of Identification in Star-Audience Relations 196
16 Taboos and Totems: Cultural Meanings of The Silence of the Lambs 210
Pt. V Fantasy, Horror and the Body 227
17 Her Body, Himself: Gender in the Slasher Film 234
18 Horror and the Monstrous-Feminine: An Imaginary Abjection 251
19 Film Bodies: Gender, Genre and Excess 267
Pt. VI Re-thinking Differences 285
20 White Privilege and Looking Relations: Race and Gender in Feminist Film Theory 293
21 The Oppositional Gaze: Black Female Spectators 307
22 Cinema and the Dark Continent: Race and Gender in Popular Film 321
23 Gender is Burning: Questions of Appropriation and Subversion 336
Copyright Acknowledgements 353
Index 355
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