This book is a study of one of the most insidious and pervasive phenomena in the study and reception of cinema: the “returned gaze” from the screen, in which the audience is actually surveilled by the film being projected on the screen. Rather than the usual process of watching a film, in those films which return the gaze of the viewer, the film looks at us, confronting our voyeur’s embrace of the spectacle it presents. The book cites examples as diverse as Andy Warhol’s Vinyl, Laurel and Hardy two-reel comedies, the films of Jean-Marie Straub, Jean-Luc Godard, Roberto Rossellini, and Wesley E. Barry’s Creation of the Humanoids. It also discusses the history of the returned gaze in video, pornography, surveillance systems, and the related plastic arts.
About the Author
Wheeler Winston Dixon is Chairperson of the Film Studies Program at University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He is the author of Re-Viewing British Cinema, 1900-1992: Essays and Interviews, also published by SUNY Press.
Table of ContentsList of Illustrations
It Looks at You: The Returned Gaze of Cinema/Video Reception
Surveillance in the Cinema: The Black Box
The Trans/Gendered Gaze: The "I" of the Beholder
The Politics of Desire: Spectacles of the Forbidden
Dreams of the State: Control of the Spectatorial Body
The Armed Response: The Screen's Gaze Returned, or the Gorgon's Mirror