Feminist Film Theory
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Feminist film theorists have used psychoanalysis to examine how the male and female viewer relates to film. Laura Mulvey’s 1974 essay ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ is used by theorists as a basis for developing ideas around issues of the spectator’s gender. Mulvey utilises Freudian theories about castration anxiety and scopophilia to explain the fascination of film for the male spectator. Mulvey argues that cinema reflects the patriarchal nature of Western culture, where men are the active/spectator while women are the passive/spectacle.