Female Gaze Theme Week

The Female Gaze: The Roundup

Channing Tatum is reunited with Matt Bomer and Joe Manganiello in 'Magic Mike XXL'

Check out all of the posts from our Female Gaze Theme Week here.

The Female Gaze: Dido and Noni, Two of a Kind

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Directors Amma Asante and Gina Prince-Bythewood illustrate that when a story is told through the eyes of the second sex, themes, such as romance, self-worth, and identity are fully fleshed out. By examining an 18th century British aristocrat and a 21st century pop superstar, it proves that in the span of three centuries, women still face adversity in establishing a firm identity, apart from the façade, amongst the white noise of societal expectations.

How Catherine Breillat Uses Her Own Painful Story to Discuss the Female Gaze in ‘Abuse of Weakness’

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The female gaze is more than simply “reversing” the male gaze; it allows for a questioning of why the male gaze is so inherently built into cinema and why women are aggressively sexualised within cinema. With ‘Abuse of Weakness,’ Breillat attacks both of these concerns whilst also actively encouraging identification with Maud – our female protagonist.

The Capaldi Conundrum: How We Attack the Female Gaze

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In any fandom based on visual media, fangirls are attacked because of the way the female gaze is misunderstood and misrepresented.

Murder Spouses and Field Kabuki: The Female Gaze in NBC’s ‘Hannibal’

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The show treats the bodies of living women with the same respect that it treats those of dead ones.

The Male Gaze, LOL: How Comedies Are Changing the Way We Look

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The body is no longer a Lacanian reflected ideal, it is a biological mess that often exists beyond anyone’s control. The effect of this convention is two-fold–a bait and switch of expectations but also the creation of a sense of biological sameness: man or woman, everybody poops. By placing the body in a biological space instead of a symbolic one, physical comedy is questioning the visual tendencies of subconscious desire.

‘Thelma and Louise’: Redefining the Female Gaze

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The violence may decrease as the movie progresses, but Thelma, Louise – and we – become comfortable about their actions as the film winds down, because they were now tapped into our veins, nourishing our battered spirits with acts that said, “See? We recognize your anger, cause we’re angry – and we’re not going to take it anymore.”

Please Look Now: The Female Gaze in ‘Magic Mike XXL’

The poster for 'Magic Mike XXL'. It's hard not to look...

The trailer offers a kind of meta-advertisement, recognising the very marketing strategies that attracted people, including women, to the previous film. Cutting between clips of the men performing various routines, the trailer includes the line, “We didn’t want to show the best parts of the movie in this trailer but it was very very hard to resist,” before inviting the audience to #comeagain this summer.

No, You Can’t Watch: The Queer Female Gaze on Screen

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The desire to show a complex version of yourself seen with male characters in the Male Gaze, alongside a desire for a complex version of your partner seen with male recipients of desire in the Female Gaze, combines in the Queer Female Gaze to produce sexual and romantic relationships often rooted in friendship.

“Everything Is Going To Be OK!” – How the Female Gaze Was Celebrated and Censored in ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’

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In other words, there was a concerted effort to twist the female gaze into a male one under the belief that CLAMP’s blend of hyper-femininity and action would be unappealing for the male audience it was being aimed at.

Catherine Breillat’s Transfigurative Female Gaze

A Real Young Girl (Une vraie jeune fille)

Breillat’s complete oeuvre (which certainly demands our attention beyond these three films) delivers continually shocking treatment of female sexuality presented though the female gaze. She wants us to be uncomfortable and to be constantly questioning both representations of female desire and our responses to those representations, and how all of it is shaped by a religious, patriarchal culture.

Pleading for the Female Gaze Through Its Absence in ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’

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The female gaze, such as it exists in a world that denies its existence, is an insular one that exists between Adele and Emma as opposed to how the film itself is shot. The film presents the case for the female gaze by examining what happens when it’s withheld.