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Visual and Other Pleasures (Theories of Represen) Paperback – April 1, 1989


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Paperback, April 1, 1989
$23.39 $0.16
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Theories of Represen
  • Paperback: 201 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press (April 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253204941
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253204943
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,355,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Laura Mulvey did not invent feminist film criticism, but her short piece "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" is a seminal essay, cited more often than almost any other single article on the movies. Mulvey brought psychoanalysis, the experience of pleasure, and the idea of the male gaze into the mainstream of feminist film criticism. Visual and Other Pleasures reprints her famous analysis along with other important essays on film melodrama, avant-garde cinema, the Oedipus myth, and directors Douglas Sirk, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and Jean-Luc Godard. Unlike many academic critics, Mulvey writes with refreshing clarity. Arguments that in other hands might seem dense and thorny are both comprehensible and enlightening here. --Raphael Shargel

Review

"A lucid and poignant look back at the British film culture of the 1970s and '80s -- Hollywood and the avant-garde, feminism and psychoanalysis -- from the present of digital and electronic new spectatorships." -- Teresa de Lauretis, University of California, Santa Cruz
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
Much of the work done over the past 25 years in feminist film theory has been in response to Laura Mulvey's "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema," which is included in this collection. Many essays, here, expand, refine or modify Mulvey's original polemic, while others introduce new topics in the visual arts.
Though "Visual Pleasure" is certainly not the last word in feminist film criticism, it is among the first. As so much work in the field is in response to this single essay, it is a must-read for anyone embarking on feminist film criticism. Though Mulvey's argumentation is weak, the ideas presented, here, gave birth to a fruitful avenue of critical pursuit.
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By Pam Williamson on April 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is an excellent source for an art history
major interested in incorporating visuals. Excellent
source to use! Sweet!
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14 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Speaker To Animals on February 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
This collection includes Laura Mulvey's bafflingly influential essay `Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema', an article which represents a high water mark in the barking lunacy of psychoanalytically inclined film theory.

For Mulvey, `patriarchy' and `phallocentrism in all its manifestations' depends upon the image of the `castrated woman' to give order and meaning to its world: `Woman's desire is subjected to her image as bearer of the bleeding wound, she can exist only in relation to castration and cannot transcend it.' The woman's lack of a phallus gives meaning to the man's possession of such, and the power and status it brings. This process is both displayed and reinforced in the cinema.

Cinema, according to Mulvey, affords two forms of pleasure: `scopophilia', the erotic, voyeuristic pleasure of subjecting others to a `controlling and curious gaze' and which is associated with the `libido'; and the `narcissistic' pleasure of `identification' with the male protagonist (or the camera's point of view) which Mulvey associates with the `mirror phase' of Jaques Lacan's crackpot psychology: the moment that the child misrecognises himself ion his own reflection, thereby constituting his `ego'.

For Mulvey identification is *always* with the male point of view, even for the female audience, and female characters are always subject to the controlling male gaze. Male protagonists and audiences are active, female characters and spectators are passive. There is no room in Mulvey's ramblings for the pleasures of the female viewer, other than masochism, and no room either for identification across gender, or for identification for gay audiences: the male form cannot be subject to eroticization in the way that the female form can.
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4 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Bobby33x on August 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
Visual and Other Pleasures (Language, Discourse, Society)

My God, I could only read about 20 pages of this pretentious nonsense! Are people like Ms Mulvey (or Mulva?) really considered intellectuals by the larger society? Boy, no wonder we're in trouble as a nation. The lunatics are truly running the asylum!
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