- Series: Theories of Representation and Difference
- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Indiana University Press; Second Edition edition (June 22, 1987)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 025320433X
- ISBN-13: 978-0253204332
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,486,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Desire to Desire: The Woman’s Film of the 1940s (Theories of Representation and Difference) Second Edition Edition
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What is female spectatorship? When Hollywood films are geared for an audience of women, what ideals do they tend to promote? How should feminist theory contend with the image of women that the cinema passes on? In The Desire to Desire Mary Ann Doane responds to these questions, focusing specifically on "woman's pictures" of the 1940s. She argues that while most of the films she discusses are conceived through lenses that are masculine in nature, feminists attempting to critique these films should not dismiss them as sexist or attempt to develop a way of seeing that is simply the opposite of the one handed down. Instead, Doane offers a critique of vision itself, contrasting the way the camera views the women in these films, the way the films' female characters look out onto their worlds, and the way the Hollywood movie industry manufactures images that it expects female audiences to consume.
From Publishers Weekly
A professor of film and semiotic theory at Brown University and co-editor of Re-vision: Essays in Feminist Film Criticism, Doane offers a study of four genre subgroups of "the woman's film" of the 1940s: "medical discourse" films, in which male doctors treat female patients (Possessed; maternal melodramas (To Each His Own; love stories (Humoresque; and "paranoid women's films" (Rebecca. Using elements of feminism, psychoanalysis and film theory, she argues that these films simultaneously assert and deny female desire, attributing to the woman only a "gaze" that is impossible for her to expand on or realize. She also asserts that the "processes of imaging women and of specifying the gaze in relation to sexual difference, like most forms of sexism, are far more deeply ingrained than one might suspect." While suggesting avenues for future study, this work is mainly for those committed to the author's viewpoint.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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