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Archive for December, 2011

Bonnie and Clyde

By far the best screening we have seen all year. Bonnie and Clyde  produced by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway seems to be a crime/love film based on the actual notorious Barrow gang. Bonnie a small-town girl seeks this handsome criminal Clyde. Because of Bonnie’s curiosity  Clyde takes Bonnie on a run(a robbery) with him and show her how his life is. Bonnie loves it at first then starts to regret the lifestyle later on in the movie. Bonnie never understood  that they will always be on the run and she wouldn’t be able to see her mother as often. My favorite part of the movie was when the Barrow gang tied up the cop and started taking pictures with him. I enjoyed this part because I had a feeling he was going to be apart of Bonnie and Clyde’s capture. Its sad to say I was rooting that they would get away but it is a movie and most criminals get caught or punished in films as they should.

Scene Analysis 2: Forma Analysis

Laura Mulvey analysis of films caused her to come up with this theory called the “Male Gaze”. The “Male Gaze” theory argues that the various “looks” at work in cinema (the gaze of the camera, of the characters on screen, and the spectator) tend to reinforce a male perspective. (Herzog1) I want  to agree with Mulvey but I have came across this film in my Media Studies class that has made me disagree. Most but not all films have a male perspective. The film I came across was Lady Eve Directed by Preston Sturges. This film has one particular scene i would like to share with my audience .

Sturges shows us the exact opposite of Laura’s theory of  “Male Gaze” in his film Lady Eve. Sturges plays with his audience mind but giving us the perspective of a female which was not likely of the time.  The scene i want to focus on is from 5:40- 8:13. This is the scene where Mr. Pike just enters the diner or eating area and every girl eyes are focused on him. In this scene Mr.Pike gets analyzed by Jean one of the many gold diggers  on the boat. Sturges gives us the opportunity to get a look at  “Woman Gaze”.

This scene is opened up with Mr. Pike reading a book called “Are Snakes Necessary?” the camera focuses on the book( extreme close-up) then slowly far away from the book including Mr.Pike on the screen (medium shot). Sturges then throws the audience in the “Male Gaze”. We are looking around the room as if we are Mr.Pike and all we see is all of these females focus on who appears to be Mr.Pike. Mr.Pike facial expressions shows that he is actually puzzled. His facial expression speaks he doesn’t show interest in these women because they are creeping him out by staring at him. Sturges then switches the perspective around 6:30

Sturges puts our focus on Jean who is actually focusing on Mr.Pike through a mirror. The camera first shows a medium shot of Jean then comes to a close-up to show she is the main focus. Jean is rather different from the other girls, she doesn’t smile up in Mr.Pike face but analyzes him and all the other girls in the room. The mirror helps us see her perspective. We  experience an extremely close-up shot on the mirror . The mirror helps Jean not look like she is the same as the other females just staring at Mr.Pikes. As we look through the mirror we see three females and Mr.Pikes. Unlike the “Male Gaze” we dont see the positive side of the gaze. Jean provides us with a negative gaze by just sitting there and criticizing as if there was nothing impressive through her perspective.

Sturges backs my argument up that Mulvey theory is actually true but arguable. We can experience a female perspective without it being strange to the viewer. Yes the “male gaze” is often shown more but “female gaze” is the exact same thing. Showing the gaze of both genders just makes the film more realistic. i say more realistic because woman have their own perspective and females perspectives weren’t  really shown. There are plenty of movies that also show women perspective for an example in todays modern film muscle men with their shirts off.

Camera movements in this scene had a really important role for an example the camera focuses on the book Are Snakes Necessary? But why? Sturges gives us the hint that we can suggest that snakes are very important in this film. My analogy of this focus was because he discovered a snake and Jean’s personality through out the film. Most snakes are often sneaky  and so was Jean. Watching this scene you can also see Sturges gives every other girl just a medium shot rather than the close up he gave Jean (6:35) to show they are not as important as her. Or was that purposely done to show us that we were going to see her perspective. I admire the way Sturges displays both gazes in the matter of 3 minutes in the film and shows that they are kind of congruent and a female gaze is no different from a Male’s.


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