For this week's seminar, we were asked to read 'Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema' by Laura Mulvey so that we could discuss it in the seminar. Unfortunately, I could not attend due to food poisoning, so I will just post a few thoughts.
- It provides a very good example of how to go about applying a particular critical approach to a text, in this case psychoanalysis.
- Daniel Chandler has written a very interesting piece about Mulvey at http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/gaze/gaze09.html He says that it was the first work to introduce the concept of 'the gaze', with Mulvey describing the figure of the woman on screen as the object of desire and "the male gaze". The term is now used in a far wider sense by media theorists and includes both the way that viewers look at a visual text and the gaze of those depicted in the text itself.
- However, at present I am not convinced of the validity of Freudian psychoanalytic theory as a basis for a critical approach. I tend towards Karl Popper's view that psychoanalysis is a 'pseudoscience' as its claims cannot be rigorously tested and subject to possible refutation.