"How far does a spectator’s gender affect their viewing experience in contemporary cinema?"
When considering the impact of gender against the viewing of the spectator, I feel that in some cases, it does create a strong affect on the individuals viewing by differentiating a audience between a spectator. This is done in theories such as Mulvey's 'Male Gaze' approach. However, I feel that the impact of the auteurs preferred reading through encoded messages with the involvement of cinematography, sound and mise-en-scene overpowers the significance of the spectators gender. Overall, the impact of gender within a spectators viewing has a strong affect in contemporary cinema, however this is overpowered to whether the director allows for the spectator to be active or passive. Para 1
Firstly, one theory that develops the idea of how significant the spectators gender affects their cinema viewing is Freud's theory of psychoanalysis. Moreover, Freud argued the idea that there is no such thing as free will within humans. He further states that humans are with irrational aggressive and sexual drives due to deterministic behaviour. When in relation to the auteur's cinematic decisions having an impact on the spectator's viewing due to gender, in this case, Freud's theory of psychoanalysis develops this idea Para 2
Furthermore, another theory which contributes to the idea of the significance of gender to a spectators cinematic experience is Lacan's "Mirror Stage" theory. In relation to film studies, the theory revolves around the idea of the spectator feeling as if they hold a untouchable power and coherent ego whilst watching a film. This is done through the director allowing for the spectator to view the film through a variety of unexposed viewpoints, leaving them to feel more of a immersion within their cinematic experience. A powerful example of this theory is presented in Afronsky's dark film: "Black Swan". Lacan's theory revolves around the idea of the struggle for identity, which is presented greatly through Nina's character and her journey to her "ideal ego". Firstly, Nina is given the chance to play the lead in Swan Lake, portraying both characters of the pure white swan and the seductive black swan, representing Nina's blurred recognition of her identity through these split personalities; the id and ego identities. Moreover, the camera plays as a intensive spectator, enabling to communicate Nina's emotions. This allows for the spectator to behold power. However, challenging Mulvey's acclaimed theory of the spectator only being a "heterosexual male", the involvement of the male gaze or female gaze theory is not apparent in any way. We do not see Nina have full recognition of herself until after the final chapter of the first act where Nina walks past her cloned reflection through the subway, emitting a strong contrast between the two identities through mise-en-scene; dark clothing and light clothing. After this iconic scene, the theme of mirrors are not represented in the same light anymore. The audience is presented with Nina's journey to full recognition by Nina becoming her reflection due to the self destruction of the perfection that she strives to perpetuate and her own vicious and sexually driven alter ego. The mirrors represent themselves as self destructive and self constructive which highly reinforces Lacan's theory. When in relation to whether the significance of gender plays a big role on the development of Lacans theory, the director has not set a determined spectator viewpoint, allowing for male or female spectatorship. Moreover, both genders would interpret this theoretical idea different, however, a more significant impact to the response of Black Swan is fallen upon the director. Afrosky making sure that he has represented the theme of dark self destruction, using the theme of mirrors as its basis whilst enhancing this representation through the lighting, sound, props, camera movements, etc. For example, every time that Nina looks into a mirror, the diegetic sound of anticipating music is played, which inflicts the spectator, regardless of gender, to feel the emotion of tension whilst watching the film emitting a preferred reading from the spectator.
Additionally, another major role that determines the significance of the subject of gender making a impact on a spectators viewing is Mulvey's theory of the Male Gaze. This idea revolves around the factors of the spectator only beholding the spectaorship of a "heterosexual male" which is further reinforced through voyeuristic and sexual gratification of women in film. Furthermore, another idea rooting from this theory is Mulvey's statement of heightening the "hetrosexual male" spectator through the placement of the men becoming the active role in the narrative whilst the women are placed as passive role. Moreover, in this case, I feel that the film reinforces aspects of the male gaze rather than through female spectatorship. For example, Afrosky involves many scenes of a sexual nature through Nina's character, which reinforces the scopophillic viewing of a male spectator and the awkward response from the female spectator. For example, during the scenes where Nina is masturbating in her bedroom, this could trigger the contrast between the viewpoint of the male and female spectator, due to the reinforced portrayal of the male gaze. For example, during the masturbating scene, there is no involvement of sound other than Nina's heavy breathing, which allows the intensity of the viewing for the spectator. Moreover, a contrast between Nina's actions, and her child-like portrayal through her baggy night dress and stuff toy infested bedroom creates the image of fallen innocence. Additionally, a male spectator would view this interpretation possible in a fetishistic manner, becoming more immersed within the film, whilst a female spectator would feel uncomfortable and avoid being too immersed within the film. Therefore, the significance of gender in relation to spectator viewing is of a important factor within this case due the failure in deep immersion from the female specatator, resulting to the director's constructed meaning being dismissed by women.
Para 4 A major part of defining the significance of gender spectroscope is through the reading of emotional responses that is felt whilst watching an film and how it is interpested. Moreover, there are three stages which the idea of emotional responses are fed from; 'Recognition', 'Alignment', and 'Allegiance'.
Ran out of time. Struggled in the sector of psychoanalysis.
Alignment: How a filmmaker can manipulate or 'Align' the audience emotions towards the. Haram terms within their film. Process of indentification with someone or something. How micro/macro aspects align the spectators view of the film and triggers their emotions.
Platoon Ending: list of how audience would gain a emotional response-
. Sound : The rejoiceful diegetic soundtrack as the main protagonist is narrating as he flys away from the scene creates a theme of sorrow yet relief that the war was over, allowing the audience to feel empathy for the main protagonist and sympathy for the other soldiers that died. The soundtrack gave the audience an idea that the film was coming to an end due to the rejoiceful soundtrack.
The character is placed in a realistic situation which allows the audience to be aligned better with the character, allowing to put themselves in that REALISTIC situation.
A mix of "mood" through sound, lighting, camera work in the screenshot above allowing a rejoiceful ending and throughout the previous amount of the film, the audience was aligned with the character with sympathy due to the realistic however disturbing situations, therefore the audience is relieved at the end of the film along sigh the character. The camerawork,sound and lighting reinforces this emotional response.
Above is two screenshots of Platoon both showing the theme of death, a fear that is normally shared between audiences, therefore by triggering this fear from the audience, it aligns the audience with the emotions of shock, fear and empathy towards his part of the film. Especially in the second screenshot where it is a vivid and crude image of a aerial view of a pit of dead bodies, this triggers the audience response of shock as it's a long shot viewing of the dead bodies in a explicit manner. It is due to this shocking shot that will cause an emotional response of sympathy for the war victims within the movie and how they are being brutally viewed.
For the remaining minute of the Platoon ending, the camera is mainly focused on the main protagonists face during a close up to intensely present this masculine heroin's emotions to the audience. It could be possible that a female spectatorship could relate to the film more so due to this challenging stereotype of the masculine image will perform more of an emotion from a sensitive females view than a male spectator.
Uses a mix mood through MES, plays on fears and phobias of death, and set in a realistic nature.