Weekly Reading Review

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The readings for this week concerned much upon the origins of meanings that we derive from the images we observe, whether advertisement, entertainment or social interactions. The consensus among Mayne and Gledhill is that what we perceive has nothing to do with what we actually see and everything to do with how we have been trained to feel. Mayne focuses on the way feminine themes are portrayed in cinema and Gledhill describes the framework for forming those meanings. Mayne explores the history of feminist film and draws conclusions and parallels between the social setting and the images displayed within the movies. Contradiction is shown as a major theme of feminine culture which is brought to light in film such as the thought of “woman” as an image. The revealing of contradictions and victimization of women through film produced an interesting mirror-effect that challenged the patriarchal status quo. Mayne also mentions the danger and opportunity of an audience’s willingness to accept the “reality” the film as true. Mainstream films have portrayed women as submissive to men and as victims to tragedy. This can be seen with gender dynamics and plot within the films or even reoccurring scenes in which the woman is physically shown as lower than the man. Many movies and scenes are shot from the perspective of the male character, thus perpetuating the audience identifying with the man and the idea of woman as an object to be viewed. The contradictions when planned and shown in film, however, produce an interesting effect on the audience and the meanings they form. A woman viewer who can identify with the contradiction may view the scene as a parody expose of this phenomenon and extrapolate endless meaning from its image as a negati... ... middle of paper ... ...amily and coworkers seem stuck in their proletariat cycle, Ana attempts to form her own sense of femininity and way in which she interacts with the world and ultimately succeeds. Mayne relates to the movie in that this movie, while exposing the proletariat cycle and revealing alternatives to mainstream femininity, does not incorporate the gender struggle. Of the four main male characters, her father, grandfather, Mr Guzman and Jimmy, none of them seemed to have a flaw or have any effect except positive on Ana. While this may be to highlight the total femininity of the film, there seemed to be minimal gender discrimination or tension. This can also be seen in which the distributor, a woman, shuts down Ana and Estelle. The only gender tension seen is between females. Both articles address the contradictions associated with femininity and the tension that it can create.
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