The world of cinema as we see it today has been the result of an everlasting change that’s been within it since it first took root little before the twentieth century began. There are a lot of aspects that had developed in film making from the technology that a film maker uses to the complexity of storytelling structure. But there is one particular aspect I would like to discuss. It is something that has been argued and fought over not only in the film industry but also outside of it in politics and social science and is still discussed on many levels to this day. I would like to talk about the representation of gender within film.
What you see on the screen, referred to as the mise-en-scène, in a theatre is exactly what the director of the film has intended for you to see, and even though the director maybe presenting his concerns on the screen to you it is often dictated by how the audience will expect to see their culture and society to be represented, no matter how idealistic it might be. As Robert Stam writes in his book Film Theory: An Introduction “Rather than simply recording reality, the camera conveyed the world already filtered through a bourgeois ideology which makes the individual subject the focus and origin of meaning, thus giving the all-seeing spectator the illusion of being omniscient and omnipresent” (pg 137).
The representation of gender in cinema was usually done in the same way in classical Hollywood narrative with the male figure being the hero figure that is the most active, strongest and the cause and therefore the resolution of every event in the storyline and the female figure, on the other hand, being more passive and weak and while she may be contributing to the storyline she is always in need of help from the hero figure. On an added note the femme-fatale figure is often glossed over and sexualised just for the sake of giving the male spectators something to look at.
All constructed imagery in cinema will always have an...