Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The male gaze focusing on the text from American Beauty

Throughout the clip we can apply laura mulvey's theory of male gaze and how it is presented to us through the text .The first aspect to look at is the way the view of the camera records the text this is shown when the male gaze is presented there is a loud non diegetic sound as it splits the guy from reality to his sort of fantasy version when the cheerleaders form a certain position it zooms focusing on the cheerleader in the middle,there is also a spot light that appears on the character drawing the audience that she is an important main focus.Throughout the male characters fantasy version in the text the camera shots start to zoom even more on to her the audience view close ups of the girls body focusing in features of the male gazes interest for example her chest,in the background of the image it is darken and a school bell is ringing there is no people around other than him and the girl as a long shot is shown to see only him on the stands.

When observing the view of which the audience sees it is clear that the view of the cheerleader girl is from a point of view from the males eyes however the girl is shown to be unaware of the situation and doesn't realize he is staring at her this means the girl is passive and the man is active.Linking this with laura mulveys ideas with the male gaze her theory is proven true in this situation as the man has the dominant ideologically by showing only his view on the girl not including the girls view on him and she is shown as just a object for his scopophilia.

There are 4 different types of characters within the text these are the man,lady,daughter,cheerleader girl these are all shown very differently towards the audience .To begin with the man is shown to be middle aged and appears to have a mid life crisis as he isn't on good terms with his daughter as originally he did not want to come and rather watch James bond films this hints that this is what middle aged men like to do for hobbies.

The lady in the scene appears to also be middle aged she is shown to be caring for her daughter and forcing her husband to come along to the event as it is important,when her husband starts to fantasize about the cheerleader she is unaware that this is occurring so she gets cut out of the scene and this proves she is a passive character in the text. The daughter featured in the scene appears to be very moody and complains about her life to her friend she doesn't seem to be on good terms with her parents so she seems quite distant from them,the stereotype of moody teenager can be linked to this character from what the audience views because she is complaining all the time.Lastly the cheerleader girl is represented in the uniform of traditional american high school cheer leading clothes these are short frilly skirts, a short top all indicating the symbol of the high school they are from.The character herself appears to be friends with the daughter but her dialogue in the scene is limited she is very passive and in the male gaze of the man she is represented as a object for his pleasure.
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