Hi, need to submit a 250 words paper on the topic Laura Mulvey: Visual Pleasure and Narrative. Laura Mulvey In ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative’ Laura Mulvey considers the nature of media viewership from the audiences’ perspective. Throughout the essay a number of notable points are raised that add insight into the audience intentions and ‘pleasure’ in viewership. One of the central elements of Mulvey’s argument is that the nature of film is patriarchal in nature so that when one views televisual productions that are doing so through a male prism. While Mulvey incorporates a large amount of neo-Freudian jargon, the centrality of her argument remains fairly clear. namely, the point is that since most televisual production is controlled by males, the female becomes objectified. As the essay continues Mulvey extends the argument to include the general pleasure that is gleamed from film viewership. She writes, “The cinema offers a number of possible pleasures. One is scopophilia. There are circumstances in which looking itself is a source of pleasure, just as, in the reverse formation, there is pleasure in being looked at” (Mulvey). Her main contention in these regards is that the joy of viewership is that the looker is gaining a voyeuristic perspective on the action or narrative. In applying the concepts from Mulvery’s essay the recent music video for Britney Spears ‘Until the World Ends’ was analyzed. This example was chosen for its relevance to contemporary popular culture and for its particular relevance to the concepts existant in the essay. In terms of objectification it’s clear that the female is centrally objectified. Not only is Britney filmed in scantily clad clothing, but close-up shots of female dancer’s rear-ends and breasts are featured heavily. When men are featured they are done so in relation to the female, as a sex companion or object of lust. In these regards, it’s clear that there is a strong scopophilia tendency. If there is anything in disagreement with Mulvey it is namely that rather than the video being solely from the male gaze, the narrative in large part places the female in the power role. Spears is featured choosing from two men and clearly in control of the environment. In these regards, the voyeuristic please is geared nearly equally for men and women. References Mulvey, Laura. ‘Visual pleasure and narrative cinema.’ Luxonline. http://www.luxonline.org.uk/articles/visual_pleasure_and_narrative_cinema(1).
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