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2007/08 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF3038 Reading Laura Mulvey and Watching Movies: Narrative Cinema and the Feminist De(Re)construction of Visual Pleasure

20 creditsClass Size: 23

Module manager: Prof Griselda Pollock
Email: G.F.S.Pollock@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2007/08

Pre-requisite qualifications

If taken as an elective, student should have completed ARTF2000 or any level two ARTF coded module.
This is an optional module for Cultural Studies students and so does not require pre-requisites.

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

PRE-REQUISITES: Students wishing to take this module as an elective at level three must have completed at least 20 credits from ARTF 2000 or any other level two ARTF coded module.In 1975 Laura Mulvey, a film maker wrote the most influential article in modern film theory: 'Visual Pleasure and the Narrative Cinema'. This argued that the cinema is an apparatus reproducing the unequal terms of sexual difference: men are empowered by the gaze and woman is coded in film 'to be looked at'. Based on her study of classic Hollywood cinema, her article also proposes a feminist counter cinema. The module provides an opportunity for a critical reading of this article in its own context and in terms of subsequent feminist debates about the cinema, femininity and the gaze. Our reading will be based on screenings of Hollywood films to test the Mulvey thesis and of recent feminist films that attempt to produce new forms of visual pleasure that can inscribe feminine desire and subjectivity. Films to be studied include Morocco, Vertigo, The Big Sleep, Marnie, To Have and Have Not, River of No Return, Dance Girl, Dance, Christopher Strong, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Song of the Shirt, Riddles of the Sphinx, The Gold Diggers, Orlando.Assessment: 1 x 1 hour exam (50%) and 1 x 2 - 3,000 word essay (50%)

Objectives

The objectives of this module are to undertake a thorough historical, theoretical and critical reading of one of the founding texts of contemporary film theory, Laura Mulvey's 'Visual Pleasure and the Narrative Cinema', first published in Screen vol. 16 no. 4 in 1975. This text will then be used to frame an analysis of Hollywood movies and the development of a feminist counter cinema and to consider the ways in which the Mulveyan analysis has been deployed, critiqued and revised in interventions in mainstream cinema by feminist, lesbian and black filmmakers.

Skills outcomes
- Verbal and written fluency in constructing a logical and coherent argument.
- Use of audio visual aids
- Participation in seminar discussions
- Textual analysis of primary and secondary sources
- Research Skills
- Analysis of cinematic processes and film texts
- Critical reading of theoretical arguments in relation to visual texts


Syllabus

In 1975 Laura Mulvey, a film maker wrote the most influential article in modern film theory: Visual Pleasure and the Narrative Cinema. This argued that the cinema is an apparatus reproducing the unequal terms of sexual difference: men are empowered by the gaze and woman is coded in film 'to be looked at'. Based on her study of classic Hollywood cinema, her article also proposes a feminist counter cinema. The module provides an opportunity for a critical reading of this article in its own context and in terms of subsequent feminist debates about the cinema, femininity and the gaze. Our reading will be based on screenings of Hollywood films to test the Mulvey thesis and of recent feminist films that attempt to produce new forms of visual pleasure that can inscribe feminine desire and subjectivity. Films to be studied include Morocco, Vertigo, The Big Sleep, Marnie, To Have and Have Not, River of No Return, Dance Girl, Dance, Christopher Strong, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Song of the Shirt, Riddles of the Sphinx, The Gold Diggers, Orlando. Laura Mulvey will give a seminar during the module on her latest book Fetishism and the Cinema.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Film Screenings104.0040.00
Seminar102.0020.00
Private study hours140.00
Total Contact hours60.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

140 hours - Reading preparation for screenings and seminars, directed study of primary film texts and secondary sources, writing and research for seminar presentations and essays. Use of libraries and databases. Revision.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Attendance, and participation records. Students' class presentations enable monitoring of progress.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,500-3,000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)1 hr 25 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 19/05/2008

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