Replica – or complement – to Mulvey’s essay on Visual Pleasure and Cinematographic Narratives published by Jackie Stacey in 1988. Contrary to Mulvey’s reductionist argument in which only a single type of spectator and gaze is contemplated that reifies female characters and identifies with the role of the male protagonist -perhaps favored by the hetereosexual model predominant in classic Hollywood cinema- Stacey proposes that spectators be women and considers the possibility that gazes be conditioned by different subjectivities. The first part of the essay summarizes Mulvey’s writing and enunciates the main contradictions detected by some critics -and Mulvey herself in a later revision- nuancing and extending some of the initial psychoanalytic considerations to answer some of the main objections, especially the oppressive male/female dichotomy, active/passive, sadism/masochism. For his analysis he proposes the reading of two films with female protagonists “All About Eve” (1950) and “Desperately seeking Susan” (1985) to demonstrate how the two functions attributed by Mulvey (reification and identification) fail to explain the diegetic relations of the cinematographic text itself and the position of the spectator in relation to the characters of the narrative.

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