Women in Cinema

In many films, even today, women are underrepresented. For instance, films that portray women do not give them as many speaking lines as men. Carpentier, in her article, discusses how in the movie, “Mulan,” the dragon had more speaking lines than Mulan. Clearly, Mulan is the most important character in that movie, but because she is a women she is not given as much attention. This is largely becuase most writers and directors are male.

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Films that do feature women with large speaking roles are largely known as “chick flicks.” In other words, movies that are enjoyed by both men and woman must have predominantly men speaking characters, but if the movie focuses around women, then the movie is for woman only. Budd Beotticher remarks that the role of women in a film is to represent something for the  male character. Does she inspire love in the man? Does she inspire him to act a certain way? In every instance, the man serves at the end goal. In fact, Laura Mulvey, in her article, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” argues that directors position women in shots to serve the purpose of having the man be the end goal, but women the visual support.

Most people are not surprised when they see women without large speaking roles in cinema. In fact, many people criticize movies when they show a strong female role. For instance,  when the new Star Wars film came out, many people complained that Rey was the focus point of the movie, because for many it was unbelievable that a female character had an integral role in the film.

Even though women are underrepresented from both an acting and directing standpoint, there are a many actors/directors/writers that stand out. Here are two that stood out to me:

Euzhan Palcy, writer, director and producer from the French West Indes.Euzhan Palcy

Alice Guy, first female director.