All posts tagged: gender

Gender and Sexuality in “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Many stereotypes exist that associate certain qualities with one gender or the other. Males are typically associated with advantages of strength and ruggedness, while women are more so associated with being delicate and vulnerable. These assumptions appear most prominently in certain film genres, one in particular being that of action and adventure films. The movie Mad Max: Fury Road is an exception to this classical pattern. By casting a female character in the lead role and also portraying females differently than in most action films, director George Miller breaks down many of the clichéd gender representations that often appear in action films. In this way, issues of gender and sexuality are addressed through aspects such as character placement, plot development and overall mis-en-scene, with costume design playing a large role. In most action films, the female character relies heavily on the lead male protagonist.[1] However, this is not at all the case in Mad Max. Miller reverses these roles between males and females by instead placing a female character into the lead role. For the …

Art Cinema and Second Wave Feminism: Addressing Representations of Gender and Sexuality in a New Way

Amidst the Cold War, tensions were building worldwide regarding not only politics, but social issues as well. Along with the development of birth control, the 1960s ushered in an age of second-wave feminism concerned with sexuality, reproductive rights, and women’s roles in the family and workplace. This movement was translated into the film industry. A new type of woman, one more comfortable with her sexuality, was becoming more prevalent on-screen. However, this proved to be a double-edged sword. While women were receiving more diverse representations, these representations were still oppressive due to their roots in a patriarchal society. Cinema objectified and sexualized women, reducing them to no more than a spectacle within the narrative.1 Shifting away from this toxic, traditional structure, art cinema popped up around the globe, challenging the classical narrative and stylistic structure of Hollywood films that led to the unfair and negative representations of gender and sexuality. This new, modern style of cinema drew attention to its own construction, and many filmmakers took advantage of this unconventional format to address social issues …