Konrad Wysocki

Film Analysis #2

Professor Herzog

12/8/2011

 

Female Gaze

 

            In the movie “Lady Eve” directed by Preston Sturges shows a great scene that shows the female gaze starring the character Jean (Barbara Stawyck). This scene shows a great shot of her looking through a mirror to see the man she desires behind her. This is very interesting since not many movies do the female gaze and it is nice for a change to see it on the other side. The techniques that are used here are slightly different than what you would see in a male gaze.

 

From the beginning of the scene, the camera is straight forward looking at Jean as when she whips out her mirror as if she is checking up on herself. There is romantic music playing in the background, too bad it is non-diegetic. In this scene, it is noticeable that the room is filled with wealthy people having a dinner from their clothing and butlers running around. There is plenty of light in the room so everything is clear. But then she starts talking about a man and the camera cuts into a different shot where the camera is on the mirror. This shot shows what she is really looking at, the man. This is such an amazing shot using the reflection of the mirror to show the female gaze since it shows a female is witty and stealthy.

 

When Jean is looking at the guy through the mirror, it is totally different from the male gaze. In a male gaze, the camera usually focuses on the woman close up to show off her body. But in this female gaze, it shows Jean admiring the man from a distance without getting any close up shots of his body. It is as if she is admiring everything about him, not just his looks.

 

Than the shots go back and forth between the still straight camera in a medium shot that is focused on her while she is looking through the mirror and the camera on the mirror that is reflecting the man and the ladies trying to get his attention. But what was really entertaining about this scene was that she was kind of making fun of how other ladies were trying to get his attention and by making up conversations they were trying to start with him to herself.

 

She noticed how all the ladies are trying to get him to pay attention to them by trying to pass by him in a sexy way or drop napkins. Another lady actually got up from the other side of the restaurant and tried to have a conversation with him, but totally failed. This shot in particular  is interesting since it filmed the lady get up and got to the man to converse from the reflection in the mirror. It was filmed as a long shot and long take from the mirror. By the way, all of these situations with the man and the ladies were shown from the reflection in the mirror Jean has.

 

Again, in this female gaze, Jean has a very key eye on not only his looks but his personality. Not like a male gaze. She notices what the man is interested in and not. She notices this man likes to read books and is trying to have some peace from these girls. The camera has a way of showing this too. By filming the man in a long shot shows that she is not only interested in his looks, but everything about him.

 

As Jean notices the man had enough and starts to leave, she is still following him in the mirror until the man gets close enough to her that she decides to trip the man with her heel. Okay, let’s break it down. When Jean was following the man in the mirror, the techniques that were used were long shot and long take. Then when the man got right behind her, it cuts into a close up shot showing Jean’s foot stick out. Right after, it cuts into a medium shot showing Jean sitting and the man falling to the floor. Great editing right there, it really shows that it was intentional by Jean.

 

The female gaze is not something people see in a movie every day. But when it does appear, it should be appreciated and thought about when the chance is there. This female gaze in particular does not only check out a guy, but embraces the man by studying his actions and manners. Not like a male gaze at all. But that is a good thing since males and females are different in many ways. They have different ways of looking at things, so that it very important to have the male and female gaze different from each other too.

 

Notes:

 

First Shot: Jean is talking to herself while holding a mirror. Medium shot on Jean, Camera is straight, there is non-diegetic sound, long take, there is light, the music and the light make it a cheerful mood

 

Second Shot: Close up of a mirror. But in the mirror shows a reflection of the man Jean is looking at. In the mirror, there is a long shot of the man, a long take, lighting and non-diegetic sound.

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Third Shot: Cuts back to Jean holding the mirror and still stalking. The shot is a medium shot and a long take. Music is still non diegetic and the lighting is still lighting up.

 

Forth Shot: Jean is still talking to herself. It cuts back to the mirror and its reflection. This shot is showing a girl walk up to the man and get rejected. This is a close up of the mirror. But in the mirror, it is a long shot of the woman and a long take of her walking to the man’s table. The lighting is still good and sound still non-diegetic. It’s a friendly atmosphere.

 

Fifth Shot: Cuts back to Jean still holding the mirror. It is a medium shot still and the camera is still straight on her. The lighting is still there and the romantic non- diegetic music.

 

Sixth Shot: Cuts back to the mirror in Jean’s hand. It is a close up of the mirror with a long take. But in the mirror, there is a long shot with a long take of the man getting up and leaving. Non- diegetic music and lighting is still there.

 

Seventh Shot:  Cuts back to Jean still holding the mirror. She is still chatting to herself. It is a medium shot of her. Non-diegetic sound and lighting did not go anywhere.

 

Eight Shot: Cuts to a close up of her shoe heel stretching out on the floor. Non- diegetic sound and lighting is still going on.

 

Ninth Shot: It cuts back to a medium shot of Jean still sitting in her chair while the man falls. In these last cuts everything started to cut faster. No long takes. The romantic sound in the background is still non-diegetic but the crash of the man falling is diegetic. It has never been lighter with light in the room .

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5 Responses to “Assignment #2: Formal Analysis”

  1.   jemal Says:

    I like how you put your name on this post lol
    but this a great post of the movie lady eve
    your notes are fantastic
    the use of diegetic and non-diegetic is great

    your overall analysis is really good
    the examples you used to show that Jean was admiring everything about the guy was great.
    your conclusion is a great way to hit what your saying home. good job

  2.   konrad Says:

    I love you

  3.   YINI Says:

    We did the same movie here. The Lady Eve is absolutely a special movie told by a female perspective. I like the way how you write Jean making fun of those ladies who try to draw Charles’s attention. She not only watch him but also watch them. Another things surprised me is that it is a female gaze. But, the camera puts a lot of time on Jean’s performance. It’s pretty unique. Finally, your overall essay is quite awesome. You describing the whole scene is good. Great job!!!

  4.   konrad Says:

    I approve this message Professor!

  5.   Amy Herzog Says:

    I approve this message, too! The addition of the notes at the end really helps to support your position in detail. It can be challenging with blogs, but you could work in balancing a personal tone with a slightly more polished writing style, at least for these more formal analyses (e.g. “Great edit there” wouldn’t work in a formal paper). I am very impressed by the distinction you make between the male gaze and the female gaze. One idea to throw into the mix: you suggested that Jean might be looking at Charles from a broader perspective in this scene (literally and figuratively), unlike the objectifying male gaze. But at this moment in the film, she and all the other women trying to grab Charles’s attention have only one aspect of him in mind: his wallet!! This makes for a much funnier, much more cynical take on romance and desire. Food for thought. Thanks so much for a fantastic semester!

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