The Female Gaze: The Piano and Jane Campion

Paper by Marcie McTigue.

The 1993 movie The Piano is a gorgeous film that uses the natural beauty of the beaches and wilds of writer/director Jane Campion’s native New Zealand as a backdrop to a violent fairy tale. The Piano is a fictional narrative period drama set in the mid-1800s. It was filmed over two. months in the winter of 1992. Some critics argue that The Piano is in a film movement called the Female Gaze but it is also a romance, a tragedy, and it challenges societal views of women. The film won many awards, including the Palme d’Or for Campion and Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress for nine-year-old Anna Paquin, Best Actress for Holly Hunter, and Best Original Screenplay for Campion.

This paper will explore the idea of the female faze in Jane Campion’s film The Piano, specifically looking at the pivotal scene between Ada (Holly Hunter) and Baines (Harvey Keitel) where Baines says that their arrangement of her playing piano in exchange for sexual favors is, “making you a whore and me wretched.” This scene is relevant to the rest of the film because this turning point

Posted at 6pm on 07/03/24 | 1 comment | Filed Under: Academic Papers, Films read on

Breaking boundaries – exploring gender and sexuality representation in musical cinema across eras

Paper by Janine Trachsel.

The main goal of this analysis is to examine the evolution of the portrayal of gender roles and sexuality over time in the films Footloose (Herbert Ross, 1984), Mean Girls (Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr., 2024) and The Greatest Showman (Michael Gracey, 2017). By conducting a thorough analysis of the representation of these themes from the classical to contemporary periods, the aim is to understand how cinematic portrayals have changed over time. While classical musicals often support traditional gender norms, the objective is to demonstrate how contemporary films challenge these norms and offer more diverse and inclusive narratives. Through a detailed examination of the characters’ goals, motivations, and conflicts, as well as the incorporation of insights from academic literature, this study seeks to illuminate and understand the complex aspects of gender and sexual identity representation in musical cinema.

Musical films have long served as a reflection of societal attitudes towards gender roles and sexual identity. By analyzing characters and scenes, I aim to uncover how representations of gender and sexuality have developed over time, from the classical to contemporary periods. This topic is extremely fascinating as

Posted at 2pm on 07/03/24 | 1 comment | Filed Under: Academic Papers, Films read on



Film Review Club: Reviews of current film releases, streaming films, and revivals by student members of the SBCC Film Review Club.

Film Festival Course: FS108: Film Festival Studies: Santa Barbara International Film Festival and AFI Fest: Hollywood (2 or 1.5 units). Field course at film festivals to study U.S. and international fiction, experimental and documentary films.

Contact: Prof. Nico Maestu ([email protected])

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