Cinematic Critique
Laura Mulvey and Walter Benjamin are film critics who base their
thoughts on established theory.Ms. Mulvey uses a psychoanalytic approach
while Benjamin utilizes a political and economic view based on Marxist
theory.In his statement, “If the natural utilization of productive forces
is impeded by the property system, the increase in technical devices, in
speed, and in the sources of energy will press for an unnatural utilization
†proof that society has not been mature enough to incorporate technology
as its organ, that technology has not been sufficiently developed to cope
with the elemental forces of society” he allows that society utilizes
technology, including cinema, to incorporate political agenda.Ms. Mulvey
would argue that it was based on gender politics while Mr. Benjamin would
Ms. Mulvey disagrees, viewing psychoanalytic theory as a political
weapon that demonstrates the unconscious reflection of patriarchal society
within the structure of film.For her, technology is the tool while Mr.
Benjamin would argue that technology provides the structure.They would,
however, agree that film represents historical reality based on current
interpretation. Both would agree that there exists a reflection of
oppressed and oppressor within the cinematic representation.
The two would agree that art is separate from society in how it is
“received and valued” (Benjamin).Visual representation is seen as a
bipolar phenomenon by both.Mr. Benjamin views the dichotomy as “cult
value and the exhibition value of the work” while Ms. Mulvey would argue
the dichotomy as observer and observed.She states, “Although the film is
really being shown, is there to be seen, conditions of screening and
narrative conventions give the spectator an illusion of looking in on a
private world. Among other things, the position …