The Absent Gaze: Navigating Feminist Cinematography

  • MUBI
The Milk of SorrowIs there such a thing as a female gaze? It’s an almost perversely complicated question. On one hand, no doubt women’s desire has its own unique manifestations. On the other, the gaze implies the mind, and the idea of a “female brain” inevitably leads to some unpleasant associations. Should we then let the question be?Don’t expect the current retrospective on view at New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center and dedicated to the female gaze—highlighting the work of women cinematographers—to be able to answer it in any definitive way. Yet some of its most fascinating films suggest that women cinematographers—and filmmakers—are able to transmit the idea, and the disconcerting sensation of always questioning gender and the expectations it entails into thrilling cinematic experiences. Among these, the pairings where both filmmaker and cinematographer are female prove particularly striking.Take
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