According to the renown essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, published in 1975 by the feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey, hegemonic cinema has privileged the masculine gaze, objectifying female bodies on the screen and transforming them in mere objects of desire for the male spectator. Mulvey studies the way female bodies have been exposed in cinema to evoque ‘to-be-looked-at-ness’ while becoming the object of the masculine scopophilic gaze within the screen. However, some contemporary Hispanic women Filmmakers have managed to subvert traditional filmic representations of the body using cinematic practices that invite the spectator into a sensorial journey through a‘‘haptic visuality’’, as identified by Laura Marks in the Skin of the Film (2000), which explores and pursues the tactility and texture of images, via sound, smell or taste in film.
This panel focuses on the filmic language and aesthetics of women filmmakers whose work is based on the politics of the female body in an attempt to get closer to the feminine experience. We seek participants who are interested in exploring the body in its cinematic and cultural representation in both Spanish and Latin American women authored cinema. We conceive the body in a broad sense, both in its theorization and its materiality such as the representation of the female body, desire and sexuality; gender violence; maternity; the visibility of non- normative bodies; sexual orientation and lesbian desire; and the intersection of these and many other axes of inequality. Particular attention will be paid to those works that address the figuration of onscreen bodies and the relationship to the embodied experience of the spectator, with a sensibility that goes far beyond the visual and explore cinema in its haptic, aural, or kinesthetic qualities.
Jessica Rodrigues Poletti