The Desire to Desire: The Womans Film of the 1940s

Mary Anne Doane, Author Indiana University Press $22.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-253-20433-2
A professor of film and semiotic theory at Brown University and co-editor of Re-vision: Essays in Feminist Film Criticism, Doane offers a study of four genre subgroups of ""the woman's film'' of the 1940s: ``medical discourse'' films, in which male doctors treat female patients (Possessed; maternal melodramas (To Each His Own; love stories (Humoresque; and ``paranoid women's films'' (Rebecca. Using elements of feminism, psychoanalysis and film theory, she argues that these films simultaneously assert and deny female desire, attributing to the woman only a ``gaze'' that is impossible for her to expand on or realize. She also asserts that the ``processes of imaging women and of specifying the gaze in relation to sexual difference, like most forms of sexism, are far more deeply ingrained than one might suspect.'' While suggesting avenues for future study, this work is mainly for those committed to the author's viewpoint. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1987
Release date: 06/01/1987
Paperback - 211 pages - 978-0-333-45535-7
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