1st Edition

Looking for the Other Feminism, Film and the Imperial Gaze

By E. Ann Kaplan Copyright 1997

    What happens when white people look at non-whites? What happens when the gaze is returned? Looking for the Other responds to criticisms leveled at white feminist film theory of the 1970s and 1980s for its neglect of issues to do with race. It focuses attention on the male gaze across cultures, as illustrated by women filmmakers of color whose films deal with travel.

    Looking relations are determined by history, tradition, myth; by national identity, power hierarchies, politics, economics, geographical and other environment. Travel implicitly involves looking at, and looking relations with, peoples different from oneself. Featured films include Birth of a Nation, The Cat People, Home of the Brave, Black Narcissus, Chocolat, and Warrior Marks. Featured filmmakers include D.W.Griffith, Jacques Tourneur, Michael Powell, Julie Dash, Pratibha Parmar, Trinh T. Min-ha, and Claire Denis.

    Part 1 Backgrounds: Theories of Nation, Psychoanalysis and the Imperial Gaze; Chapter 1 Travel, Travelling Identities and the Look; Chapter 2 Theories of Nation and Hollywood in the Contexts of Gender and Race; Chapter 3 Hollywood, Science and Cinema: The Imperial and the Male Gaze in Classic Film; Chapter 4 Darkness Within: Or, The Dark Continent of Film Noir; Part 2 Travelling Postcolonialists and Women of Color; Chapter 5 Travelling White Theorists: The Case of China; Chapter 6 “;Can One Know the Other?”: The Ambivalence of Postcoloniallsm in Chocolat, Warrior Marksand Mississippi Masala; Chapter 7 “;Speaking Nearby”: Trinh T. Minh-ha's Reassemblageand Shoot for the Contents; Chapter 8 “;Healing Imperialized Eyes”: Independent Women Filmmakers and the Look; Chapter 9 Body Politics: Menopause, Mastectomy and Cosmetic Surgery in Films by Rainer, Tom and Onwurah;


    E. Ann Kaplan