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Entrapping viewers in voyeurism

by Critical Commons Manager

It has been more than 30 years since Laura Mulvey published her influential article, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema," in which she argues that the apparatus of cinema is inherently identified with a male, heterosexual gaze, motivated by voyeuristic pleasure in consuming women's bodies on screens. Feature films in Hollywood appear to have taken this message to heart, though perhaps not in the way Mulvey intended. A particularly stark example may be seen in the narrative contrivances of Entrapment, which make it necessary for Sean Connery to carefully observe a blindfolded Catherine Zeta-Jones moving through a series of bodily contortions (twice) while wearing tight-fitting clothes so as not to set off the burglar alarm during a heist. What purpose does the sound design in this scene serve? Why are there so many dissolves?

Voyeurism and the male gaze in Entrapment

Hollywood never tires of inventing excuses for male viewing subjects to consume female bodies on screen but the explicit voyeurism of this scene from Entrapment (also repeated later in the film) offers a particularly stark example

from Entrapment (1999)
Creator: Jon Amiel
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Posted by Critical Commons Manager