All posts tagged: scopophilia

Scopophilia and Spectacle: The Pleasure of Looking at “Chicago”

Looking at women as objects in film is not a new concept; it has been around since the beginning of motion pictures. Before that, it was also a concept in photographs and clubs. Men love to look, and some women love to be looked at. This is discussed in Laura Mulvey’s essay, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.”[1] Specifically, she describes the idea of scopophilia, or the pleasure of looking. This is what I will be mainly focusing on for this essay. I want to showcase how scopophilia is displayed in the film Chicago.[2] In this musical film from 2002, directed by Rob Marshall, with a screenplay by Bill Condon, women criminals take the concept of scopophilia, and the male gaze, and use it towards their advantage. By putting on a show, or a spectacle, they are able to get what they want. In the way Chicago is filmed and edited, there are the “reality” scenes and the “fantasy” scenes that are intertwined. The fantasy scenes throughout the film then visually represent these spectacles, and provide …

Rachel Sarasin is currently a Cinema Studies student at Oakland University. Rachel hopes to pursue a career in production management in the film industry. Her friends love to take advantage of her passion for planning and organizing, but she doesn’t mind. If you’re one of the lucky people that receives the OUTV channel, you may spot her as the host of “OUt and AbOUt,” a monthly series documenting events happening around Oakland University. She’s also a Yooper, so if you see her around, feel free to ask her about the many mysteries and histories of the Upper Peninsula.