Watching the voyeur: changing attitudes to the peeping tom

Oakes, James (2012) Watching the voyeur: changing attitudes to the peeping tom. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This dissertation intends to examine what the word voyeur has come to mean in Western cinema at the end of the 20th century. Through focusing on the two texts Being John Malkovich (Jonze, 1998) and The Truman Show (Weir, 1998), a study of their uses of voyeurism within the narratives will be used to challenge traditional ideas of the term and redefine it within a contemporary context.
    Chapter one will study Being John Malkovich. Using psychoanalytic theorists such as Metz, Freud and Jung, their ideas of identification, voyeurism and exhibitionism will be employed into a reading of the film. The voyeuristic motives of the characters will be discussed, and the use of puppets will be addressed, analysing how they are used as surrogate characters to fulfill requirements of identification.
    Chapter two uses The Truman Show to explore a society with the growing desire to observe others. The primary theorists are Baudrillard, Biressi & Nunn, Debord and King. The film will be shown to reflect a cultural pessimism with the end of the 20th century, coinciding with the rise of reality TV. Together they produce a period that breeds an infatuation with watching others. The Truman Show’s use of cultural spectacle is then paralleled with growing technology, demonstrating how the practice of voyeurism is becoming steadily more accessible.
    The argument throughout remains to challenge whatever preconceptions the reader may have concerning voyeurism, and to produce a more accurate revision of the term.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2014 15:21
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:32
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/14083

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