The representation of females in contemporary science fiction films

Stewart, Wendy (2007) The representation of females in contemporary science fiction films. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This dissertation aimed to shed light on the portrayal of females in modern science fiction films. Using research from literary sources, web-based research and textual analysis of sequences and images from contemporary science fiction films, this dissertation aimed to discover whether the recent stronger female leads in contemporary science fiction films, has led to gender boundaries becoming blurred or whether anxieties surrounding this new on-screen female has reiterated the gender divides. Laura Mulvey's theory that females on-screen are passive and the males drive the narrative forward (1989, p.20) has led some critics, such as Judith Butler, to argue that the recently emerged female central protagonist, has been rendered a surrogate male for the audience to identify with (190, cited by Brown, 54). However, this dissertation argues that gender boundaries still exist between males and females, as females are still represented objects of desire for the male audience and male characters within the narrative and, as Creed states, are represented in relation to reproduction, creating anxieties surrounding the loss of history (1993, p.7). The first chapter deals with human female's representation within the science fiction films Elektra (Bowman, 2005), Tomb Raider (West, 2001) and Aeon Flux (Kusama, 2005). The second chapter discusses female cyborgs and whether the gender boundaries have become blurred with the coupling of machine and humans in the films Eve of Destruction (Gibbins, 1991), Blade Runner (Scott, 1982) and Cherry 2000 (De Jarnatt, 1987). The third chapter examines female and male gender divides in the cyberspace films of The Matrix Trilogy (Wachowski & Wachowski) and whether gender boundaries are still present.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:47
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:13
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/296

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