Ontology and Gender in Film Philosophy

Friday, May 26 – 5

The ontology of film is famously photographic and realist by nature, with the latter relating specifically to the portrayal of gender roles on screen. The gendered body serves as a fundamental element of cinematic representation, particularly in its role of regulating and controlling the viewer’s gaze.

Generally speaking, in classical cinema, the body is perceived in relation to either the male hero archetype or his female counterpart, who often serves as both assistant and love interest; simultaneously, it becomes an object of desire or repulsion for a significant portion of the audience. This phenomenon occurs because the gaze of the female audience undergoes a process of male subjectivation, reverting to a pre-Oedipal phase.

This attitude aligns with the perspective of Laura Mulvey, a prominent feminist film theorist, regarding the gaze of film spectators. In her view, cinema constantly finds itself navigating the precarious balance between the potential pitfalls of gender metaphysics and the recent advancements in understanding the gendered nature of Being-with-the-others.

In our discussion, we will explore how contemporary films tackle this broad spectrum of intentionalities, aiming to create a cohesive and representative continuum that encompasses both the narrative and financial aspects of commercial film production.

GR 🇬🇷 • Professor at the Philosophy Department of NKUA FP || Full bio

Georgios Arabatzis is a philosophy professor at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA). An expert in Byzantine philosophy, his research explores the topics of aesthetics and representation. He is the author of six books and the editor of many more.

GR 🇬🇷 • Associate Professor of Applied Ethics, NKUA web || Full bio

Evangelos D. Protopapadakis is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA). His research interests include Applied Ethics and Ethics and Gender. He has authored five books, edited 12 volumes and published more than 70 papers on various ethical issues.

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