Date of Award

2000

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Communications Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Brian Shoesmith

Abstract

Although often named a 'women's director': Pedro Almodóvar has frequently been attacked by feminist, mainly Anglo-Saxon, fit m critics. Most of them have found his portrayals of women to be very humiliating. On the other hand, Spanish heterosexual, mainly male, film critics have attacked him for focusing only on portrayals of marginal genders and sexualities. Nevertheless, he has become one of the most, if not the most, commercially successful Spanish film directors. The intention of this project is not just to analyse Almodóvar's cinema and the critics' acceptance/rejection of the same. Rather, the project is intending, through use of 'Ia politique des auteurs', psychoanalysis and a variety of feminist and queer film theories to analyse the way Almodóvar represents gender identities. Through the analysis of occurrences (such as women centred events, absence of father figure, scenes of women's abuse, gazing, etc.) specific to Almodóvar's cinema I am hoping to use different theories in order to explore the cultural context that provides the starting point for Almodóvar's work. The analysis of Almodóvar's work through 'Ia politique des auteurs' aims to examine Almodóvar's place within Spanish and Anglo-Saxon culture. This dissertation will attempt to show that Almodóvar, as an auteur, and so his work, can not be analysed as isolated elements but rather as 'political' and 'historical' agents within the complex cultural context. Through the textual analysis of Almodóvar's films, mainly concentrating on his portrayals of women, the thesis will investigate the way Almodóvar constructs the gender identities in his cinema.

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