Since its inception in the 1970s, feminist ﬁlm theory has provided the impetus for some of the most exciting developments in Film Studies. Feminist ﬁlm theory almost became the orthodoxy of ﬁlm theory, such was its inﬂuence in the ﬁeld. Its impact began to be felt in ﬁlmmaking itself, with a number of avant-garde and independent and some mainstream ﬁlms linking theory to practice. Today, however, many believe that the work of feminism is over. Amidst a generalized cultural backlash against feminism since the 1980s, there has, within Film Studies, been a reaction against feminist ﬁlm theory also – as indeed against all ﬁlm theory – due to its complex language and abstract concepts. This book is written out of the conviction that despite its considerable complexity there is much to be gained from reconsidering feminist ﬁlm theory at the present moment, for it can still enrich our experience of ﬁlms, giving us valuable tools for analysis. When it arrived in the 1970s, it marked a signiﬁcant leap in the way ﬁlms and their spectators can be understood. Since then, its theories have not remained static but have absorbed new critical debates as well as responding to developments in ﬁlm production. This book focuses on the groundbreaking ideas of four major theorists: Laura Mulvey (b. 1941), Kaja Silverman (b. 1947), Teresa de Lauretis (b. 1938), and Barbara Creed (b. 1943), whose work is informed by a passionate commitment to
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nist ﬁlm theory, showing why ﬁlm is a feminist issue and why feminist issues are still important in ﬁlm.