“An analysis of Gilda(1946)” essay by Toby Woollaston – 2012

In her seminal article on Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, Laura Mulvey states that “cinematic codes create a gaze, a world, and an object, thereby producing an illusion cut to the measure of desire” (Mulvey, p.18). In this essay, I will use Mulvey’s statement as the starting point to explore Gilda(1946). I will explore what the film represents, and how this representation may be received by the spectator. Gilda has been chosen as it offers an interesting perspective on gender representations, and often antagonises the spectatorial quest for reliable knowledge of its world, themes, and inhabitants. The tension between Gilda‘s narrative and its representations will be discussed. In order to do this, I will explore Gilda in terms of its cinematic codes, and its dimension of space and time. The result of this will not necessarily adhere to the filmmakers’ intentions, but I deem it important to establish what these are, in order to contrast with the spectator’s reception. I will structure the above through the placement of Gilda within the genre of film noir, both visually and thematically.

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