Centring the female: the articulation of female experience in the films of Jane Campion

French, L 2007, Centring the female: the articulation of female experience in the films of Jane Campion, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Applied Communication, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Centring the female: the articulation of female experience in the films of Jane Campion
Author(s) French, L
Year 2007
Abstract This thesis is a study of female authorship that examines the feature films of Jane Campion in order to determine how her preoccupation with the cinematic articulation of 'female experience' is expressed in her films-whether female experience can be aestheticised, and to discover whether her gender can be discerned through the films of a woman director.

The exploration of these ideas entails a review of the feminist thinking, methodologies and epistemologies that are relevant to cinema, and that examine relevant theoretical positions within feminism and theories of cinematic authorship. The key lens employed here for theorising Campion's cinema is that of postmodern-feminism. As an approach, this allows an understanding of difference rather than 'Otherness', and an enquiry into gender that is neither essentialist nor constructionist, but facilitates critical thinking about both positions.

The central argument of this thesis is that Campion's film practice functions as an investigation into gender difference, how women and men live together in the world-experience that world, and are engendered as female through historic, psychological and cultural experiences. This thesis therefore argues that Campion's aesthetic and perspective is not only feminist, but also, female, and feminine, and her work a cinematic articulation of female experience.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Applied Communication
Keyword(s) Campion, Jane, 1955- Criticism and interpretation
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