(Vishnu Vardhan T. is a Research Scholar and Research Associate at Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS), Bangalore. His research project is on Telugu cinema. He is also a Sarai Independent Research Fellow for the year 2004-05. As a Research Associate at CSCS he coordinates the 'MA (Online) Cultural Studies' program.)

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Spectatorship and (male) gaze are some of the crucial concepts used both in film theory and feminist film theory. The aim of this paper is to look at these theoretical categories and their inadequacies, especially in dealing with Indian films. The arguments revolve around my reading of Laura Mulvey’s Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema (1989), Jackie Stacey’s From the Male Gaze to the Female Spectator (1994), Judith Mayne’s Paradoxes of Spectatorship (1997), M.Madhava Prasad’s Ideology of the Hindi Film (1998) and Tejaswini Niranjana’s Vigilantism and the Pleasures of Masquerade: The Female Spectator of Vijayasanthi Films (2002).

Laura Mulvey in Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema intends to use psychoanalysis to discover where and how the fascination of film is reinforced by pre-existing patterns of fascination already at work within the individual subject and the social formations that have moulded ‘him’. She feels that ‘[p]sychoanalytic theory is thus appropriated here as a political weapon, demonstrating the way the unconscious of patriarchal society has structured film form’ (Mulvey 14). Mulvey talks about three different looks associated with classical Hollywood cinema: 1) that of the camera as it records the pro-filmic event 2) that of the audience as it watches the final product and 3) that of the characters at each other within the screen illusion. Mulvey explains that “[t]he conventions of narrative film deny the first two and subordinate them to the third, the conscious aim being always to eliminate intrusive camera presence and prevent a distancing awareness in the audience. Without these two absences (the material existence of the recording process, the critical reading of the spectator), fictional drama cannot achieve reality, obviousness and truth” (Mulvey 25 emphasis mine). Further, she talks about the spectator’s privilege of ‘invisibility’, looking without being looked at. The look of the ‘camera’ and the spectator seem subordinate to that of the characters – the male protagonist’s point of view. The article further argues how in the dominant patriarchal system of visual representation, sexual difference demarcates the active/passive, looking/looked-at split. As Mulvey comments

In a world ordered by sexual imbalance, pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female. The determining male gaze projects its fantasy onto the female figure, which is styled accordingly. In their traditional exhibitionist role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so that they can be said to connote to-be-looked-at-ness. (19)

With Laura Mulvey and others taking the lead in the 1970s, feminist film theory was characterized by debates around ‘male gaze’ which resulted in arguments about spectatorship, especially female spectatorship. Spectatorship studies have emerged with several concepts “to engage with the tension between cinema as monolithic institution and cinema as heterogeneous diversity” (Mayne 156). Commenting on film theory of the 1980s that emerged based on and in critique of 1970s film theory, Mayne says

An opposition between homogeneity and heterogeneity underscores these criticisms, since most alternatives to 1970s film theory take the spectator, not as the effect of the cinema institution, but as a point of departure, and not the ideal spectator as theorized by the cinematic apparatus, but the socially defined spectator, who is necessarily heterogeneous – i.e., addressed through a variety of discourses. In other words, responses to apparatus theory are founded on a gap between the ideal subject postulated by the apparatus and the spectator, who is always in an imperfect relation to that ideal. (157)

Later in the chapter, Mayne goes on to examine three terms which have emerged in spectatorship studies to conceptualize the competing claims of the homogeneous cinematic institution and heterogeneous responses to it: the gap between address and reception; fantasy; and negotiation. The relationship between cinematic address and cinematic reception reveals the discussion around and difference between the ideal viewer and the real (empirical) viewer. Address refers to the ways in which a certain cinematic text assumes certain responses or defines spectator position, which may or may not be operative in different viewing conditions. Bringing out the contradiction about the cinematic address which assumes an ‘ideal reader’, Mayne says “if spectators can and do respond to films in ways that contradict, reject, or otherwise problematize the presumably ideal spectator structured into the text, then the value of textual analysis – arguably the most significant methodological direction undertaken by 1970s film theory – needs to be seriously rethought and reevaluated” (157). Further, Mayne explores fantasy for a “far more radical exploration of psychic investment in the cinema” which she feels will suggest “intersections between the psychic and the political” (157). The third term negotiation, (which is used to suggest that different texts can be used, interpreted, or appropriated in a variety of ways) Mayne explains, points out to the difference in readings and simultaneous inquiry into the difference that difference makes.

This textual construction of the spectator often occurs in strong opposition to the so-called empirical spectator when it comes to the woman in the audience. Following Mulvey’s argument of male gaze, the spectator is essentially positioned as male. These aspects of male gaze and spectator(ship) of 1970s feminist film theory could not answer adequately questions like how do women in the audience occupy that spectator position? Is there something called female spectator? What kind of pleasure does a female spectator have? Is this male spectator position, whose origins lie in the (especially Lacanian) psychoanalytical Subject, biologically defined? (By Lacanian psychoanalysis/tical subject here, I mean Lacan’s reading of Freudian psychoanalysis. Though film theorists like Mulvey, Mayne, Heath use Freudian texts, it is in the light of the Lacanian understanding of Freud).

Female spectator is also understood differently by theorists like Mary Ann Doane which further complicates and unsettles the category of spectator(ship). Mary Ann Doane, for example, asserts, “I have never thought of the female spectator as synonymous with the woman sitting in front of the screen, munching her popcorn…. It is a concept which is totally foreign to the epistemological framework of the new ethnographic analysis of audiences…. The female spectator is a concept, not a person” (Doane 142). Similarly, Guiliana Bruno states

I am not interested in an empirical analysis of the phenomenon of female spectatorship…. I cannot get over an old semiotic diffidence for any notion of empirical ‘truth’ or ‘reality’, which I find very problematic. There are ways in which for me the phantasmatic level is more real than reality itself, or the so-called reality of facts. (Bruno 106)

The distinction of the ‘textual’ versus the ‘empirical’ spectator, or the ‘diegetic’ versus the ‘cinematic’ spectator, is a miniature version of the difference between the psychoanalytic model in film studies and ethnographic approaches to female spectatorship and audience studies. In order to give a more viable understanding of female spectator in spectatorship studies Mary Ann Doane proposes ‘masquerade’. Jackie Stacey also points out that “Mary Ann Doane’s theory of femininity as ‘masquerade’ (1982) explores the difference in the female spectator’s relationship to the dominant patriarchal structures of cinematic looking organized around voyeurism and fetishism. Doane argues that femininity is constructed differently in relation to the voyeuristic and fetishistic drives of the masculine subject/spectator” (Stacey 26). The pure binary positions of ‘textual’ and ‘empirical’ spectator are even criticized by Stacey. She states

If ‘spectatorship’ is simply a textual position, then there may only be a masculine or a feminine option; however, if spectatorship refers to members of the cinema audience, surely the possible positionings multiply. The reluctance to engage with questions of cinema audiences, for fear of dirtying one's hands with empirical material, has led to an inability to think about active female desire beyond the limits of masculine positionings. (Stacey 29)

She stresses the need to use both textual spectator and the empirical spectator “to analyze its [the film’s] pleasures in order to understand them and to situate those individual viewing practices within a broader context” (29). Jackie Stacey’s work is grounded in the interviewing of women who identified themselves as avid cinema goers in the 1940s and 1950s. She uses ‘escapism’, ‘identification’ and ‘consumerism’, in order to explore the utopian aspect of cinema-going (not least, following Dyer (1985) in so far as the cinematic text provides solutions for real social problems experienced by the audience, but also in recognizing the real luxury experienced within the cinema as an architectural space), but thereby emphasizes the self-consciousness which the audience has of its relationship to the film, the film star and the products associated with films.

Until now I have given a brief account of the theoretical debates around spectator(ship) and (male)gaze, which has clearly emerged in the context of the classical Hollywood cinema. Turning to the writing on Indian cinema it is obvious that the existing classical film theory cannot explain many of the Indian cinematic phenomena. The following section is an attempt to rethink ‘(male)gaze’ and ‘spectator(ship)’ in the Indian cinematic context.

Gaze and Spectator(ship): the Indian ‘scene’

The miraculous appearance of the protagonist to rescue those (especially women) in trouble with his ‘dishum-dishum’ beating up of the goons, the non-contextual songs, the pelvic thrusts and the repeated love themes are all part of the formula, based on which popular Indian films are made. These are some comments of dissatisfaction on Indian films in general. In 1945, five producers from Bombay, Calcutta, Lahore and Madras undertook an expedition to Europe and America to study the conditions of the film industries. Their report (Report of the Indian Film Industry’s Mission to Europe and America) was full of admiration for western efficiency and realist films, and concluded with suggestions that would be repeated by industry spokespersons for decades to come. Even the Film Finance Corporation’s (set up in 1960) project was defined by a commitment to realism. As Madhava Prasad states

The industry has been constantly bombarded by journalists, politicians, bureaucrats and self-conscious film-makers with prescriptions for achieving an international-style realist cinema. The not-yet-ness of the Indian popular cinema is thus not just a biased opinion coming from western or westernized critics, but also a thesis at work within the industry as the instrument of a drive towards change. (Prasad 6)

This attitude has led to the ignorance of the importance of Indian cinema, until recently, as a major cultural artifact and the ideological impact it has on society. Of late, some attempts were made to theoretically speak about Indian cinema within existing film theory. For instance, Prasad once again rightly points out

The cinemas of India, in spite of significant differences, share a common ground, a set of aesthetic concerns, certain dominant tendencies, which show that far from simply remaining in a prolonged state of not-yet-ness, Indian cinema had evolved a particular, distinct combination of elements, putting the technology to a use that, whether consistent with the camera’s ontology or not, was consistent enough over time to suggest ideological affectivity. (5)

With the above impetus, Indian film studies began to get an identity as a separate discipline in the eighties. Other than the existing contradictions and debates within classical film theory, Indian films in general and writings on Indian film in particular posed challenges to classical film theory. This problematized the existing analytical tools and opened them up for redefinition. Yet the theoretical foundations of film theory remained unchanged. In this regard, I will discuss an article Vigilantism and the Pleasures of Masquerade: The Female Spectator of Vijayasanthi Films (2002) by Tejaswini Niranjana that deals with female spectator, gaze and masquerade in the Indian context. Though this article also talks about (female) vigilante and traces the genealogy of the vigilante in Telugu films by locating it in politico-cultural contexts, my main concern is to look at the way Niranjana poses challenges to the existing notions of spectator(ship), gaze and masquerade.

Niranjana focuses on four key Vijayasanthi films -- Kartavyam, A. Mohan Gandhi, 1990; Aasayam, A. Mohan Gandhi, 1993; Police Lock-Up, Kodi Ramakrishna, 1993; Streetfighter, B. Gopal, 1995) and analyses “the spectator positions created by the films” which “extend, even challenge, in interesting ways the theories of female spectatorship put forward by writers like Laura Mulvey and Mary Ann Doane”(238). Vijayasanthi is a phenomenon in Telugu cinema. The following quote shows how she is the ‘hero’ in her films. ‘The popular journal Sivaranjani dated July 29, 1994 carries an article with the title – “‘Mr’ Vijayasanthi – Confined to ‘Magaraayudu’ Roles?” (The reference is to the film Magaraayudu (E.V.V.Satyanarayana, 1995) starring Vijayasanthi.) The article went on to quote sources in the Telugu film industry, which said, she “lays claim to an image which could hitherto not be imagined”. The sources felt that “…The kind of image that a ‘top command hero’ has in terms of business (referring to the film industry) Vijayasanthi too has. Her films have the same drawing power”. A producer called her “Mr.Vijayasanthi”— “Vijayasanthi herself is the hero of my film. Going by the kind of business interest there is in both Telugu and Tamil in this film, anyone would call her Mr.Vijayasanthi” (Niranjana 188). Niranjana disagrees with Doane’s definition of masquerade as feminine excess or as pretending to be something other than what one is and argues masquerade as “behaving contrary to public expectations” and “disavowal of femininity” (240).

The study of Vijayasanthi films therefore, results in many serious questions. As Niranjana argues

[If] the idea of the masculine spectator-position is based on the over-visible image of the woman (to be looked at, to be acted upon); what happens then, when the woman’s image at the heart of the film is no longer that of the feminine female but the almost anti-feminine Vijayasanthi? What then is the spectator-position in relation to the masquerade, since this is a different kind of masquerade? Would it be appropriate to talk about the de-masculinisation of the spectator-position of classic narrative cinema? (195)

Thus if ‘spectatorial desire’ is conventionally only voyeurism or fetishism, both of them would not work for male or female spectators of the Vijayasanthi films. In addition to already existing contradictions within film theory, as briefed in the earlier part of the paper, Niranjana’s article draws our attention to one of the many inadequacies of classical film theory in the Indian scene. If we see Vijayasanthi films as an exception to classical film theory, there will be many exceptions in the Indian cinema context. These contradictions and exceptions should be read as a need for rethinking the existing analytical tools of (classical) film theory. I also stress the need for developing separate analytical tools, which will be helpful in addressing issues in Indian cinema. My theoretical attempt should not be seen as a dismissal of existing classical film theory and Indian film studies but as an initial stage, which takes its strength from the existing academic writing on cinema. Moreover, it is not premised on cultural difference arguments though it seeks to take them into consideration.


This paper further proceeds to specifically deal with (male) gaze and spectator(ship) (classical film theory tools), to show how these categories cannot be used to discuss Indian cinema. The very constitution of spectator and his gaze as male by the film theory denies pleasure to female spectator. Further, it presupposes that cinema constructs a certain viewing subject which is male. Though this has been questioned, redefined or sought to be expanded, it has never been denied.

The argument of gaze and spectator(ship) “took as its axis a desire to identify a pleasure that was specific to cinema, that is the eroticism and cultural conventions surrounding the look” (Mulvey 32 emphasis mine). So when gaze and spectator(ship) are used to analyze Indian cinema it is assumed that the eroticism and cultural conventions surrounding the look in India are similar to the culture where these concepts have emerged from. However, what if they are different? For instance, it is a very common sight to see people staring at something or somebody. People stare if one looks ‘beautiful’ or ‘ugly’, if someone has a new car, if one is a foreigner or a stranger, etc. Whereas, this kind of looking (staring) is absent and is considered offensive in the West which saw the emergence of classical film theory. One should pause here a while and understand ‘voyeurism’ in the above context. In voyeurism as Metz defines it, the object of the look is outside of and distanced from the subject, there is no punishment for looking and no reciprocity. In other words it is a secret pleasure of looking at something or somebody, which you are not allowed to look at. In the Indian context, the ‘look’ or to look at is neither prohibited nor punished. Though there is pleasure involved in this way of looking (staring) it is obviously different from the pleasure of looking secretly (voyeurism). The above is just an instance to challenge the unproblematic use of gaze and spectator(ship) in theorizing Indian cinema and also to stress the need for developing analytical tools which should emerge from the Indian context. There are many such instances intricate to Indian culture of looking which needs to be explored and examined before using voyeurism, gaze, spectator, etc. unproblematically which have emerged out of specific cultural conventions surrounding the ‘look’. And there is a necessity for film studies research in India to take steps in this direction. Further, it is quite evident that gaze and spectator(ship) have emerged in the context of Hollywood cinema. The following quotes will assert my point. Mulvey affirms that “the magic of the Hollywood style at its best (and of all the cinema which fell within its sphere of influence) arose, not exclusively, but in one important aspect, from its skilled and satisfying manipulation of visual pleasure (16). Stacey also notes that “This problematises the model of Hollywood cinema as a monolithic apparatus producing unified and masculinised spectators. It offers an explanation of the pleasure of Hollywood cinema based on sexual difference” (Stacey 24). By tracing the emergence of gaze and spectator(ship) to Hollywood cinema I am making space for the need of separate analytical tools to read Indian cinema. The above argument for separate analytical tools to read Indian cinema may sound rather simplistic. Though simplistic and common-sensical, these arguments serve as a base to probe further. Towards such an attempt I explore the form of Indian cinema and Hollywood cinema in order to show the inadequacy of gaze and spectator(ship) in the Indian context.

It is a common and acceptable understanding that Indian cinema is melodramatic while Hollywood cinema is realistic. Before I go on to locate gaze and spectator(ship) in realist cinema and the absence of the same in melodrama, a brief description of the differences between the two filmic forms (melodrama and realism) is essential. Though there are melodramatic films in Hollywood cinema, Indian cinema is different from them. When I use melodrama to talk about Indian cinema and realism to talk about Hollywood cinema, it is based more on the modes of production. The heterogeneous and the organic mode of production which Madhava Prasad uses to distinguish between Indian cinema and Hollywood cinema is the distinction that feeds into characterizing realism and melodrama in the paper.

Discussing the distinctive features of the narrative forms of Indian cinema and the role of political, economic, historical and cultural factors in the formation of aesthetics of Indian cinema Madhava Prasad appropriately outlines the differences between Hollywood cinema and Indian cinema. Prasad uses ‘heterogeneous’ and ‘organic’ or ‘serial’ forms of manufacture from Marx to distinguish between (Indian film or) Bollywood production process and Hollywood production process. Prasad quotes Marx in the differentiation stating that the first, heterogeneous mode is characterized by the separate production of the component parts of a product and their final assembly into one unit, while in the second, organic mode, a given raw material passes through various stages of production assigned to various workers or units within an integrated serial process (Marx, Capital: 461-3, Prasad 42). Extending these concepts to film, Prasad understands Indian cinema as heterogeneous form of manufacture and Hollywood cinema as organic or serial form of manufacture. If one conceives Indian cinema

as an assemblage of pre-fabricated parts, we get a more accurate sense of the place of various elements, like the story, the dance, the song, the comedy scene, the fight, etc. in the film text as a whole. On the other hand, what makes this method of functioning unsuitable for Hollywood is the fact that a material substratum – the story – is the point of departure of the production process and its transformation into a narrative film is the final goal of that process. (Prasad 43)

Marx uses the needle as an example for serial manufacture where the base material of the product is present from the beginning to the end of the process. Similar is the case with Hollywood cinema where the narrative is the base material for the film and the end process of film making, is that of telling this narrative. In contrast to this, Marx uses the watch to explain heterogeneous manufacture. There are many components used in producing a watch which have their own individual form and manufacturing process. All these components are combined to manufacture a watch, which stands as a whole, whose relation to its material components is that of an ideal signifying process (the measurement and indication of time) to its material means of realization. Similarly, in Indian cinema story occupies the same place (rather than the pre-eminent position it has in the Hollywood mode) with script, songs, dance, comedy track, star persona, etc. The ‘heterogeneous form of manufacture’ results in heterogeneous cinematic text. Stating the same Prasad writes

[Heterogeneous form of manufacture] does so to the extent that the cinematic instance is not the dominant one in the production of the film text; to the extent that the component elements of the text arise in traditions that have a separate existence or in traditions that, arising in the context of film itself (like the star system), acquire an independence that retroactively determines the form of the text. The different component elements have not been subsumed under the dominance of a cinema committed to narrative coherence. The heteronomous conditions under which the production sector operates are paralleled by a textual heteronomy whose primary symptom is the absence of an integral narrative structure. (45)

Thus, I draw the distinctions between Hollywood cinema and Indian cinema based on the form (realistic versus melodramatic) and mode of production (organic versus heterogeneous). Stating this I would return to examine gaze and spectator(ship) in both the forms. The very form of the Hollywood cinema is real. It attempts to present the story in realistic mode where by the viewer engages with it as though it is real. The realist cinema presents someone’s life, which is private and secret, to be looked at by the viewer through which ‘he’ derives pleasure. A pleasure of watching something private which ‘he’ believes is reality (though fiction, yet seen and presented as real). Discussing the three looks which constitutes (male) gaze and spectator(ship), Mulvey writes, “the conventions of narrative film deny the first two [looks] and subordinate them to the third [look], the conscious aim being always to eliminate intrusive camera presence and prevent a distancing awareness in the audience. Without these two absences (the material existence of the recording process, the critical reading of the spectator), fictional drama cannot achieve reality, obviousness and truth” (25). The above suits realist cinema as it aims to achieve reality, obviousness and truth. On the contrary, I argue that the heterogeneous Indian film text doesn’t endow gaze to the viewer and in turn doesn’t construct a voyeuristic spectator. In the first instance, Indian cinema, melodramatic by nature doesn’t aim to achieve reality, obviousness and truth— the truth, which undermines the (critical) reading of the viewer. The truth, gives ‘him’ a secret pleasure of watching ‘something private’ (and this ‘something private’ can only exist as real). The obvious absence of the ‘real’ in melodrama (Indian cinema) thus problematizes (male) gaze and spectator(ship). Moreover, the form of Indian cinema doesn’t allow the viewer to be a voyeur. The songs, dance, fight, comedy track, etc., which co-exist with narrative in Indian cinema, break the narrative continuity by exposing the film as unreal/fiction. All the above excess in the film continuously makes the viewer realize his position as a viewer and what he sees, as fiction. This heterogeneous form of Indian cinema allows the viewer to see and enjoy performance (a performance for the public), but not someone’s private life. The viewer’s pleasure is distinct form voyeuristic pleasure. Though I argue that Indian cinema textually posits pleasure – a pleasure of viewing performance, the presence of gaze and voyeuristic pleasure cannot be totally dismissed until the argument is further refined and substantiated. I also feel the need for Indian film studies research and feminist film theory in India to take this into consideration and put it to critical examination.

Further, Hollywood cinema, which is centered and based on the narrative, offers a single viewing position to the audience. The responsibility of the audience is to enjoy the plot offered by the realist film. The pleasures are around the narrative: in seeing the actors enacting the narrative, the use of special effects, the use of sound, etc. all aiming to present the narrative as realistically as possible. Whereas, Indian cinema, which is heterogeneous in form and production, offers multiple viewing positions to the audience. Though narrative is enjoyed by the audience, there are other aspects of the film like songs, dance, fights, comedy track, star gazing, etc. which exist on their own, independent of narrative. It is a common fact that people often go to watch an Indian film to see their favourite star, or to enjoy the fights and songs, etc. The various film assessments which are shown on television as propaganda for the films stand in evidence of the above point. We see audience coming out of the theatre commenting on the film. Some say the songs are wonderful, some say the story is very gripping, some the acting of a particular hero or heroine is brilliant. The other glaring evidence to assert my point of multiple viewing positions in Indian cinema is the predominantly stereotypical stories. On the other hand we see a lot variety in Hollywood cinema plots. Furthermore, the music industry which mainly survives on film songs also adds strength to the argument. Thus, it is distinct that Hollywood cinema which has narrative centrality offers a single viewing position, whereas Indian cinema offers multiple viewing positions. The single viewing position Hollywood cinema offers, with its eroticism and cultural conventions surrounding the look and the realist form of it, enables one to talk and theorize about gaze and spectator(ship) which are singular. On the other hand, multiple viewing positions in Indian cinema, cultural conventions surrounding the look in India and the melodramatic form of Indian cinema, expose the inadequacies of classical film theory and challenge the unproblematic use of film theory concepts in analyzing Indian cinema. More importantly, I would stress the need for developing separate analytical tools on the part of Indian film studies before claiming a theoretical status as ‘Indian film theory’.

The paper sets out to rethink spectator(ship) and (male) gaze in the Indian cinema context. It briefly locates the origin of these concepts in the western context and the contradictions within itself using Mulvey, Mayne and Stacey’s work. Further, it proceeds to locate the emergence of film studies in India and the enigma Indian cinema poses to classical film theory. I use Niranjana’s article on Vijayasanthi films to give an instance of the problems Indian cinema poses to classical film theory other than the existing contradictions within it. The paper specifically deals with (male) gaze and spectator(ship), to show how these categories cannot be used to discuss Indian cinema and ends asserting the need for developing analytical tools to deal with the ‘peculiarities’ of Indian cinema.

I should make it clear that the attempt is not to “reduce the specificity of Indian or any other distinct national cinema to a matter of pure cultural difference” though it must be considered in some cases. The paper also does not proclaim “the difference of Indian cinema as an obvious and absolute fact in itself” (6). The attempt was to expose the shortcomings of classical film theory in talking of Hollywood cinema and more importantly of Indian cinema. I am aware of the refinement needed for the various arguments put forward, but it should be read in the light of difficulties new arguments face to take shape.


Works Cited

Bruno, Giuliana. Untitled Entry in Camera Obscura 20/21: 1989.

Cook, Pam. ed. The Cinema Book. London: British Film Institute, 1994.

Doane, Mary Ann. Untitled Entry in Camera Obscura 20/21: 1989. 142-7.

Mayne, Judith. “Paradoxes of Spectatorship” Viewing Positions: Ways of Seeing Film. Ed. Linda Williams. New Brunswick: Rutgers Univ. Press, 1997. 155-183.

Mulvey, Laura. ‘Afterthoughts on ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ inspired by King Vidor’s Duel in the Sun (1946)’ in Visual and Other Pleasures. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1989. 29 - 38.

Mulvey, Laura. “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” Visual and Other Pleasures. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1989. 14 - 26.

Niranjana, Tejaswini. “Vigilantism and the Pleasures of Masquerade: The Female Spectator of Vijayasanthi Films”. City Flicks, Cinema, Urban Worlds & Modernities in India and Beyond. Ed. Preben Kaarsholm. Denmark: Graduate School, International Developmental Studies, Rockslide Univ. 2002. 185-197.

Prasad, Madhava.M Ideology of the Hindi Film: A Historical Construction. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Stacey, Jackie. “From the Male Gaze to the Female Spectator”. Star Gazing: Hollywood Cinema and Female Spectatorship. London: Routledge, 1994. 19-79.


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