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Dominant Fiction being the formula which Hollywood cinema is based, it is not hard to see how modern cinema still has miles to go before it overcomes the problems of classic cinema in relation to women.

In the vein of feminist Barbara Creed, certain elements in the horror film genre are used as symbols of the ultimate abject – that is, the symbol of the thing we fear most, which is the monster in this genre. Elements such as female blood, saliva and vomit in the original films The Exorcist, or Alien, are used as frightful symbols of evil. In Alien, the monster’s blood is acid ooze that eats through the ship. In The Exorcist, the little girl’s menstrual blood is used as a dirty and alien component to the female body in a gruesome scene with her mother. In these examples, female blood is seen as corrosive and destructive to the symbolic - or patriarchal – order. Whereas, male blood on the ship’s battlefield in Alien or Christ’s blood in The Exorcist is used as a saving grace and pure, even holy.

The maternal body in Alien is a symbol of the monster, or the abject. The alien is inseminated through the human mouth and implanted into its host and “born” C-section style through the stomach. The maternal is thereby placed at the bottom of the symbolic order as monster. The alien’s voice is only the screams of a monster – the alien is mute, not unintelligent, but mute in the sense the female voice is not heard but only an utterance and therefore feared. Even in the progression of the Alien films, up to Alien V. Predator, the female alien is still the monster and male predator is humanized and hero.

For Hollywood to overcome the problems of classic cinema in relation to women, much work still needs to be done. A simple role reversal would be the same old dominant fiction formula, such as the male voice perceived as evil emanating from the girl in The Exorcist.

In cinema, there are the typical three looks: the look of the camera, the audience and the characters to each other. Narrative, conflict and perspective are created with these three looks. The old dominant formula was to deny the look of the camera and audience in favor of the male character to the female character creating a conflict of male dominance over woman.

Many feminist filmmakers find a common bond with the classic cinema directors in the idea of the three looks. A feminist lens opens cinema up to other perspectives and stronger conflict by utilizing all three looks to be more inclusive, most especially the look of character to character – woman at man in addition to the current dominant lens of male at female.

Society has repressed the idea of woman as leader or the symbol of good in favor of ideas of original sin placed on the woman in the symbolic order of things. Yet the idea of a more open lens might already be present in the progressing storylines of Hollywood cinema’s anxiety towards the female image. Screen ideas of woman vomiting on a patriarchal symbol like the Priest in The Exorcist might be Hollywood’s repressed conscious working out its fears so Western society can manage its dominant male ego.

Author Bio
Kriss Perras
Author: Kriss PerrasWebsite: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Publisher & Editor
Kriss Perras owns Ruptured Media where she publishes Malibu Arts Journal. Ruptured Media is also a story development company. Kriss has been tenacious and fought authority from the very start of her career in journalism. Kriss' first story as a journalist was for her college newspaper covering George W. Bush and Steve Forbes in the Iowa Caucuses during the 2000 election. She showed up at the hotel where Bush was to speak with her editor's letter of assignment in hand. She credentialed at the press desk like every other press person. She had questions in hand she had prepared to ask the Presidential candidate. She walked into the speaking room to find the press was roped off from the candidate. Being new to election coverage, and journalism, she was disappointed. She stood next to a seasoned AP photographer on the press platform. She asked the AP photographer if she could get out from behind the ropes and ask Bush her questions. The AP photographer said, "Well, you can try." So she did. She stepped out from behind the ropes and waited in line behind the people seeking the candidate's autograph. When it was her turn, she introduced herself to Bush as a college journalist and started to ask her questions. Bush said, " Wait, are you a journalist?" She said, "Yes." Bush nodded to his Secret Service team. They promptly came over on each side of her. She was 5'6" tall and weighed 127 pounds. The Secret Service men were well over a foot taller than her and obviously guys who worked out often. They could pick her up with their pinky fingers. They quickly picked her up by her arms, carried her over the ropes and plopped her back down on the press platform as she was still asking Bush her questions. Bush to his credit said, "Please give her one of my books. The answers to her questions are in my book." So she had to read his entire book, but she indeed found the answers to her questions. She also drew political cartoons for her college newspaper and still does today. Her next big break came in 2002, still as a student, with an interview with former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brezinski. Kriss went on in 2006 to found PCH Press, Malibu's daily newspaper. With PCH Press, she had extensive coverage of the battle against LNG and the fight against the placement of an LNG port being placed off the coast of Malibu and Oxnard, among other local news. She has covered Olara Otunnu, former United Nations Undersecretary General and Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict when he spoke in Los Angeles in 2006. She covered Democracy Now! journalist Amy Goodman when she spoke in Los Angeles in 2006. She has interviewed Progressive David Swanson and numerous Malibu Mayors. In 2007, She founded Malibu Arts Journal magazine. Kriss built Malibu Arts Journal from the ground up. She has taken the magazine from an unknown dot com to a respected title. She earned the magazine digital distribution through Magzter and the iTunes App Store where it now enjoys broad based readership across the globe. She is a member of the national honor society Who's Who In American Universities And Colleges. Her photogrpahy has aired on CMTV channel 14 Spokane, Washington. *Photo Copyright 2017: Alan Weissman
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