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Title: DNA instability in the human alpha-globin gene cluster
Authors: Lam, Kwan-Wood Gabriel
Award date: 2007
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: My dissertation, Rejected Women in Film Noir, brings an innovative approach to a well-studied cycle of films in terms of character type and methodology by concentrating on a female character frequently pictured, but rarely discussed, which I am calling the "rejected woman." Rejected women characters include: the faithful and taken-for-granted "girl Friday," the "B" girl (Noir code for fallen woman) fettered to a bar stool, who is used and discarded by the Noir hero, and the lonely spinster, who has a dull, unglamorous job like bookkeeper or telephone operator. She desires (positive) attention from the noir hero, yet only receives it in a negative form, culminating in either active or passive rejection through dismissal or indifference. This story line of rejection is mirrored in the physical and psychological pain she often endures. This narrative based "rejection" echoes the formal "rejection" of the character in the mise-en-scene..;My methodology begins with close filmic readings and broadens to consider a number of ideological questions. I try to avoid a priori applications of ideological assumptions, and instead conduct detailed examinations of filmic textuality. I primarily utilize psychoanalytical film theory anchored in two of Jacques Lacan's texts: "The Mirror Stage" essay (1949), and The Four Fundamentals of Psychoanalysis (Seminar XI) (1964). A profound misunderstanding surrounding the term "the gaze" has caused confusion in derision in film theory discourse. I recommend that we consider Laura Mulvey 's application of Lacan's "Mirror Stage" essay be called "Look Theory," and Jacqueline Rose's, Joan Copjec 's and Todd McGowan 's application of Lacan's Seminar XI lectures be called "Gaze Theory." After describing the reasons why this split is needed, as well as glossing the major points of each of these scholars' approaches to Lacan's work, I demonstrate how productive both "Look" theory and "Gaze" theory are in examining film generally and Rejected Women of Film Noir specifically.;By reading the rejected woman through Mulvey 's ground-breaking essay, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema," I show how the rejected woman exists as a paradoxical locus of power. She is antinomic; simultaneously encompassing pain and pleasure, visibility and invisibility, movement and immobility, text and writing instrument. For example, Gaye Dawn in Key Largo appears metaphorically invisible to film's male characters (I bend Mulvey 's language, arguing that rejected women connote a "to-(not)-be-looked-at-ness"). Her invisibility grants her power unavailable to other characters, yet she uses this power solely for the benefit of the Noir hero. Because Key Largo 's male character do not pay attention to her, like they do the home girl Nora, Gaye "becomes" invisible, and therefore, she can approach Rocco, steal his gun, and give it to Frank, which he will use to save his life. Despite risking her life, Gaye gains nothing from this act. She uses the power endowed by her invisibility solely to edify Frank.;Using Lacan's "Gaze" theory, I study the way the rejected woman both embodies the gaze and how objects in the film gaze at her. I argue that these gazes register as moments of escape, daydreaming and fantasy (Lacan's Imaginary register) as well as moments of pain, trauma and fascination (Lacan's Real register). Historically, she functions as the gaze because she reminds us collectively of traumas we may not wish to acknowledge consciously, such as racism and the invention and use of the atomic bomb. Objects in the diegesis gaze at her and tell the stories of her personal traumas (rape, prostitution, and death by horrible physical pain) as well as signify her attempts to create a world where fantasy and imagination provide a respite from her dull, dreary life and help her cope with the rejection she faces, most notably from the Noir hero.;Because my project involves close and detailed readings of specific filmic scenes, it focuses on a small selection of Film Noirs: The Maltese Falcon (John Huston 1941), Casablanca (Michael Curtiz 1942), Key Largo (John Huston 1948), Criss Cross (Robert Siodmak 1949), The Big Heat (Fritz Lang 1953) and The Blue Gardenia (Fritz Lang 1953), and Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955). I chose films using two criteria: 1) films that particularly are "rejection woman heavy," meaning they contained several examples of this figure, and 2) films that covered the fifteen-year time frame of the Film Noir cycle: 1941.1955. I also include some outliers, focusing on them as precedents that prefigure the Rejected Woman character type, such as Pepe Le Moko (Julien Duvivier 1937) The Letter (William Wyler 1940), and Citizen Kane (Orson Welles 1941). (Abstract shortened by UMI.).
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, Dept. of Genetics
Leicester Theses

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