So last time we ended up watching something interesting from the land of France: Godard’s A Woman is a Woman. There was a comment I didn’t get a chance to talk about which is sort of interesting and I think will appeal to most people in our class, so here’s the best way I can try to articulate what I am thinking:

The combination of the camera angles and the audio Godard gives us gives me the impression that not only we are to become the main female character, but we are also to indulge in the fanservice the director is trying to entice us with – an interesting duality. For those who don’t know, fanservice is a term used in the anime and video game culture which focuses on the directors or designers giving the viewer/player what they really want – visceral action combined with well endowed and beautiful ladies (also reminds me of Jay from the View Askew universe, too!).

So here’s what I was thinking that led me to this line of thought: whenever I saw the main character, I was accustomed to having her dead on in the center of the frame, or showing off some aspect of her that would make me take notice of her in the real world – her hairstyle, the way her eyebrows were done, the gloves she had on, and the way she ended up talking and was sort of rude to the guy at the coffee shop. Other times, there were shots of her body assets that we had no choice as an audience for us to look at an oogle. But at the same time, we also got treated to a multi-channel change in the audio, which suggests to me that she is a free spirit and constantly changing where and whom she is listening to, and other times when she is completely spacing out (when we hear nothing).

But, as we get used to drooling over here, we become foisted into her body (when the camera switches to POV) and are then forced to see how she views the world, which, if I remember correctly, didn’t really dart around so much. Kind of like, eyes forward, I’m awesome and I know it -kind of thing going on. This is the flip-side to the fanservice, as usually one doesn’t get to take part in what the fanserviced person is thinking or acting on (normally it is a compromising situation that reveals some skin). At this time, it seems to me that the message is that while we can fanservice others, but we need to be careful of how that fanservice stereotype is being applied to us if we are the main character.

And then I thought – hmmm, that seems to me like how the gaming industry likes to craft games with female leads that are meant for fanserivce. I’ve included two samples below – Summoner 2 and Bloodrayne. They also fall into the trap of balancing all of the game’s power and potential to these characters that the player is supposed to oogle at. So this makes me think of how gamers might get the image of idealized stereotypical heroines, and that we have to absorb this mentality and want them to be with us. The added element of creepiness is that we get to control the character and the camera of these games, so inherently we could be using the game as a means to promote unfair fanservice to characters that don’t deserve it in other games (but it seems to me that fanservice is a part of marketing and pushing copies of games out the door). I could talk more, but I’ll leave this a little open for discussion (and I need to go to sleep now!)

Trailer for A Woman is a Woman

Summoner 2 Footage

Bloodrayne Footage