FQ columnist Caetlin Benson-Allott examines the role of cinematographer Hélène Louvert’s in crafting narratives that protect the cinematic subject’s right to privacy in two recent films by female directors: Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Eliza Hittman, 2020) and The Lost Daughter (Maggie Gyllenhaal, 2021). Noting that the history of cinema has privileged the camera’s voyeuristic violation of privacy, particular of women and other minorities, Benson-Allott explores how Louvert employs different cinematic codes and conventions to instead protect and respect her characters’ interiority. These gestures call into question the presupposed right of both mainstream and art cinema to look, and encourage scholars’ long overdue attention to the role of the cinematographer in creating cinematic meaning.
Film and the Right to Privacy
Caetlin Benson-Allott is Professor of English and Film & Media Studies at Georgetown University and editor of JCMS. She is also the author of The Stuff of Spectatorship: Material Cultures of Film and Television (2021), Remote Control (2015), and Killer Tapes and Shattered Screens: Video Spectatorship from VHS to File Sharing (2013).
Caetlin Benson-Allott; Film and the Right to Privacy. Film Quarterly 1 June 2022; 75 (4): 58–63. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2022.75.4.58
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