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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53760
Doc. No:TL23714
Call number:‭3226060‬
Main Entry:David Wesley Pendleton, Jr.
Title & Author:“The eye of desire”: Exoticism, homoeroticism, cinemaDavid Wesley Pendleton, Jr.
College:University of California, Los Angeles
Date:2006
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2006
Page No:305
Abstract:The category of the exotic has been an important generator of homoerotic images in the cinema. Under the guise of an ethnographic or aestheticizing gaze, cinematic images have centered on the body of the "exotic" (i.e., non-Western) male as the object of homoerotic desire. There are three major examples of this "homoexoticism": F.W. Murnau's Tabu (1931); Sergei Eisenstein's unfinished Qué Viva México! (shot in 1931-32); and Pier Paolo Pasolini's Arabian Nights (1974). Each of these films presents a different form of exoticizing and eroticizing the non-Western male body. Tabu, shot in Tahiti, presents the body of the male Pacific Islander as a beautiful object at harmony with nature. The gaze of Murnau's camera is both ethnographic and aesthetic, a gaze reinforced by the fact that Tabu's credits list two filmmakers: both Murnau and the documentary filmmaker Robert Flaherty. For Eisenstein, Mexico is a landscape determined by a history of brutality and violence. However, this cruel landscape is inhabited by a populace that remains in contact with primitive vital forces as a result of the cruel surroundings. The sadomasochistic display of the male body in Qué Viva México! reveals its primal power and creates of it an image at once sacred and profane, meant to generate a state of ecstasy in the spectator. Finally, Pasolini's Arabian Nights exhibits an idiosyncratic form of Orientalism, presenting the Orient as a place of magic and polymorphous sexuality. This Orient is flagrantly inauthentic, foregrounding the film's pansexuality as a critique of the limits of the sexual revolution of the 1970s. All three films share a phantasy about the male body existing in a pre-modern paradise in which it remains free of the disciplinary demands of modern forms of gender and sexuality. The homoexoticism of these films foregrounds the male body in ways that destabilize the distinction between cinematic identification and object choice. This oscillation between identification and object choice has important ramifications for the political significance both of the functioning of the cinematic image and the nature of homoexotic desire.
Subject:Communication and the arts; Cinema; Eisenstein, Sergei; Exoticism; F. W. Murnau; Germany; Homoeroticism; Murnau, F. W.; Pasolini, Pier Paolo; Pier Paolo Pasolini; Russia; Sergei Eisenstein; Motion pictures; 0900:Motion pictures
Added Entry:J. Bergstrom
Added Entry:University of California, Los Angeles