Fetishism In Film

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A fetish, as categorized by Sigmund Freud in his article “Fetish,” develops after a young boy realizes the genital differences of the sexes—that women lack a penis (Freud, 153). The anxiety that is produced from this awareness is quickly forgotten, due to the fact the woman possesses something else: breasts, feet, legs, etc. But ultimately the young boy is unaware of the feelings that are occurring. Fetishized elements are present in Russ Meyer’s 1965 film Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Meyer employs fetishism not only at the level of the conscious—the women’s exposed chests, low cut shorts, blatant sexual innuendos, and suggestive dancing but also subconsciously within film form. It is the non-obvious forms of fetishizing that makes the film…show more content…
The music does not fully begin until the race starts, not when they are revving their engines, but once they start to drive around the dirt track. The musical riff which repeats in the sequence sounds as though it has been lifted from Benny Goodman’s 1936 song “Sing, Sing, Sing,” the mixing of horns and upbeat tempo gives it a swing feeling, but unlike Goodman’s cheerful piece, this has a much more foreboding sense. What is crucial though is the choice to make the audience think of jazz. Jazz is often associated with the femme fatale in film noir—the highly sensual, seductress, who causes mayhem for the male. In the case of FPKK! jazz is only present on the soundtrack when the women are on the screen, but more importantly when they are commanding control of the scene. The jazz music, not necessarily, obviously, gives a sense that in this scene there is an oversexualized woman, but she is also going to create some difficulty or the men present as well. In the case of the car sequence, cars are a typical—obvious—connection with men, especially sport, hotrods. By having them all rev the engines of the cars feels as though Tommy is trying to prove his masculinity to the three women, yet the women rev their engines just as much as if to show that he does not have any power over them. The choice of…show more content…
Low angles are usually utilized to establish power in a scene but they are not always as exaggerated as Ray’s implementation. In many of the shots it feels as though the camera is placed directly on the ground, looking straight up at the character. Particularly, in the scene where Billie is trying to convince the larger son (Dennis Busch) to go somewhere alone with her. No words are spoken as it cuts from a medium-long shot of the son, the old man and Billie, to an extreme low angle of Billie and the son. It makes Billie appear that much more threatening in the scene, almost as if the son has no option but to agree. The shot is not from the man’s point of view as he is present in the frame. Instead, the perspective feels as though it is from a young boy looking up at Billie, combined with her sense of authority in the scene it feels like she could be this imaginary child’s mother. It is reminiscent of Freud’s theory of fetishes, as only a child would have to look that much up at a grown woman and feel as though they had to obey some command. It is fetishized on the level of conscious because of Billie’s minimal clothing but subconsciously from this POV of a young boy. By the son agree to Billie’s advances it is as though he is giving up his masculinity, but just as Freud describes how a fetish is initially created, it is acceptable because Billie is clearly high sexualized. Without her low-cut
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