Michael Ray’s Recommended Viewing
♛ email: MichaelRay@LoraxCommunity.org
Written: Los Angeles, CA, 2019. | Edited [Eugene, OR]
directed by Sut Jhally
The films examines the cultural construction of the female identity within popular media, focusing on a range of music videos. Sut Jully illustrates how women within the “dream world” consent to being objectified as he channel surfs through a range of music videos. The consumers of the staged misogynistic, violent, and/or pornographic images are then paralleled to modern social events.
He suggests that the falsified portrayals of women within film, and other media affects how they are seen outside of the fantasy, or “dream world.” He takes the viewer behind the screen and around the world to illustrate the effects that the dream world portrayal of women has had on the real world perception.
Released in 2007, Sut Jhally’s exploratory film pre-dates the #MeToo movement but is as relevant today, as it was when it was released. Jhally cites how women within music videos (of varying genres) conform to the standards of the dream world. In some cases, conformity is represented as an erotic surrender of the female body to dominant males, however the fantasy of champagne splattered wet t-shirts, orgiastic public groping, and physical subjugation is a traumatic experience for women in the real world.
Throughout Sut Jully’s dialogue with the audience, he highlights the various ways that women are muted, marginalized, objectified and abused, in both the real world and in the dream world. Sex and power are the dominant cultural ethos that bond the structure of the dreamworld together. I first discovered Dreamworlds 3 while developing the concept of the “disappearing girl” as a literary archetype. Read about the archetype HERE.