PRINT April 1987



Mary Ann Doane's The Desire to Desire: The Woman's Film of the 1940s was published in June 1987 by Indiana University Press, Bloomington, at 256 pages, with 73 black-and-white illustrations. (cloth $35; paperback $12.50)

TOWARD THE END of Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), there is a close-up of some duration of Mia Farrow in spectatorial ecstasy, enraptured by the image, her face glowing (both figuratively and literally through its reflection of light from the movie screen). This rapture persists despite the rather tawdry surroundings of a lower-class movie theater. What the shot signifies, in part, is the peculiar susceptibility to the image—to the cinematic spectacle in general—attributed to the woman in our culture. Her pleasure in viewing is somehow more intense. The woman's spectatorship is yet another clearly delineated mark of her excess. This hyperbolically intimate

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.