Breaking the Cycle: Establishing New Feminist Phenomenology within Movement-Image in Maren Ade’s "The Forest for the Trees."


  • Erin Gizewski


Since Laura Mulvey s corner stone essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema ” (1975), feminist film theories have
analyzed the depictions of women s bodies in film. These theories, however, continually utilize the semiotics similar
semiotics and stand the dangers of reiterating the discourse of corporeal female lack. In my essay, I call for a new film
theory that breaks the c ycle of the mind body divide i n an effort to change the discourse surrounding the female both in
film analysis and without it . In this paper I combine the formal, fluid aspects of Gilles Deulze s movement image and
the very physical, existential elements o f Vivian Sobchack s phenomenology to analyze Marian Ade s breakout,
feminist oriented film, "Der Welt vor Läuter Bäumen "(2003). Using this new combination of film theories, I emphasize
moments in Ade s film in which the movement image facilitates negotiatio n and collaboration between film and the
spectator as a mind body whole. Within such a method, the feminine body does not become re centralized, but rather
collaborates with the mind to form a cohesive whole in which the spectator, in all her physical and mental capacities,
finally receives the agency to produce meaning , opening up the possibility to break out beyond current feminist film
semiotics .