I am going to write my post before I potentially lose power for ‘weeks,’ so bear with me while I write this in the midst of chaos here on long Island.
Fetishism and Film: What the Heck is Ray Talking About?
I have to say, I found it extremely weird that Ray uses fetishism in his argument about the cinema. He says that: “They were quickly surprised by their viewers’ fascination with individual players. For a brief moment, the industry resisted this unintended consequence of the movies, this admiration for actors that seemed an ‘overestimation of value,’ a fetishism” (Ray 6). This was such an interesting yet a very strange argument. What I took out of what Ray is saying here is that some of the viewers of films and television show’s develop some sort of fetish for the actors and the glamour that images of films bring. I have to say that sometimes we do see big movie buffs developing obsessions with actors/actresses/and the films themselves.
He later says that, “Hollywood came to recognize this fetishism as a means of making money, and the star system deliberately set out to encourage it. In fact, although continuity cinema’s insistence on story often reduced the immediate attraction of its components (“while an image could be beautiful,” one cameraman recalls, “it wasn’t to be so beautiful as to draw attention to itself”), inadvertently, as the impressionists and Surrealists saw, the movie’s glamorized everything: faces, clothes, furniture, trains” (6). This made me really think about how much we do glamorize what we see on screen. Look at some woman and men and how much media images affect them, IE) Body Image. We are so caught up with what we think is ‘perfect’ in the glamorization of images in film and media that we could develop a fetish described by Ray. What is most disturbing about this argument is that Hollywood feeds off of this fetishism’s and glamorization’s. People are becoming more and more obsessed with these images and are expecting ‘perfection’ based on these images, that men and women are being harmed in the process. My question here is: Do you think that we are being harmed by all the glamour that Hollywood exudes? Do you agree with Ray’s development of ‘fetishism’ in his article?