In the Allegory of the Cave, Socrates suggests that, without philosophical education, we are all like the prisoners in the cave. What are your thoughts on this? How is philosophy supposed to be liberating? Do you think Socrates is right to be so pessimistic about life without philosophy?
lmadovar uses this as a reason to show the opposite of such belief. It becomes quite clear that in All about my mother the focus is concentrated on the relationships that Manuela holds and creates with the other women in the film. She is the heroine; the main objective of the film is for Manuela to find Estaban’s father which takes the focal point at the start but this is pushed aside quite quickly and the film becomes Manuela’s journey through the past. Finding Estaban’s father resurfaces later on in the film but does not arrange the narrative. Of course theorists including Mulvey suggest that “Man is the bearer of the look of the spectator” whereas Almadovar shows us in Mother it is the women that controls the look. The focal point of the film if on Women. Almadovar’s film makes obvious note and reference to the film All about Eve (1950). The actress in the film ‘Margo’ seems to disprove the idea that she could be seen as ‘just a body and a voice’ but at the same time we are taken through the story by a man watching from a nearby stall. The man is still the bearer of the look and with this in mind we are in some ways forced to side with the male protagonist in the piece. In Mother, we can see that Manuela does not compare with Mulvey’s views on the act of the female in cinema. While Mulvey suggests that women are looked at for erotic pleasure which in direct correlation to the “leitmotif of erotic spectacle: from pin ups to strip-tease”, Manuela becomes a mother, not only to her son but to the other women in the film and shows professional mothering skills. We must not forget that in the film she displays her skill for cooking and nursing and she is also an actress whom can improvise and lie convincingly. Predominantly the film is about mothering. And this is seen throughout the film and coincidentally the film lacks all fathering. The only father in the film is that of Sister Rosa’s father whom suffering from Alzheimer’s has become child like, dependant on a women. The consensus that is the men that are the heroes of the film and also the bearer of the look does find its way back into the picture by the end of the film. It is Esteban the second who creates the miracle at the end of the film, when his HIV passed on by sister Rosa, is neutralized. However we must realise that this comes from a child dependant on the other the women in the film and that his HIV miracle is from the utopian of his gender dissident mothers. A key character in this film which we can interpret in many different ways and use to look at Almodovar’s work as a whole is that of Agrado. She is the lead transvestite character in the film and still bears the male hood of a penis. Almodovar uses Agrado to go against the convention of traditional cinema. Like so many other lead transvestites in film Agrado does not seek camouflage or the suppression of herself. She does not pretend to be anything else but what she is and this is how she gains her affirmation. The topic of Transgender is one which falls under harsh debate and with relation to drag has its place in films. Topics about the body and gender in relation to transgender and drag will help us to reconsider such concepts which, in this film, are overlaid throughout the whole film. Transgender is. as expected, one factor that has led to a reconstruction of views and theories in relation to gender. As Butler says in Gender Trouble: Feminism and the subversion of identify (1990) ‘imitating gender, a drag queen reveals the imitative structure of gender – as well as its contingency’. It is hard to pick up on or read Almodovar’s transgender characters especially in relation to Agrado. Butler goes on to cite that of Esther Newton where Newton describes the drag as a ‘double inversion’ w>GET ANSWER