Red Road (2006) and emerging narratives of 'sub-veillance'
Lake, Jessica. (2010). Red Road (2006) and emerging narratives of 'sub-veillance'. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies. 24(2), pp. 231-240. https://doi.org/10.1080/10304310903294721
Andrea Arnold's film Red Road (2006) depicts a female closed-circuit television (CCTV) operator who suddenly recognizes a man in one of her screens and becomes obsessed with pursuing him. In the context of surveillance cinema, it is exceptional in its portrayal of a woman who conducts surveillance. The prevailing theoretical model of the panopticon in surveillance studies emphasizes the power imbalances existing between organizations and ‘ordinary’ private citizens to the detriment of other perspectives of analysis such as gender. The fact that nearly all surveyors in cinema are white, middle-class men has been largely ignored. Red Road, alongside films such as Michael Haneke's Hidden (2005), constitutes part of an emerging genre of what I have termed ‘sub-veillance’ films, in which looking is done from ‘below’, by those traditionally considered as subordinate. By reversing the dynamics of looking, ‘sub-veillance’ films challenge traditional theories and narratives of surveillance and raise questions about how our individual desires and fears are refracted through the lens to reconfigure space and screens. Red Road exposes the cosy conceptual coupling of male voyeurism and surveillance and, by privileging the ‘haptic’ over the ‘optic’, the voyager over the voyeur, presents ‘sub-veillance’ as fluid and furtive, as an embodied exercise of traversing and transgressing a reoriented digital terrain.
|Journal||Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies|
|Journal citation||24 (2), pp. 231-240|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.1080/10304310903294721|
|Research or scholarly||Research|
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|Online||26 Mar 2010|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||15 Nov 2021|
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