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Keyword: Feminism | Female Agency in Li Yu’s Lost in Beijing: From ‘Object of the Look’ to ‘Subject Who Looks’ 

Bérénice M. REYNAUD; Translator: FAN Xiang


This article examines female agency in Li Yu’s Lost in Beijing (2007). Unlike most commentators on the film, I argue, through a close reading of the mise-en-scène, that the heroine isn’t a passive character subjugated to the male gaze and that, on the contrary, the filmmaker uses displays of the male gaze to better subvert them. Lauren Elkin’s definition of the flâneuse and Jenn Marie Nunes’s discussion on active vanishing and the agency contained in invisibility provide a theoretical framework to analyse how the heroine not only stops the performing of the male gaze, but also successfully subverts the patriarchal and capitalist domination that was oppressing her.