Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Spielberg's Minority Report: A Case Study of Femininity in Mainstream Movies

Jaime Bihlmeyer.

Spielberg’s intertextual and maternal expression enunciated in his film translation of Phillip Dick’s short story exemplifies the artist’s accentuation of the fissures in the Symbolic order always already featured in the alphabetic text. I link this proclivity for emphasis on extra-logical fissures in the movies to the female gaze, i.e., the enunciation of FEMININITY. "FEMININITY" in upper case letters connotes both a distancing from and a closeness to the word (fe)male and so is acknowledged graphically in my paper in order to feature the repressed "difference" in the written word as well as the (m)Otherness in the concept. As we pursue the graphic and figural aspect of these words, we become aware of the slippage inherent to written text that lends itself to the semiotic nature of film. Spielberg has discovered a space in Phillip K. Dick’s alphabetic text and in mainstream filmmaking that lends itself to post-structuralist FEMININITY.
My paper explores the intersection of Dick’s alphabetic text and Spielberg’s movie text which conjures a space transcribed and pulsating with Kristeva’s maternal semiotic. The novelty of this approach to mainstream filmmaking is my argument that the enunciation of FEMININITY transcends gender to the degree that it draws on a pre-lingual repressed and extra-sexual experience. Artists such as Stephen Spielberg tap into this archaic stage because of the extra-lingual qualities of motion pictures and the inchoate melancholy of their artistic prerogative


Jaime Bihlmeyer  (United States)
Associate Professor
Media, Journalism and Film Department
Southwest Missouri State University

  • Maternal semiotic
  • Kristeva
  • Spielberg
  • Lacan
Person as Subject
  • Kristeva, Julia Spielberg, Steven

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)