Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Intriguing Analysis: Depeche Mode's Ouvre and Female Gaze




As some of you know, I am a huge Depeche Mode Fan. Until I am able to get The Posters Came From The Walls to do a full analysis, this will have to do for now. This is a brief analysis on the female and homosexual gaze in Depeche Mode 101

I have seen Depeche Mode 101 so many times that I have lost count. I of course would like to thank Joseph FM for one of the best Christmas Gifts I have ever received. It is also no surprise that I am a Depeche Mode fan girl. This is not a love song devoted to them but I have decided to analyze the documentary as one of the best examples of film that manages to pander to the female and homosexual gaze.

The idea behind Depeche Mode 101 was to give fans an inside look into their Music For The Masses Tour and also an insight into a group of Depeche Mode fans. The director, legendary rock documentary filmmaker, D.A. Pennebaker was interested in the growing underground phenomenon known as Depeche Mode and their fans. Understandable one could make the argument that Depeche Mode is hugely popular around the world, but I am referring to America in this case, considering this documentary focused on their American leg of the tour.

What most people and some fans may have noticed is that Depeche Mode's fans are an interesting group to say the least. They do vary in age and demographic, but most of their fans are females and homosexual men. This is not surprising to me and I will explain why. All four of the members are in fact heterosexual men, hard to believe for most "macho" men. In addition to being comfortable with their own sexuality, they are confident and do not really care if people view them as "gay." A lot of their songs are about relationships, sex, love and life in general, which appeals to a female and gay male demographic, more so than a heterosexual male demographic.

So how does this film pander to the female and homosexual male gaze. It's quite simple. There are so many scenes of the film that involve either Dave Gahan or Martin Gore shirtless, many scenes of Dave Gahan's ass and the possible greatest scene in cinematic history, the scene in which after the show Alan Wilder and Dave Gahan are chatting while Dave is looking sexy in his black underwear. Then there are the concert scenes in which Dave and Marin are shaking their asses and dancing in a provocative and sexual manner. If anyone wants to argue against how it is not pandering to the female and homosexual gaze, please feel free to do so, but the evidence is pretty damming.

Either way, their whole stage presence while they are on tour is meant to pander to the female and homosexual gaze. They are aware of this and they have been since they first started out and quite frankly they do not have any issues with it at all. My only quip is that if only more bands were as willing to revel and be confident in their sexuality and write songs of a sensitive nature as Depeche Mode have been for over 30 years, I think these bands would be able to reach a larger demographic than just heterosexual males.

Stay Sassy Planet Earth,
The Movie Bitch

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