The Gaze

A young dancer faces scrutiny from an invisible audience only she can see. Frustrated and unwilling to continue her constant performance, she is interrupted by her own face in the audience, and suddenly forced to question who she is really performing for. Finding strength and clarity in her defiance of the male gaze and it’s many manifestations, she is finally able to stop dancing.

  • Roxanne Halley
    Nymph, The Village Idiot
  • Roxanne Halley
  • Anne-Maree Shelton
    Toombaworth, Tidiest Town 2002, St Albans West of, The Village Idiot
  • Adrienne Smith
    Key Cast
    We Can Be Heroes
  • Thom Neal
    Director of Photography
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 57 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 1, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Arri Alexa Raw
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Reel Good Film Festival
    March 4, 2017
    Australian Premiere
Director Biography - Roxanne Halley

Since studying film and television at Swinburne University, Roxanne has gone on to direct a number of successful web series, commercials, music videos and short films. Her graduating short, "Nymph" was selected to screen at the Cannes Film Festival Court Métrage, and the Made in Melbourne Film Festival in 2015. Her short comedy, "The Village Idiot" starring Kath and Kim's Jane Turner was selected for the Little Melbourne Film Festival where it received an Audience Prize.

More recently, Roxanne was commissioned to direct a short film for Project Anon's collaboration with classical composer, Nicolas Buc at Melbourne Music Week event "Trailer Music II".

Her focus continues to fall on female-led narratives, ethical media and films that discuss social justice and feminism.

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Director Statement

I enjoy watching films about introspection and personal experiences, and when writing The Gaze I tried to find a way to articulate something that had occurred during a period of self-reflection. The films of David Lynch heavily influenced me, and the way he can seamlessly blur the lines between reality and the surreal. I also drew inspiration from Bob Fosse’s “Cabaret” (1972) where commentary on humanity is delivered through seemingly playful performances.

When we become aware of our habits or compulsions it gives us the freedom to analyse them from a distance, like stepping back from a painting. Lacan and Satre described the “gaze” as one losing a degree of autonomy when realizing one is being watched. When we feel as though we are being watched, it alters our behaviour and cultivates a little voice that lives in our heads and keeps us in check.

When we began the audition process for The Gaze, the large majority of women who had read the script immediately understood the context. We all saw it as an opportunity to discuss our own self-criticism and the sometimes-overwhelming presence of the male gaze, whether real or self-imposed. The Gaze is my articulation of an inner-experience in a way that I hope will resonate and create a spark of recognition in others.