Film Theory: Fetishism

Research in progress: Feb 7, 2022.

Film Theory: Fetishism

Another Freudian term, fetishism, refers to the perversion whereby men strive to discover the penis in the woman in order to grant themselves erotic satisfaction.

Thus, long hair, a high-heel shoe, or long, sharp earrings may stand in for the penis.

Fear of castration underlies fetishism in that sexual excitement is impossible with a creature who lacks the penis, or something that represents it.

In the cinema, the whole female body may be “fetishized” in order to counteract the fear of sexual difference, i.e. of castration.

Films: Objects of Desire


The 390 Four-Speed Green Mustang (used amazingly in the chase scene)

Diary of a Chambermaid:

Jeanne Moreau as Celestine wears bottines, her employer, Jean Ozenne, has a show fetish. He takes her ankle in his hand and drools as the little buttons come undone.

Rear Window:

The bag that Grace Kelly brings to Jimmy Stewart is both chic and suggestive.

“You said I’ll have to live out of one suitcase,” she tells him. I’ll bet yours isn’t that small.”