The second film discusses the female nude. Berger asserts that only twenty or thirty old masters depict a woman as herself rather than as a subject of male idealisation or desire.
The book Ways of Seeing was made by Berger and Dibb, along with Sven Blomberg, Chris Fox, andRichard Hollis. The book consists of seven numbered essays: four using words and images; and three essays using only images. The book has contributed to feminist readings of popular culture, through essays that focus particularly on depictions of women in advertisements and oil paintings.Ways of Seeing is considered a seminal text for current studies of visual culture and art history.
The third programme is on the use of oil paint as a means of depicting or reflecting the status of the individuals who commissioned the work of art. In the fourth programme, on publicity and advertising, Berger argues that colour photography has taken over the role of oil paint, though the context is reversed. An idealised potential for the viewer (viaconsumption) is considered a substitution for the actual reality depicted in old master portraits.
The film was a major departure from De Palma's usual oueuvre of suspense and obsession. Much of the comedy has its roots in the traditional British absurdist sense of humor associated with the likes of Monty Python and The Goon Show. Crittenden's screenplay is filled with oddball characters and bizarre situations, such as a bomber who is put on hold when he calls to announce his device will explode in six minutes, or a beautiful young woman who confesses to Donald her crush on the paper boy prompted her to prostitute herself so she could afford a newspapersubscription.
De Palma completed the film in 1970 but it wasn't released by Warner Bros. until two years later. Uncertain how to market it, the studio did little to promote it and the movie quickly disappeared from theaters.