Screening the Male

Author: Steve Cohan
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134900090
Format: PDF, ePub
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Screening the male re-examines the problematic status of masculinity both in Hollywood cinema and feminist film theory. Classical Hollywood cinema has been theoretically established as a vast pleasure machine, manufacturing an idealized viewer through its phallocentric ideological apparatus. Feminist criticism has shown how difficult it is for the female viewer to resist becoming implicated in this representational system. But the theroies have overlooked the significance of the problem itself - of the masuline motivation at the core of the system. The essays here explore those male characters, spectators, and performers who occupy positions conventionally encoded as "feminine" in Hollywood narrative and questions just how secure that orthodox male position is. Screening the Male brings together an impressive group of both established and emerging scholars from Britain, the United States and Australia unified by a concern with issues that film theorists have exclusively inked to the femninie and not the masculne: spectacle, masochism, passivity, masquerade and, most of all, the body as it signifies gendered, racial, class and generatonal differences.

Masked Men

Author: Steve Cohan
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 9780253115874
Format: PDF, ePub
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The fifties marks the moment when a heterosexual/homosexual dualism came to dominate U.S. culture's thinking about masculinity. The films of this era record how gender and sexuality did not easily come together in a normative manhood common to American men. Instead these films demonstrate the widely held perception of a crises of masculinity. Masked Men documents how movies of the fifties represented masculinity as a multiple masquerade. Hollywood's star system positioned the male actor as a professional performer and as a body intended to solicit the erotic interest of male and female viewers alike. Drawing on publicity, poster art, fan magazines, and the popular press as a means of following the links between fifties stars, their films, and the social tensions of the period, Cohan juxtaposes Hollywood's narratives of masculinity against the personae of leading men like Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne, Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, William Holden, Montgomery Clift, Marlon Brando, and Rock Hudson. Masked Men focuses on the gender and sexual masquerades that organized their performances of masculinity on and off screen.

Taking It Like a Man

Author: David Savran
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400822461
Format: PDF, ePub
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From the Beat poets' incarnation of the "white Negro" through Iron John and the Men's Movement to the paranoid masculinity of Timothy McVeigh, white men in this country have increasingly imagined themselves as victims. In Taking It Like a Man, David Savran explores the social and sexual tensions that have helped to produce this phenomenon. Beginning with the 1940s, when many white, middle-class men moved into a rule-bound, corporate culture, Savran sifts through literary, cinematic, and journalistic examples that construct the white man as victimized, feminized, internally divided, and self-destructive. Savran considers how this widely perceived loss of male power has played itself out on both psychoanalytical and political levels as he draws upon various concepts of masochism--the most counterintuitive of the so-called perversions and the one most insistently associated with femininity. Savran begins with the writings and self-mythologization of Beat writers William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac. Although their independent, law-defying lifestyles seemed distinctively and ruggedly masculine, their literary art and personal relations with other men in fact allowed them to take up social and psychic positions associated with women and racial minorities. Arguing that this dissident masculinity has become increasingly central to U.S. culture, Savran analyzes the success of Sam Shepard as both writer and star, as well as the emergence of a new kind of action hero in movies like Rambo and Twister. He contends that with the limited success of the civil rights and women's movements, white masculinity has been reconfigured to reflect the fantasy that the white male has become the victim of the scant progress made by African Americans and women. Taking It Like a Man provocatively applies psychoanalysis to history. The willingness to inflict pain upon the self, for example, serves as a measure of men's attempts to take control of their situations and their ambiguous relationship to women. Discussing S/M and sexual liberation in their historical contexts enables Savran to consider not only the psychological function of masochism but also the broader issues of political and social power as experienced by both men and women.

Hard Bodies

Author: Susan Jeffords
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 9780813520032
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Hard Bodies is about Ronald Reagan, Robert Bly, "America," Rambo, Dirty Harry, national identity, and individual manhood. By linking blockbuster Hollywood films of the 1980s to Ronald Reagan and his image, Susan Jeffords explores the links between masculinity and U.S. identity and how their images changed during that decade. Her book powerfully defines a distinctly ideological period in the renegotiation of masculinity in the post-Vietnam era. As Jeffords perceptively notes, Reagan was most effective at constructing and promoting his own image. His election in 1980 and his landslide re-election in 1984 offered politicians and the film industry some insight into "what audiences want to see." Audiences--and constituencies--were looking for characters who stood up for individualism, liberty, anti-governmentalism, militarism, and who embodied a kind of mythic heroism. The administration in Washington and Hollywood filmmakers sensed and tried to fill that need. Jeffords describes how movies meshed inextricably with Reagan's life as he cast himself as a hero and influenced the country to believe the same script. Invoking Clint Eastwood in his speeches and treating scenes from movies as if they were real, Reagan played on his image in order to link popular and national narratives. Hollywood returned the compliment. Through her illuminating and detailed analyses of both the Reagan presidency and many blockbuster movies, Jeffords provides a scenario within which the successes of the New Right and the Reagan presidency can begin to be understood: she both encourages an understanding of how this complicity functioned and provides a framework within which to respond to the New Right's methods and arguments. Rambo, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, Robocop, Back to the Future, Star Wars, the Indiana Jones series, Mississippi Burning, Rain Man, Batman, and Unforgiven are among the films she discusses. In her closing chapter, she suggests the direction that masculinity is taking in the 1990s.

Masculinity and Film Performance

Author: D. Peberdy
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230308708
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A lively and engaging study of on-screen and off-screen performances of masculinity, focusing on well-known male actors in American film and popular culture in the 1990s and 2000s. Peberdy examines specific social, cultural, historical and political contexts that have affected age, race, sexuality and fatherhood on screen.

Incongruous Entertainment

Author: Steven Cohan
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822387077
Format: PDF, ePub
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With their lavish costumes and sets, ebullient song and dance numbers, and iconic movie stars, the musicals that mgm produced in the 1940s seem today to epitomize camp. Yet they were originally made to appeal to broad, mainstream audiences. In this lively, nuanced, and provocative reassessment of the mgm musical, Steven Cohan argues that this seeming incongruity—between the camp value and popular appreciation of these musicals—is not as contradictory as it seems. He demonstrates that the films’ extravagance and queerness were deliberate elements and keys to their popular success. In addition to examining the spectatorship of the mgm musical, Cohan investigates the genre’s production and marketing, paying particular attention to the studio’s employment of a largely gay workforce of artists and craftspeople. He reflects on the role of the female stars—including Judy Garland, Debbie Reynolds, Esther Williams, and Lena Horne—and he explores the complex relationship between Gene Kelley’s dancing and his masculine persona. Cohan looks at how, in the decades since the 1950s, the marketing and reception of the mgm musical have negotiated the more publicly recognized camp value attached to the films. He considers the status of Singin’ in the Rain as perhaps the first film to be widely embraced as camp; the repackaging of the musicals as nostalgia and camp in the That’s Entertainment! series as well as on home video and cable; and the debates about Garland’s legendary gay appeal among her fans on the Internet. By establishing camp as central to the genre, Incongruous Entertainment provides a new way of looking at the musical.

Men s Cinema

Author: Stella Bruzzi
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 0748676198
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Men's Cinema offers a fresh theorisation of men in Hollywood cinema via a theoretical discussion of definitions of masculinity and the close textual analysis of classic and contemporary films. Through an examination of mise-en-scene, Men's Cinema moves beyond discussions of representation and narrative to an exploration of the physical or instinctive effects of cinema and how we are invited to engage with, desire or identify with Hollywood's vision of men and masculinity. By delineating how Hollywood has built up and refined the language of men's cinema through a series of recurrent, refined tropes, this book critically explores masculinity and the concept of a male aesthetic within film.Films discussed include: The Deer Hunter, Dirty Harry, Goodfellas, Inception, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Once Upon a Time in the West, Point Break, Raging Bull, Rebel Without A Cause, Reservoir Dogs, Sherlock Holmes, There's Always Tomorrow, The Wild Bunch.

Hollywood Musicals the Film Reader

Author: Steven Cohan
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 9780415235594
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Articles examine the musical in relation to its generic form and conventions, the relationship between narrative and spectacle, gender and feminist analysis, camp production and reception, stardom, and the representation of race and ethnicity. Includes essays by: Rick Altman, Lucie Arbuthnot and Gail Seneca, Carol Clover, Steven Cohan, Richard Dyer, Jane Feuer, Patricia Mellencamp, Linda Mizejewski, Shari Roberts, Pamela Robertson, Michael Rogin, Martin Rubin and Matthew Tinkcom.

Masculinity

Author: Peter Lehman
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135273472
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Lehman brings together new work on masculinity in film by established film scholars, new academics, performance artists, and cultural critics. The essays analyze trends from the role of gay men in saving heterosexuality to the emergence of new queer cinema.

Spectacular Bodies

Author: Yvonne Tasker
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 113487300X
Format: PDF, Docs
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While films such as Rambo, Thelma and Louise and Basic Instinct have operated as major points of cultural reference in recent years, popular action cinema remains neglected within contemporary film criticism. Spectacular Bodies unravels the complexities and pleasures of a genre often dismissed as `obvious' in both its pleasure and its politics, arguing that these controversial films should be analysed and understood within a cinematic as well as a political context. Yvonne Tasker argues that today's action cinema not only responds to the shifts in gendered, sexual and racial identities which took place during the 1980s, but reflects the influences of other media such as the new video culture. Her detailed discussion of the homoeroticism surrounding the muscleman hero, the symbolic centrality of blackness within the crime narrative, and the changing status of women within the genre, addresses the constitution of these identities through the shifting categories of gender, class, race, sex, sexuality and nation. Spectacular Bodies also examines the ambivalence of supposedly secure categories of popular cinema, questioning the existing terms of film criticism in this area and addressing the complex pleasures of this neglected form.