CONTEMPORARY HOLLYWOOD MASCULINITIES GENDER GENRE AND POLITICS

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Contemporary Hollywood Masculinities

Author : Susanne Kord
ISBN : 9781137016218
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 23.57 MB
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Kord and Krimmer investigate the most common male types - cops, killers, fathers, cowboys, superheroes, spies, soldiers, rogues, lovers, and losers - by tracing changing concepts of masculinity in popular Hollywood blockbusters from 1992 to 2008 - the Clinton and Bush eras - against a backdrop of contemporary political events, social developments, and popular American myths. Their in-depth analysis of over sixty films, from The Matrix and Iron Man to Pirates of the Caribbean and The Lord of the Rings, shows that movies, far from being mere entertainment, respond directly to today's social and political realities, from consumerism to "family values" to the War on Terror.
Category: Social Science

Spectacular Bodies

Author : Yvonne Tasker
ISBN : 9781134873005
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 43.48 MB
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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.
Category: Social Science

Screening Images Of American Masculinity In The Age Of Postfeminism

Author : Elizabeth Abele
ISBN : 9781498525831
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 71.63 MB
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This collection of essays presents a sampling of film and television texts, interrogating images of U.S. masculinity. Rather than using “postfeminist” as a definition of contemporary feminism, this collection uses the term to designate the period from the late 1980s on—as a point when feminist thought gradually became more mainstream. The movies and TV series examined here have achieved a level of sustained attention, from critical acclaim, to mass appeal, to cult status. Instead of beginning with a set hypothesis on the effect of the feminist movement on images of masculinity on film and television, these chapters represent a range of responses, that demonstrate how the conversations within these texts about American masculinity are often open-ended, allowing both male characters and male viewers a wider range of options. Defining the relationship between U.S. masculinity and American feminist movements of the twentieth century is a complex undertaking. The essays collected for this volume engage prominent film and television texts that directly interrogate images of U.S. masculinity that have appeared since second-wave feminism. The contributors have chosen textual examples whose protagonists actively struggle with the conflicting messages about masculinity. These protagonists are more often works-in-progress, acknowledging the limits of their negotiations and self-actualization. These chapters also cover a wide range of genres and decades: from action and fantasy to dramas and romantic comedy, from the late 1970s to today. Taken together, the chapters of Screening Images of American Masculinity in the AgeofPostfeminism interrogate “the possible” screened in popular movies and television series, confronting the multiple and competing visions of masculinity not after or beyond feminism but, rather, in its very wake.
Category: Social Science

Postfeminism And Paternity In Contemporary Us Film

Author : Hannah Hamad
ISBN : 9781135088835
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 36.28 MB
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This book interrogates representations of fatherhood across the spectrum of popular U.S. film of the early twenty-first century. It situates them in relation to postfeminist discourse, identifying and discussing dominant paradigms and tropes that emerge from the tendency of popular cinema to configure ideal masculinity in paternal terms. It analyses postfeminist fatherhood across a range of genres including historical epics, war films, westerns, bromantic comedies, male melodramas, action films, family comedies, and others. It also explores recurring themes and intersections such as the rejuvenation of aging masculinities through fatherhood, the paternalized recuperation of immature adult masculinities, the relationship between fatherhood in film and 9/11 culture, post-racial discourse in representations of fatherhood, and historically located formations of fatherhood. It is the first book length study to explore the relationship between fatherhood and postfeminism in popular cinema.
Category: Social Science

Masculinity In Contemporary Science Fiction Cinema

Author : Marianne Kac-Vergne
ISBN : 9781786723154
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 65.6 MB
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If science fiction stages the battle between humans and non-humans, whether alien or machine, who is elected to fight for us? In the classics of science fiction cinema, humanity is nearly always represented by a male, and until recently, a white male. Spanning landmark American films from Blade Runner to Avatar, this major new study offers the first ever analysis of masculinity in science fiction cinema. It uncovers the evolution of masculine heroes from the 1980s until the present day, and the roles played by their feminine counterparts. Considering gender alongside racial and class politics, Masculinity in Contemporary Science Fiction Cinema also brilliantly situates filmic examples within the broader culture. In view of its largely young male audience, what masculine norms and models of behaviour are promoted by science fiction films? During the 1980s, the genre helped to redefine white masculinity in America as both powerful and victimised. Heroes embodied Reagan-era hypermasculinity, but owed their resolve to earlier traumas inflicted by greedy and technology-obsessed elites, a critique of the decade’s materialism. By the 1990s, the emotional terrain available to male characters was expanded, even witnessing the humanisation of the Terminator, and black characters entered the stage. At the same time, the world of science fiction became increasingly sanitised, moving away from the dystopias of the 1980s. Can science fiction call into question the privileged position of whiteness as the invisible and universal norm for the whole of humanity? In many ways, science fiction challenges the status quo, offering an imaginary space where identities are renegotiated. Working-class heroes fight corrupt corporations (Escape from New York or RoboCop), powerful heroines battle for survival (Alien), and cyborgs morph from one sex to another (Terminator 2). Considering these alternative visions, the book highlights the tensions inherent to science fiction as a genre. It is indispensable for understanding science fiction and its role in contemporary cultural politics.
Category: Performing Arts

Masculinity And Monstrosity In Contemporary Hollywood Films

Author : K. Combe
ISBN : 9781137359827
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 65.44 MB
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In film, Men are good and Monsters are bad. In this book, Combe and Boyle consider the monstrous body as a metaphor for the cultural body and regard gendered behavior as a matter of performativity. Taken together, these two identity positions, manliness and monsterliness, offer a window into the workings of current American society.
Category: Performing Arts

Masculinity In The Contemporary Romantic Comedy

Author : John Alberti
ISBN : 9781136222900
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 81.77 MB
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This volume addresses the growing obsolescence of traditional constructions of masculine identity in popular romantic comedies by proposing an approach that combines gender and genre theory to examine the ongoing radical reconstruction of gender roles in these films. Alberti creates a unified theory of gender role change in the movies that combines the insights of both poststructuralist gender and narrative genre theory, avoiding binary approaches to the study of gender representation. He establishes the current "crises" in both gender representation and genre development within romantic comedies as examples of experimentation and change towards narratives that feature more egalitarian and less essentialist constructions of gender.
Category: Performing Arts

Buffoon Men

Author : Scott Balcerzak
ISBN : 9780814339664
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 44.38 MB
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Film scholars and fans have used distinctive terms to describe the Classic Hollywood comedian: He is a "trickster," a "rebel," or a "buffoon." Yet the performer is almost always described as a "he." In Buffoon Men: Classic Hollywood Comedians and Queered Masculinity, Scott Balcerzak reads the performances of notable comedians such as W. C. Fields, Eddie Cantor, Jack Benny, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey, and Bud Abbott and Lou Costello through humor and queer theory to expose a problematic history of maleness in their personas. He argues that contrary to popular notions of Classic Hollywood history, these male comedians rearranged or, at times, rejected heteronormative protocols. Balcerzak begins by defining the particular buffoonish masculinity portrayed by early film comedians, a gender and genre construct influenced by the cultural anxieties of the 1930s and '40s. In chapter 1, he considers the onscreen pairing of W. C. Fields and Mae West to identify a queered sexuality and drag persona in Fields's performance, while in chapter 2 he examines the two major constructions of Fields's film persona-the confidence man and the husband-to show Fields to be a conflicted and subversive figure. In chapter 3, Balcerzak considers the assimilation and influence of Eddie Cantor as a Jewish celebrity, while he turns to the cross-media influence of Jack Benny's radio persona in chapter 4. In Chapters 5 and 6, he moves beyond the individual performer to examine the complex masculine brotherhood of comedy duos Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey. Buffoon Men shows that the complicated history of the male comedian during the early sound era has much to tell us about multimedia comedic stars today. Fans and scholars of film history, gender studies, and broadcast studies will appreciate Balcerzak's thorough exploration of the era's fascinating gender constructs.
Category: Performing Arts

Hard Bodies

Author : Susan Jeffords
ISBN : 0813520037
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 73.92 MB
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Hard Bodies looks at some of the most popular films of the Reagan era and examines how the characters, themes, and stories presented in them often helped to reinforce and disseminate the policies, programs, and beliefs of the "Reagan Revolution." In particular, because Ronald Reagan was himself most often portrayed in terms that emphasized his strength, toughness, and assertiveness, one of the key images of the Reagan era was that of masculinity itself. But the Reagan era also promoted a concept of the nation as gendered, as strong, tough, and assertive, like the President who seemed to epitomize the United States in its confrontation with the "evil" Soviet empire, the Sandinista government, or the drug-trading cartels. Action-adventure films of the 1980s accentuated these qualities, not only as foreign policy methods but also as domestic agendas, putting forward the American "hard body" as the solution to the nation's foreign and domestic failings. Through her illuminating and detailed analyses of both the Reagan presidency and many blockbuster movies, Susan Jeffords provides a scenario within which the successes of the New Right and the Reagan presidency can begin to be understood 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.
Category: Performing Arts

Masculinity And Film Performance

Author : D. Peberdy
ISBN : 9780230308701
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 32.28 MB
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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.
Category: Social Science