SCREENING THE MALE : Exploring Masculinities in the Hollywood Cinema
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Screening the Male re-examines the problematic status of masulinity 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. feminst criticism has shown how difficult it is for the female viewer to resist becoming implicated in this representational system. But the theories have overlooked the significance of the problem itself - of the masculine motivation at the core of the system. Little attention has been paid to the problems arising from the easily recognised masculine "norm" equated with activity, voyeurism, sadism, fetishism and story, set alongside the female subject, associated with passivity, exhibitionism, masochism, narcissism and spectacle. In this scheme the power, stability and wholeness of masuline subjectivity seems unquestioned and universal, but the essays here explore those male characters, spectators, and performers who occupy positions conventionally encoded as "feminine" in Hollywood narrative and questoins just how secure that orthodox male position is. Screenign the male brings together an impressive group of both established and emerging scholars from Britain, the United Styates and Australia unified by a conern with issues that film theorists have exlusively linked to the feminine and not the masculine: spectacle, masochism, passivity, masquerade and , most of all, the body as it signifies gendered, racial, class and generational differences.