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Spectacular Bodies

Author: Yvonne Tasker
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 113487300X
Size: 75.73 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.

Working Girls

Author: Yvonne Tasker
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134826605
Size: 49.56 MB
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Working Girls investigates the thematic concerns of contemporary Hollywood cinema, and its ambivalent articulation of women as both active, and defined by sexual performance, asking whether new Hollywood cinema has responded to feminism and contemporary sexual identities. Whether analysing the rise of films centred around female friendships, or the entrance of pop stars such as Whitney Houston and Madonna into film, Working Girls is an authoritative investigation of the presence of women both as film makers and actors in contemporary mainstream cinema.

Screening The Male

Author: Steve Cohan
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134900090
Size: 48.39 MB
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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.

Hard Bodies

Author: Susan Jeffords
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 9780813520032
Size: 15.61 MB
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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.

Men S Cinema

Author: Stella Bruzzi
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 0748676198
Size: 36.32 MB
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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.

The Hollywood Action And Adventure Film

Author: Yvonne Tasker
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0470659246
Size: 74.77 MB
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The Hollywood Action and Adventure Film presents a comprehensive overview and analysis of the history, myriad themes, and critical approaches to the action and adventure genre in American cinema. Draws on a wide range of examples, spanning the silent spectacles of early cinema to the iconic superheroes of 21st-century action films Features case studies revealing the genre?s diverse roots ? from westerns and war films, to crime and espionage movies Explores a rich variety of aesthetic and thematic concerns that have come to define the genre, touching on themes such as the outsider hero, violence and redemption, and adventure as escape from the mundane Integrates discussion of gender, race, ethnicity, and nationality alongside genre history Provides a timely and richly revealing portrait of a powerful cinematic genre that has increasingly come to dominate the American cinematic landscape

Soldiers Stories

Author: Yvonne Tasker
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822348470
Size: 75.15 MB
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A comprehensive analysis of the changing representations of military women in American and British movies and TV programs from the Second World War to the present.

Contemporary Action Cinema

Author: Lisa Purse
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 0748688404
Size: 40.64 MB
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This book is an authoritative account of post-1990s US action cinema.

The Action And Adventure Cinema

Author: Yvonne Tasker
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134564937
Size: 76.76 MB
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This exciting collection addresses action and adventure from the silent to the contemporary period exploring diverse questions of aesthetics, industry and ideology. Action has established itself as one of the leading commercial genres of the New Hollywood cinema, generating extensive debate in the process. Contributors consider how action might best be defined, how it has developed historically, and how it works formally. The critical reception and standing of action and adventure cinema is considered in relation to questions of national culture, violence and the 'art' of cinema. Themes explored include genre and definitions; early action, sensation and melodrama; authorship and action; national and transnational action-adventure traditions; action aesthetics; spectacle and narrative; stars and bodies; class; gender; race and ethnicity. Attempting to evaluate the significance of this type of filmmaking for both popular cinema and film studies, the book underlines the central place of action and adventure within film history.

Kung Fu Cult Masters

Author: Leon Hunt
Publisher: Wallflower Press
ISBN: 9781903364635
Size: 18.77 MB
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Chinese Martial Arts films have captured audiences' imaginations around the world. In this wide-ranging study, Hunt looks at the mythic allure of the Shaolin Temple, the 'Clones' of Bruce Lee, gender-bending swordswomen, and the knockabout comedy of Sammo Hung, bringing new insights to a hugely popular and yet critically neglected genre. 12 photos.