John Woo: from Hong Kong to Hollywood, The Killer and Face/Off John Woo and his "heroic bloodshed" have revolutionized and rejuvenated the action genre, combining melodrama with action to create the male melodrama, in which he explores the codes of masculinity while redefining them. Robert Hanke says that "explosive pyrotechnics seem to be privileged over plot, narrative or character" (Hanke 41) and yet notes that Jillian Sandell maintains the opinion that Woo does not "celebrate this violence, but rather uses it to represent a nostalgia for a lost code of honor and chivalry" (Hanke 1999: 45). While characterized by violence, Woo's films define masculinity within a changing world. He does not set out to make violent films, defending …show more content…
Woo gives us a new kind of male protagonist, one that "combines physical violence and emotional intensity" (Hanke 1999: 39), visible from the start of The Killer. Jeff is introduced to us as cool and calm, casually shooting a room full of people. This expressionless killing is contrasted with the following scene which shows his wounds being tended to in a close up of his face that displays that pain and emotion that he is feeling. This opposition between violence and sensitivity is clearly demonstrated by the characters of Caster Troy and Sean Archer in Face/Off when they swap faces, and they must appropriate the characteristics of the other in order to survive, "the binary logic of either violent or emotionally sensitive is dissolved into both violent and sensitive" (Hanke 1999: 53). Similarly in The Killer, Li is a mirror image for Jeff, the only difference being a badge. Woo's films are based on these oppositions, particlularly good/evil, which is visible in the images he uses at the end of both films, the shootouts taking place in a church with slow motion action. On a wider scale he tries to reconcile the gap between past and present, trying to get back what is lost. Woo's Hong Kong films introduced a new hero, a new masculinity rather than homoeroticism, emphasizing male bonding and brotherhood, showing us that masculinity is "fluid and open to redefinition" (Hanke 1999: 56). This hero further evolves in the Hollywood produced Face/Off,
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Nevertheless, Asian-American stars are recognized extremely played prototypical roles offered to them – model minority, sexualized the female or masculine women. There is much argument within the Asian American community whether to consider Liu as a protagonist or a hateful. In playing highlighting sexuality roles such as Ling Woo on Ally McBeal, a role who is a ‘self-described “tramp” … simultaneously addicted to casual sex and uses sex to have her way with men’ (Goldsea.com 2008). Is she bolstering the sexploitation of Asian females, or is she an Asian image who plays her strong points? Moreover, there are already some problems in the critical writing as to whether Liu is to be considered an action star or an actor. Some argues that, in Charlie’s Angels
This is a man’s movie all the way to the core. Look at Wyatt Earp; he was a MAN if you know what I mean. I definitely think that is why I enjoyed the movie so much myself. It just gives you a glimpse of what it means to manly and tough. We have it easy these days in not having to battle for our own dignity whenever someone calls you out. I forgot how good this film is seeing how that is had been a long time since the last time I watched it, but I had never observed in the way I did to complete this paper. This process has given me a new appreciation for the little things I enjoy subconsciously in movies, but never have the opportunity to really express in words. I would recommend this film to anyone who has not seen it yet in a heart
The issue at the heart of the David Fincher film, Fight Club, is not that of man’s rebellion against a society of “men raised by women”. This is a film that outwardly exhibits itself as promoting the resurrection of the ‘ultra-male’, surreptitiously holding women accountable for the decay of manhood. However, the underlying truth of the film is not of resisting the force of destruction that is ‘woman’, or of resisting the corruption of manhood at her hand, but of penetrating the apathy needed to survive in an environment ruled by commercial desire, not need. In reality, Fight Club is a careful examination, through parody, of what it means to be a man; carefully examining the role of women in a society busy rushing towards sexual
I would like to state the importance of an actor performance and mise-en-scene of the male hero to portray the representation of masculinity in this film. Connells (1995) addresses that Bruce Wayne’s character is the definition of the hegemonic representation of masculinity which embraces and exploits the over exaggerated standards of masculinity of them being serious, unnaturally strong, wealthy and cool. His facial expressions also help contribute to this
When a man fails to live up to other’s expectations of being a “real man,” he is diminished and criticized for being a “woman.” Thus, starting at young ages, boys are fall into the misleading idea that respect is acquired by force. In fact, younger boys look up to men who display uncontrollable rage because these men evoke fear to those around them. Boys are taught that fear is equivalent to respect, and society’s perception of belligerent men only fuels their drive for violence. The phenomenon of posing - creating a false depiction of what men are truly feeling - showcases that this widespread performance of masculinity does not just stem from the media. The explanation of this projection of masculinity is oversimplified, and identified as cause and effect relationships between imitative violent acts from video games and movies. However, the actual truth is that the problem does not only lie in these few few places. It is everywhere, embedded deeply in
David Fincher’s Fight Club, 1999, contains strong themes of masculinity and enforced gender roles. It is subjective, however, whether or not the gender narrative within the film complies with modern feminist values, or serves as nothing more than masculine empowerment. The two critical texts I have chosen to study are Masculinity in Crisis and Private Satisfactions and Public Disorders: Fight Club, Patriarchy, and the Politics of Masculine Violence, both of which analyse Fight Club through a feminist lens. My first critical text views the film as a feminist statement on the toxicity of masculine violence, while my second text finds more faults with the gender roles in the film.
Masculinity can be defined as the behaviours, social roles, and relations of men within a given society in addition to the meanings that are attributed to them. The term masculinity stresses gender, unlike male, which stresses biological sex. Despite, this we often times see masculinity being represented as directly correlating to men with an inability to adhere to this is shown making you less of a "man". As put by Katz (1999) there is an expectation that men on screen must be void of emotion, not backing down from a fight, tough and an embodiment of the male gaze. Katz (1999) argues that essentially what
In his book, More Than a Movie: Ethics in Entertainment, F. Miguel Valenti examines nine “hot buttons” of violence – “creative elements that filmmakers use to manipulate viewers’ reactions to onscreen violence.” (99) These elements, posited by researchers conducting The National Television Violence Study (Valenti, 99) are “choice of perpetrator, choice of victim, presence of consequences, rewards and punishments, the reason for the violence, weapons, realism, use of humor, and prolonged exposure” (Valenti, 100) .
Chinese constructions of Masculinity have been redefined accordingly to the political events. The concept of ‘wen-wu’, currently serves as an overarching pillar of what is currently expected of men in Modern China. By placing less emphasis on the ‘Wu’ and more on the ‘Wen’ we can see these concepts incorporated and adapted to the modern perception of masculinity through the leadership and teachings of Mao Ze Dong, during the Cultural Revolution. At the same time, more popular representation of Chinese masculinity, accommodating the lens of westerners, is the ability to excel in martial arts which is popularly portrayed by Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. The roles they play, interrelates by exceling both in the physical aspect, ‘wu’ and their philosophical intellect of ‘wen’. Since the cultural revolution, China places emphasis on the ‘Wen’, immediately becoming the ideal construction of men, as they are more aware of their values and how they are presented to the world. Unlike Ancient China, where the ideal man was a warrior, Chinese entrepreneurs, male of high intellect who is conscious of the Chinese way of living and has strong desire to lead the world’s economy, serves as the modern definition of masculinity. Despite this expectation, although China continues to grow their military and economic power, the
The film looks at masculinity through numerous stereotypes involving athleticism, careers, crime, medias, intimacy, and bullying. Newsom effectively delivers her message through interviewing a variety of people. Not only through professionals like psychologists, pediatricians, educators, sociologists, political scientist, psychiatrists, athletes, actors, and writers. But also through community
The movie surveyed a wide array of the troubles faced by boys and men as they try to navigate the realm of masculinity. A common theme was the command “be a man” and the cultural baggage that comes with living up to that ideal. To “be a man” means to not cry, to not be sensitive, to not let people mess with you, to respond with violence, to be angry, to drink, to womanize.
The perception of masculinity within Australian films is a reflection of our society’s views and opinions of what it is to be considered masculine. It is continually reinforced in our society by the constructions of the male character in movies, just like Archie and Frank, in Gallipoli and particular male figures within our nation’s history, such as Ned Kelly. Peter Weir’s reflection of masculinity through the use of his two main characters Archie and Frank, in his 1981 film Gallipoli, helped to perpetuate this construction of the Aussie male stereotype
In society today, masculinity is seen as never crying or feeling pain. Emotionless zombies who show no sympathy and have no care in the world are the manliest of them all. Media portrays masculinity in his skewed way. Fight Club is known for its extreme display of the masculine identity. Conformed middle aged men break out of their shells by fighting their peers and proving themselves worthy of
Masculinity, a seemingly simple concept. Yet, when examined more closely, it is clear that masculinity is constantly changing in its definition as well as in its most basic essence. Throughout the years, one can see this evolution firsthand by looking back at the men who have been portrayed in popular media in the United States of America. From the suave Don Draper types of the 1950s to the more casual, educated, and easygoing men- with perfectly chiseled abs, of course- that are portrayed in media today, the difference is clear. This drastic, yet unsurprising, shift in ideals, as well as the exponential increase of media consumed every day, has led to a change in how “masculinity” is perceived, as well as how it is enforced by society in the modern day. Alarmingly, this trend has led to the birth of so-called “toxic masculinity”, a bastardization of the original ideas behind masculinity which has created an enormous, detrimental effect on society as a whole. As defined in the article The Difference Between Toxic Masculinity and Being a Man, toxic masculinity is “manhood as defined by violence, sex, status, and aggression. It’s the cultural ideal of manliness, where strength is everything… where sex and brutality are yardsticks by which men are measured,” (O’Malley) This is a clearly displayed truth, and it’s astounding to see how even from a young age boys are taught not to show emotions other than anger, conditioned to believe that being “like a girl” is the worst possible
One of the most iconic movies from the 80’s is Top Gun. From the thrilling flight scenes to Tom Cruise 's winning smile, the movie was, and remains, a hit. Maverick, played by Tom Cruise, is sent to an elite naval flight school with his best friend Goose. Both men must undergo training in an extremely competitive environment. to become the best pilots in the academy. They face many challenges and loss along the way. Throughout the movie Top Gun, the hyper-masculine environment of flight school allows for there to be a much more fluid relationship between homosexuality and homosociality. Unlike in everyday occurrences, where romantic exchanges between men are considered gay, the exchanges between the characters in the movie are often considered completely normal. Though not every scene in the movie portrays this accepting, modern perception of homosocial relations. The movie often contradicts itself by also displaying hypermasculine scenes. This contradiction illustrates how there 's not only multiple perceptions of masculine behavior but also a conflict in society about the proper way for men to act while together.