Bromance & Masculinity
It’s like Plato’s overused allegory of the cave – everything we knew about this world before was shadow and puppetry; now we’ve seen a glimpse of the real thing. ‘Moonlight’ deals with highly politicized content – race, class, sexuality, gender expression, drug use – in a disarmingly nuanced way. It parachutes into territories dominated by stories about hate and dares instead to tell us stories about love.
On the surface, a lot of his female characters reflect strong ideals. … But take a deeper look and Linklater’s female characters tell another story: one of a creator deeply obsessed with ignorant male stereotypes and the women that encourage them. … Looking back through his films, they all contain this running theme of underdeveloped man-children who are routinely validated in their anti-woman approach.
‘Y Tu Mamá También’ points out the elastic, freeing nature of femininity compared to the toxic, fragile nature of masculinity. Over the course of the film, Luisa only becomes a month or so older and finds truth, or at the very least solace for herself, while Julio and Tenoch go from brash young adults to estranged, closed-off adult men, refusing to come to terms with their bisexuality.
The first feature film from Nicholas Verso, ‘Boys in the Trees’ is a coming-of-age story focused on questions of masculinity and wrapped in a delightful – and visually stunning – cloak of Halloween. …They explore what it means that their friendship fell apart – what childhood loses to adolescence, what adolescence loses to adulthood, what we gain in either case, and what we give away when we stop hoping that something amazing could happen to us.
Sam is an underrated, if not widely unknown 1980s heroine. She serves as a symbol for America’s 1980s attempt to reconcile with its most controversial war. The 1980s experienced a boom in Vietnam War films, as the temporal distance from the war allowed filmmakers to fully deconstruct the experience. Rarely is the locus of these films a woman.
Whilst ostensibly male in terms of gender, Jon Snow’s character is arguably definably feminine through his actions, motivations and interactions with both female and male characters. … This is not to suggest that Jon’s character is not masculine; certainly his actions in battle signal him to be a hero in the archetypical sense, but I am suggesting that Jon Snow’s masculinity coexists with a feminine expression…
Ygritte was fierce, she was vibrant, and she didn’t take any shit. Ygritte’s feminism was multi-dimensional, and for me she will always be missed.
The result is that while many viewers are no doubt cishet white men, few will truly identify with what Kilgrave illustrates not just about rapists and abusers, but about negative ideas about masculinity itself.
In this narrative we see masculinity float free from any ties to the male body, femininity float free from any easy connection to frailness – we see them meet in the one body of this working class woman to excruciating effect.
These films work to varying degrees, and the circumstances are diverse, but the core of each story is the same – one violent little boy. In a society where privileged young men (i.e. heterosexual, white, young adult males) are committing heinous crimes like date rape and mass shootings on an alarmingly regular basis, a fear of angry young men seems valid, and reason enough for a trend in horror.
The heroic journey of Short Round is the catalyst for both Willie’s and Indy’s own growth and transcendence, as Willie becomes proactive and Indy becomes responsible.
Check out all of the posts from our Masculinity Theme Week here.