White Masculinity in Crisis in Hollywood's Fin de Millennium Cinema (Paperback)Pete Deakin (author)
Publisher: Lexington Books
Number of pages: 200
Weight: 308 g
Dimensions: 223 x 157 x 16 mm
Film historians recognize 1999 as an exceptional year in American cinema. Deakin (Univ. of Salford) argues that 1999 was also the year in which contemporary anxiety over American masculinity exploded on the screen. Deakin takes 25 American films made from early 1999 to mid 2000 and discusses how they contributed to the dialogue about masculinity. The main focus is on Fight Club, American Beauty, American Psycho, The Matrix, and Office Space. Deakin explores how this body of film interacted with popular nonfiction of the era, e.g., Susan Faludi's Stiffed (1999) and Robert Bly's Iron John (1990). He describes the films as "fin de millennium white masculinity-in-crisis cinema" and argues that they capitalize on contemporary anxiety, "mourning the death of the so-called 'traditional' masculine figure" while still trying to sell a product-the masculine figure of the film and its ancillary materials (p.119). The men in these films are aesthetes and anti-capitalists, yet they need money and material possessions to reclaim their supposed natural manhood. Deakin delivers a fascinating. . . analysis. Perhaps the best critique is that of American Psycho, which problematizes the relationship between American manhood and consumer culture at its extreme. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.* CHOICE *
Near century's end, society was abuzz with the crisis of masculinity. For film critics, the curtain was falling on the tough guys of the silver screen-no more Dirty Harrys, Raging Bulls, or Officers and Gentlemen. Pete Deakin deftly shows how Hollywood navigated the 1999 box office by selling nostalgia, stoicism, and conservativism. Read this book to understand more about politics, media, culture, and the relationship between "real men" and "reel men." -- Matthew Hughey, The University of Connecticut
A readable and timely book well grounded in screen studies and masculinity theory. -- Julian Wood, The University of Sydney
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