Men in Contemporary American CinemaBook - 2013
In virtually every aspect of culture-health, marriage, family, morals, politics, sex, race, economics-American men of the past two decades have faced changing social conditions and confronted radical questions about themselves. In Millennial Masculinity: Men in Contemporary American Cinema , editor Timothy Shary collects fourteen contributions that consider male representation in films made at the turn of the century to explore precisely how those questions have been dealt with in cinema. Contributors move beyond the recent wave of "masculinity in crisis" arguments to provide sophisticated and often surprising insight into accessible films.
Chapters are arranged in four sections: "Performing Masculinity" includes a discussion of Adam Sandler and movies such as Milk; "Patriarchal Problems" looks at issues of fathers from directors such as Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson, and David Fincher; "Exceptional Sexualities" examines male love and sex through movies like Brokeback Mountain and Wedding Crashers; and "Facing Race" explores masculinity through race in film. Sean Penn, Jackie Chan, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, and Philip Seymour Hoffman are some of the actors included in these analyses, while themes considered include police thrillers, psychotic killers, gay tensions, fashion sense, and the burgeoning "bromance" genre.
Taken together, the essays in Millennial Masculinity shed light on the high stakes of masculine roles in contemporary American cinema. Film and television scholars as well as readers interested in gender and sexuality in film will appreciate this timely collection.