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panoptikum nr.14

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Panoptikum nr 14 (21) 2015
Męskie ciała, męskie kultury.

No Genre for Old Men:
Age and Masculinity in Winner’s 1978 The Big Sleep

In the 1978 adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep, Philip Marlowe, the iconic noir detective, was portrayed by then seventy years old Robert Mitchum. As a result, the detective figure known for his tough working-class masculinity was transformed into an elderly affluent gentleman. The casting choice was an attempt to connect the neo-noir film to its 1940s predecessors, but even despite famous cast members Winner’s movie met with little popular, critical or academic interest. Yet the film serves as a valuable illustration of the challenges of reviving hegemonic masculinity models within genre revivals. My analysis will show how the tension in representations of aged masculinity unravels the logic of neo-noir and masculinity inscribed in the neo-noir hero. Though both noir and neo-noir share an investment in patriarchy, Winner’s film renders the attempts to revive its void. By casting an elderly 1940s icon the film rather than neo became “dated noir,” while its depiction of masculinity proved nothing more than a nostalgic cry for an imagined past of hegemonic masculinity.


Female Gaze, Boyish Bodies – Masculinity
in Classic Hollywood Cinema

The concept of masculinity in classic Hollywood Cinema was as strong and strict as in culture itself. As was the division between what is masculine and non-masculine – rooted not only in stories told on screen, but also in cinematic ways in which those stories were told (lighting, camera angles etc.). According to long-standing classic Hollywood rules only femininity could be eroticised – never masculinity. Therefore, as Laura Mulvey insists, popular cinema was designed for a straight male viewer and for his point of view. However, as is widely known, there was (and is) a number of male stars, especially those that entered Hollywood since the ‘50s, that were defined either mostly, or also by their sexuality. Article shows that widening of the category of “non-masculine” (that in that period included women, boys, homosexuals and non-white males) made it possible also for male bodies to be shown and perceived as sexual spectacles.


On the Macho Category. Man’s Crisis and the Masculinity Crisis
in Carlos Reygadas’ Battle in Heaven

The aim of this article is to analyze the main character of the Carlos Reygadas’ movie Battle in Heaven contextualizing it in a critical reflection on the image of masculinity in Latin America. The author is placing Marcos’ character in three contexts. First is the machismo ideology, which the author links with the sociological reflection by Erving Goffman about the meaning of appearance and forms of expression in social life. Second is an intersexual relation of domination-subordination. The author juxtaposes behavior and bodies of Marcos and his lover Ana to show that traditional women and men roles are reversed here. The third context refers to the problem of banalization of life, which the main character suddenly started to feel. In reference to this three phenomena unfolds existential crisis of Reygadas’ character. But it can be read both as an individual perspective of a moment of recognition of one’s condition and also in larger perspective as a metaphor of collapse of the paradigm of masculinity which was in force until recently in Latin American culture.
The author recounts opinions of researchers of this area about the crisis of the male identity and shows that Marcos’ existential situation can be interpreted as a metaphor of men’s situation in Latin America. Masculinity and the category of machismo are there in a process of redefinition mainly because of the women’s emancipation and transformations of feminine identity. This situation causes imbalance in social-cultural life and the model of reaction frequently chosen by men is passivity. But then it causes decomposition of social order, because inactivity is traditionally assigned to women. Not able to take action Marcos can be seen as a figure of male identity in contemporary Latin America


Male Images in Cinematic Adaptations
of Hallgrimur Helgason’s Prose

Icelandic feature films shot in the Twenty-First century often contain an ironic critique of postmodern models of masculinity. The fictional figures that appear in those movies are often at odds with the traditional perception of national identity and suffer so-called “Peter Pan syndrome”. Moreover, many images created in Iceland after the year 2000 also include a witty reinterpretations of the media’s “generation X” model and suggestive commentaries on life in the liquid modernity. All these features of the male film figures can be seen as the personification of the changes taking place in Icelandic culture and the local community. These issues are associated with the processes of the collision of traditional values, linked with the older generation of Icelanders, with the globalized perception of the younger generations who are open to “pop-cultural outlook” on their country and identity.


The Breakdown and the Lasting of Community. Four Films
on Male Friendship in the Age of Early Capitalism in Poland

In four Polish movies – Dogs by Władysław Pasikowski, Private City by Jacek Skalski, Amok by Natalia Koryncka-Gruz and First Million by Waldemar Dziki – male friendship and its crisis was used to describe early phase of Polish capitalism. Each time the solidarity of men was valued positively and was confronted with threats connected with new, capitalist reality. Pasikowski’s movie criticizes new determinants of social prestige, Skalski’s movie expresses the disappointment of new, post-Solidarity political elite, Amok shows how young people lose out in the race for easy money, while First Million treats male community as a great support for getting rich. Free market economy promotes new ideal of citizen – enterpreising individual, who is interested in accumulation of capital and maximization of his profit. This new view of citizen is in conflict with values of Solidarity, which were rather close to ideas of socialism, like being in community. This four films comment on the new reality of Polish economia and ways of impact of free market on lifestyle, state transformation, business and the sphere of axiology.


The Avant-Garde Visions of Masculinity.
James Broughton’s Adventures of Body

The aim of the paper is to describe the representations of masculinity in the works of James Broughton, an American avant-garde filmmaker and a poet, connected to the San Francisco Renaissance group. He has also played an active role in a gay movement since the ‘50s and became one of its icons. While analyzing Broughton’s movies the paper refers to Laura Mulvey’s concept of breaking the visual pleasure. The main goal of the paper is to trace changes occurring in the creation of a hero and narrator’s view in relation to their hetero- or non-heteronormativity. The author concentrates on the selected films from different periods of Broughton’s career, e.g.: The Adventures of Jimmy, The Bed, The Golden Positions, Song of the Godbody, Hermes Bird, Devotions. The paper argues that in Broughton’s works a viewer can find a shift from the creation of a male body as a constructed object of desire, through an attempt to deal with the theme of androgyny, to the affirmation of a non-canonical male body, which becomes the basis of the gay community.


Between Oppression and Subversion. Fashion as the Potential Branch to Express Non-Normative Corporeality

The author analyses the presence of androgyny and transsexuality mainly in fashion industry which fashion journalists and commentators like to see as a milestone in the fight for equality, stressing the ambivalence of marketing techniques and arguing that – similarly to Erving Goffman’s category of stigma – apart from having subversive potential it can also have an oppresive downside.


Representations of Masculinity in Advertising in Poland and China

The below article explores how the physical attributes of the ideal man vary between Western culture (Poland) and Eastern Asian Culture (China). We have analyzed how popular culture, media and commercials have changed our views on the ideal male beauty. The study also briefly shows men’s reactions to the representation of male bodies in advertising, particularly when men are portrayed in a sexual, objectified, exploitative manner. In this work we have focused on Polish and Chinese representations of men and male bodies in commercials that hold common features of Western and Eastern Asian cultures as well as distinctive characteristics of these two countries.


Large Bodies on the Small Screen. Non-normative Images
of Masculinity of the New Generation TV Series

In my paper I described the bodies of male characters from popular American TV series (Louie, Looking, Broad City) and analyzed the relationship between large body and other people, work culture and society.
In what way did feminism change our understanding of what is “female” and what is “male”? The social stereotype still considers that “doing something like a man” means doing it right, while “doing something like a girl” means doing it clumsily, wrongly or sloppily. In my paper I would like to focus primarily on the aspect of male body and what it means to be “looking like a man”. Is there such a thing as feminist political correctness regarding sexuality and the male body?


Rhythm of Human and Rhythm of Nature
in the Media Art Festival Cynetart

The article describes the festival of computer-based art Cynetart as a place of artistic experiments with ‚rhythm of nature’. Artists which took part in the festival in 2015 were using matter of nature as an instrument of artistic expression. According to the author, performances and interactive installation which were presented in the festival are specific form of a continuation of Émile Jaques-Dalcroze’s and Adolphe Appia’s artistic experiments. Eurythmics and performance practice (which started in 1910 in the same place – Festspielhaus in Hellrau) invoke to eurythmics of Dalcroze and Appia’s conception of light in performing arts. Performances: Jymming by Tom Fritz, Eternal Cave by Gil Delindro and Plectrum by Kuai Shen, were also interpreted as a form of posthuman and ecological aesthetics.