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Gangstas, thugs, vikings, and drivers ppt


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This thesis considers how the depictions of masculinity in the films of Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn function as a critique of mainstream Hollywood cinema’s perpetuation of the notion that violent male behavior represents a heroic ideal for men to emulate. In films such as Pusher, Bronson, Valhalla Rising, and Drive, Refn constructs and presents his male characters by drawing upon recurring archetypal figures such as the gangster, the gangsta, the gunslinger, and the samurai. These figures recur throughout popular culture and across genres, and they perpetuate and reinforce a specific version of masculinity that emphasizes individualism, stoicism, and violence. Mainstream Hollywood films in general and male action cinema in particular often present this narrow and rigid vision of masculinity as a heroic manly ideal, and this, in turn, can inform how male viewers construct their own masculine personae. The male characters in Refn’s films serve to critique and destabilize this ideal by demonstrating how an insistence on appropriating or conforming to this sort of violent masculinity results in negative consequences for both the individual and the society around him.

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Gangstas, thugs, vikings, and drivers ppt

  1. 1. Gangstas, Thugs, Vikings, and Drivers Cinematic Masculine Archetypes and the Demythologization of Violence in the Films of Nicolas Winding Refn Christopher John Olson DePaul University September 2014
  2. 2. Introduction  Violence in film  Nicolas Winding Refn
  3. 3. Archetypes  Carl Jung ◦ Universal patterns and images ◦ Recur across cultural and historical contexts ◦ Actualized via representation  Robert N. Bellah ◦ Individual unconscious ◦ Developed via interaction with environment ◦ Similarities in socialization process
  4. 4. Cinematic archetypes  Media images reflect cultural values/attitudes  Connect contemporary experience with primordial figures  Screen characters reflect prevailing sociocultural notions of gender
  5. 5. Masculine archetypes Man with No Name Gunslinger Samurai Gangster
  6. 6. The Male Action Hero
  7. 7. Characteristics of archetypes  Stoicism ◦ Verbal and emotional reticence  Individualism ◦ Loners who shun society  Violence ◦ Action speaks louder
  8. 8. Archetypal male figures  The Stoic Man ◦ Ex: Man With No Name (Sergio Leone’s “Dollars” Trilogy)  The Tough Guy ◦ Ex: “Little Caesar” Bandello (Little Caesar)  The Beast in Me ◦ Ex: The Incredible Hulk (The Avengers)  The Greek God ◦ Achilles (Troy)
  9. 9. Refn and the archetypes  Alignment with archetypes ◦ Stoic tough guys ◦ Rugged individuals ◦ Violent men  Masculinity as performance ◦ Tensions between front and reality  Negative consequences ◦ Refusal to abandon performance
  10. 10. Aligning with the archetypes  Pusher ◦ Gangster/Gangsta ◦ Tough Guy  Bronson ◦ Tough Guy ◦ Beast in Me ◦ Greek God  Valhalla Rising ◦ Stoic Man ◦ Greek God  Drive ◦ Stoic Man ◦ Greek God
  11. 11. Archetypes vs. reality Vs. Vs. Vs. Vs.
  12. 12. Consequences of archetypal masculinity  Isolation  Incarceration  Injury  Death
  13. 13. Conclusion  So what?  Limitations of study  Future directions