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Gangstas, Thugs, Vikingsand DriversDepictions of Masculinity and theSearch for Manhood in the Films ofNicolas Winding Refn...
Crisis of Masculinity“In the late 1960s, in the wake of the  civil rights movement, and with the  rise of women’s liberati...
Three Types of Masculinity   Dominant (Kahn, 2009): “the idealized    and socially expected ways of being    male”   Com...
Pusher (1996)   Frank (Kim Bodnia)   Tonny (Mads    Mikkelson)   Boyhood
Frank, Tonny, and ComplicitMasculinity
Bronson (2008)               Michael Peterson                aka Charlie                Bronson (Tom                Hardy...
“More of the Charles Bronson type”:Bronson and Dominant Masculinity
Valhalla Rising (2009)   One Eye (Mads    Mikkleson)   Young adulthood/    Fatherhood
Man and Nature: One Eye andMythical Masculinity
Drive (2011)                  The Driver (Ryan                   Gosling)                  Shannon (Bryan               ...
The Driver: Real Hero, RealHuman Being?
Mythical Masculinity, ComplexIndividual
Conclusions   “Tough guise”   Culture of violence   Unsustainable masculinity   Transformation of traditional gender  ...
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Gangstas, Thugs, Vikings and Drivers: Depictions of Masculinity and the Search for Manhood in the Films of Nicolas Winding Refn

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A look at how masculinity is depicted in the films of Nicolas Winding Refn. I argue that while the characters in Refn's films appear to conform to or embody traditional notions of dominant masculinity, they actually present a subversion of traditional gender norms.

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Gangstas, Thugs, Vikings and Drivers: Depictions of Masculinity and the Search for Manhood in the Films of Nicolas Winding Refn

  1. 1. Gangstas, Thugs, Vikingsand DriversDepictions of Masculinity and theSearch for Manhood in the Films ofNicolas Winding RefnChristopher John OlsonDePaul UniversitySpring 2013
  2. 2. Crisis of Masculinity“In the late 1960s, in the wake of the civil rights movement, and with the rise of women’s liberation, gay liberation, and the increasing visibility of ethnic and racial diversity on the American scene, white men begin to be decentered.” – Sally Robinson, Marked Men: White Masculinity in Crisis (2000)
  3. 3. Three Types of Masculinity Dominant (Kahn, 2009): “the idealized and socially expected ways of being male” Complicit (Kahn, 2009): “conform to dominant masculine norms in hopes of receiving rewards for being like the dominant group” Mythical: primal, archetypal, transcendent
  4. 4. Pusher (1996) Frank (Kim Bodnia) Tonny (Mads Mikkelson) Boyhood
  5. 5. Frank, Tonny, and ComplicitMasculinity
  6. 6. Bronson (2008)  Michael Peterson aka Charlie Bronson (Tom Hardy)  Teenager/Adolesce nce
  7. 7. “More of the Charles Bronson type”:Bronson and Dominant Masculinity
  8. 8. Valhalla Rising (2009) One Eye (Mads Mikkleson) Young adulthood/ Fatherhood
  9. 9. Man and Nature: One Eye andMythical Masculinity
  10. 10. Drive (2011)  The Driver (Ryan Gosling)  Shannon (Bryan Cranston)  Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks)  Nino (Ron Perlman)  Family man
  11. 11. The Driver: Real Hero, RealHuman Being?
  12. 12. Mythical Masculinity, ComplexIndividual
  13. 13. Conclusions “Tough guise” Culture of violence Unsustainable masculinity Transformation of traditional gender norms

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