Terrified men, monstrous masculinities: representing and recuperating American masculinities in contemporary Hollywood 'terror threat' films

Donnar, G 2013, Terrified men, monstrous masculinities: representing and recuperating American masculinities in contemporary Hollywood 'terror threat' films, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Media and Communication, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Terrified men, monstrous masculinities: representing and recuperating American masculinities in contemporary Hollywood 'terror threat' films
Author(s) Donnar, G
Year 2013
Abstract This thesis explores how masculinities are represented and recuperated in Hollywood ‘terror threat’ narrative films from 2005-2010, films directly and indirectly addressing 9/11 and the ‘war on terror’. It aims to examine cinematic attempts to restore, redeem and ‘remasculinise’ threatened or ‘in crisis’ masculinities in post-9/11 Hollywood genre films, specifically in relation to experiences of and responses to terror. The thesis concentrates on four key films, World Trade Center (Stone, 2006), a post-9/11 disaster film with elements of melodrama and the ‘mine accident’ film, Cloverfield (Reeves, 2008), a SF-horror ‘discovered footage’ cum ‘monster movie’, I Am Legend (Lawrence, 2007), a post-apocalyptic SF film (with horror elements, including in relation to zombies and vampires), and The Kingdom (Berg, 2008), an action-thriller also analysed as a ‘frontier western’. This cross-generic focus facilitates the analysis of contemporary cinematic difficulties recuperating and redeeming masculinities following the violent incursion of the ‘terror-Other’. The thesis finds the ‘terror threat’ films trouble scholarly assumptions on the tendency (or capacity) of Hollywood to redeem and recuperate conventional masculinities, specifically in relation to – or at the expense of – maligned females and ‘terror-Others’. In contrast to dominant critical perspectives, this study demonstrates the uncertainty, ambivalence and incoherence of ‘remasculinisation’ or masculine redemption. Ultimately, this study of ‘terror threat’ films highlights persistent anxieties, unstable identity constructions, uncertain performances of masculinity, ambivalent redemptions and recuperation, and even masculine monstrosity in the encounter with terror.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Media and Communication
Keyword(s) Gender studies
Cinema studies
Masculinities
9/11
War on Terror
Terror
Hollywood
American masculinity
Genre
Disaster
Monster
Post-Apocalypse
Westerns
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Created: Tue, 12 Nov 2013, 14:34:18 EST by Leona Campitelli
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