By Robert Eberwein
In warfare motion pictures, the portrayal of deep friendships among males is average. Given the sexually worried nature of the yank mind's eye, such bonds are usually interpreted as wearing a homoerotic subtext. In military , Robert Eberwein argues that an accelerated belief of masculinity and sexuality is important with the intention to comprehend extra totally the intricacy of those extreme and emotional human relationships. Drawing on various examples from silent motion pictures comparable to What expense Glory and Wings to sound period works just like the Deer Hunter, Platoon, 3 Kings, and Pearl Harbor , he exhibits how shut readings of warfare movies, rather in terms of their cultural contexts, reveal that depictions of hetero love, together with these in romantic triangles, truly aid to outline and make clear the nonsexual nature of male love. The ebook additionally explores the not easy points of masculinity and sexuality whilst threatened via wounds, as within the most sensible Years of Our Lives, and considers the complicated and chronic analogy among guns and the male physique, as in complete steel Jacket and Saving deepest Ryan .
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Additional info for Armed Forces: Masculinity and Sexuality in the American War Film
Mike (Robert DeNiro) and Nick (Christopher Walken), who are best friends, both love Linda (Meryl Streep). Analysis of the ﬁlm in conjunction with Robin Wood’s argument points to some of the problems in the kind of approach that doesn’t acknowledge the full range of complexity in male sexuality. Wood argues that Mike and Nick use Linda as their means of connecting sexually: “The male love story takes clear precedence over the heterosexual romance. . The triangular relationship of The Deer Hunter goes beyond the use/misuse of women in the buddy movies of the 1970s; the woman is present not merely to prove that the men are not gay.
Women used communally by the same men (either two rivals or a group of males) offer a means to connect sexually in a way that masks the actual repressed erotic desires. ” This, “like many other buddy, action, and/or war ﬁlms . . celebrates masculinity and male homosocial bonds while negating their shadowy other, male homosexual bonds. ” The ﬁlm uses various comic moments as “inoculation, wherein counter-hegemonic ideas are addressed in order to be contained. . ”5 Such a view is consonant with the perspective offered by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s theory of male sexuality.
In the trenches of the western front, where life expectancy could be as short as a couple of weeks, same sex ardor, bodily contact, and (in some cases) eroticism should not be understood solely in contrast to heterosexuality, nor viewed only through the lenses of gender and sexuality. Such intimacy must also be understood to exist as a triumph over death; it must be seen as a celebration of life, of young men huddled against long winter nights, rotting corpses, and falling shells. 12 42 armed forces The voice-over commentary by Ethan Hawke and Keith Gordon on the DVD makes clear that they were aware of the homoerotic potential of the bathing scene.
Armed Forces: Masculinity and Sexuality in the American War Film by Robert Eberwein