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American cinema and the construction of masculinity in film in the Federal Republic after 1945

Leal, Joanne (2012) American cinema and the construction of masculinity in film in the Federal Republic after 1945. German Life and Letters 65 (1), pp. 59-72. ISSN 0016-8777.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0483.2011.01559.x

Abstract

Since 1945, film in the Federal Republic has maintained an ambivalent relationship to American cinema and its embedded ideologies and nowhere is this more evident than in (West) German film's representations of masculinity. This article focuses on three historical moments when political and social shifts resulted in a problematising of male identities in the Federal Republic: the mid-1950s, the early 1970s and the late 1990s. Cinema responded to a perceived destabilisation of gender norms by exploring constructions of German masculinity in relation to the ambivalently received models of male identity offered by American cinema. With a detailed analysis of three specific examples – Georg Tressler's Die Halbstarken (1956), Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Der amerikanische Soldat (1970) and Fatih Akin's Kurz und schmerzlos (1998) – this article investigates the manner in which German cinema engages with these competing conceptions of masculinity and demonstrates the ways in which divergent understandings of gender identity can impact on representations of national and ethnic identity.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Arts > Cultures and Languages
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2012 10:56
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2014 13:01
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/4614

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