JUMP CUT
A REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY MEDIA

Notes

1. In a somewhat parallel manner, Heather MacDonald’s play Dream of a Common Language (1993) stages male nudity with reference to art history in a highly melodramatic way. In the play, set in 1874, the wife of a well-known male artist, and herself a former artist forces a male friend at gunpoint to pose nude for her (see Lehman).

2. The pregnancy motif is encapsulated by a character in Antonia’s Line who is constantly pregnant because she loves the state of being pregnant (and always appears in a full term condition on screen). Rather than stop getting pregnant, she bears a massive number of children and dies at a relatively young age.

3. The privileging of body men also occurs in Antonia’s Line. When the artist daughter wants to get pregnant she finds a buff, black leather-jacketed motorcyclist who makes passionate love to her repeatedly and impregnates her on the first try. On the other hand, Antonia’s brilliant granddaughter, Therese, picks up an intellectual graduate student in a bar who is ultimately humiliated. The student is shown feverishly relating his ideas about socialism, capitalism and the impact of society on male/female relationships to Therese, but his mental enthusiasm is undercut in the next scene when he is shown standing naked on the sidewalk with a newspaper over his groin as Therese throws his clothes out a window. A female voice-over refers to his intellectual discourse as “self-indulgent blather” and goes on to say,

She experimented with a few intellectuals, but found them wanting...nor was she compensated physically.

Works cited

Berger, John. 1973. Ways of Seeing. New York: Penguin.

Dyer, Richard. 1982. “Don't Look Now: The Male Pin-up.” Screen 23, nos. 3-4: 61-73.

Lehman, Peter. 2000. “Crying Over the Melodramatic Penis: Melodrama and Male Nudity in Films of the ‘90s” in Masculinity: Bodies, Movies, Culture, edited by Peter Lehman. New York: Routledge.

Lehman, Peter and Susan Hunt. 1999. “’Something and Someone Else’: The Mind, the Body, and Sexuality in Titanic” in Titanic: Anatomy of a Blockbuster, edited by Kevin Sandler and Gaylyn Studlar. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.

Mulvey, Laura. 1975. “Visual Pleasure and the Narrative Cinema.” Screen 16, no. 3: 6-18.

Taylor, Gary. 2002. Castration: An Abbreviated History of Western Manhood. New York: Routledge.


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