Shadows of a man: representations of masculinity in American neo noir

Palmer, Fiona (2009) Shadows of a man: representations of masculinity in American neo noir. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    Using psychoanalytical theories this study explores the representations of masculinity in American neo noir films. Building a historical background to the classic film noir period of 1941 - 1958, comparisons are made to further the understanding of why the noir style has been reworked in contemporary American cinema and how it links the current social landscape to that of the classic period of noir. This study looks at three specific neo noir films in three chapters: Curtis Hanson's film adaptation of "L.A. Confidential" (1997), Christopher Nolans fragmented "Memento" (2000) and Rian Johnson's postmodernist "Brick" (2005). Using different psychoanalytical models, the nature of the characters psychic dysfunctions in relation to their masculinities are construed. The study looks at the Oedipal theory in relation to "L.A. Confidential", trauma theory when considering "Memento", and use of instincts, in terms of Eros and the death instinct, when looking at "Brick". This study argues that the traditional concepts of what masculinity is no longer apply within the contemporary social structure with its changing gendered roles. It also contends that the reworking of the noir style in neo noir asserts this need for a change in how we view masculinity now with noirs fundamental links to the psyche of its protagonists.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:15
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/692

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