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Image for Spectacular Bodies : Gender, Genre and the Action Cinema

Spectacular Bodies : Gender, Genre and the Action Cinema

By: Tasker, Yvonne

Part of the Comedia series
0415092248 / 9780415092241
Paperback / softback
Stock expected by 28/08/2019
United Kingdom
159 x 235 mm, 318 grams 216 pages
Tertiary Education (US: College)  Learn More

While films such as Rambo, Thelma and Louise and Basic Instinct have operated as major points of cultural reference in recent years, popular action cinema remains neglected within contemporary film criticism. Spectacular Bodies unravels the complexities and pleasures of a genre often dismissed as `obvious' in both its pleasure and its politics, arguing that these controversial films should be analysed and understood within a cinematic as well as a political context. Yvonne Tasker argues that today's action cinema not only responds to the shifts in gendered, sexual and racial identities which took place during the 1980s, but reflects the influences of other media such as the new video culture.

Her detailed discussion of the homoeroticism surrounding the muscleman hero, the symbolic centrality of blackness within the crime narrative, and the changing status of women within the genre, addresses the constitution of these identities through the shifting categories of gender, class, race, sex, sexuality and nation.

Spectacular Bodies also examines the ambivalence of supposedly secure categories of popular cinema, questioning the existing terms of film criticism in this area and addressing the complex pleasures of this neglected form.


APFA Film theory & criticism, JFC Cultural studies, JFSJ Gender studies, gender groups

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