Masculinities can be defined from a myriad of perspectives, and so I reaffirm here what has been an obvious fact of life all along and should probably be a truism, that there are as many definitions of masculinity as there are people populating the planet.  When the traditional cultural definition of masculinity contradicts what someone… Read More

Neil LaBute’s In The Company of Men is described as black comedy.  In some twisted universe, perhaps this is a comedy of a sort, but I see something else, perhaps several things.  This is an exploration of masculinity, yes, but it is also an exploration of stereotypical locker-room, hate-filled testosterone-filled masculinity, one that describes men… Read More

Ma Vie En Rose, directed by Alain Berliner, is a Belgium film produced in France.  While this film is obviously in French, the surrounding set design embodies an “American” look and feel for most of the film.  The characters also appear to be atypically “American” in their extreme negative reactions to Ludovic’s realization that he… Read More

Pierre Bourdieu’s desire to create a union of opposites, of the subjectivist and objectivist approaches in sociology, became what he called habitus.  This is his attempt to overcome the dualism in what he saw as a problem in sociological theory.  However, this attempt to generalize two opposing forces does not account for any individual’s desire… Read More

Brokeback Mountain, directed by Ang Lee, is a simple and complex love story between two people.   It is simple because it has also been called a straightforward gay love story as well as a bisexual love story.  While those points of view are valid on some level, this is a complex love story, because labeling… Read More

The documentary Murderball, directed by Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro, is raw, visceral, violent, and beautiful.  It is a story of a multi-dimensional masculinity and humanity told from several points of view.  It embodies the expression, “in your face,” in that neither the filmmakers nor the subjects feel inclined to leave most topics… Read More

Tommy Lee Jones’ The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada begins as a story of honour between close friends and quickly devolves into multiple perspectives of an archetypal quest for masculine redemption and second chances.  For Pete Perkins, the rancher and Melquiades’ best friend, Belmont, the local sheriff, and Norton, the border patrolman, each quest is… Read More

John Crowley’s Boy A tests our perceptions of social acceptance of a boy/young man  (Eric/Jack) in arrested masculine development who has had few opportunities to properly mature outside of a prison/youth detention culture for fifteen years.  Crowley contrasts this vis a vis Jack’s male co-workers and the masculinity of his girlfriend Michelle’s romantic advances as… Read More