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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/37939

Type: Thesis
Title: 'Gods in our own world': representations of troubled and troubling masculinities in some Australian films, 1991-2001
Author: Crilly, Shane
Issue Date: 2004
School/Discipline: School of Humanities
Abstract: The dominance of male characters in Australian films makes our national cinema a rich resource for the examination of the construction of masculinities. This thesis argues that the codes of the hegemonic masculinities in capitalist patriarchal societies like Australia insist on an absolute masculine position. However, according to Oedipal logic, this position always belongs to another man. Masculine yet 'feminised,'identity is fraught with anxiety but sustained by the 'dominant fiction' that equates the penis with the phallus and locates the feminine as its polar opposite. This binary relationship is inaugurated in childhood when a boy must distinguish his identity from his mother, who, significantly, is a different gender. Being masculine means not being feminine. However, as much as men strive towards inhabiting the masculine position completely, this masquerade will always be exposed by the elements associated with femininity that are an inevitable part of the human experience. Yet, the more men are drawn to the feminine, the more they risk losing their masculine integrity altogether under the patriarchal gaze. Men, in this dualistic regime, are condemned to negotiate their identity haunted by the promises of the phallus and the fear of its loss. I begin with a model of masculine integrity represented in the image of an ideal father, Darryl Kerrigan, from The Castle and then proceed to problematise it through an examination of its excesses observed in the father of David Helfgott in Shine. In the second chapter I investigate two films that represent mothers as the principal threat to masculine integrity: Death in Brunswick and Proof. Both films reveal a misogynistic impetus, which is expressed as violence against women in The Boys, the sole focus of my middle chapter. With misogyny and violence still resonating, I follow the contours of my argument through an examination of Chopper and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in the fourth chapter, where I emphasise the performative nature of identity, before arriving at a discussion of men and their relationships in the final chapter (Mullet, Praise, and Thank God He Met Lizzie).
Advisor: Butterss, Philip
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.)--School of Humanities, 2004.
Keywords: masculinity, men in motion pictures, men, cinema, motion pictures, Australian, Australia
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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