Negotiating New Masculinities in ‘The Art of Self Defense’

As a transgender man, I have a complicated, strange, and usually arduous relationship with masculinity. Why are men so obsessed with the fact that they are men? For people who claim to be independent and strong, why is is validation from someone they perceive as superior (read; more powerful) so important to them? Why is violence, hatred, and ugliness seen as so essential to being a man in mainstream society? I ask myself these questions constantly. They keep me up at night. The same questions seem to keep Riley Stearns up at night as well, as indicated in his new film, The Art of Self Defense.

5c3f8dece574d-f1b1u2h202b1
Jesse Eisenberg in ‘The Art of Self Defense’

Continue reading “Negotiating New Masculinities in ‘The Art of Self Defense’”
Advertisements

Is Gone Girl’s Amy Dunne a villain?

Gone Girl is one of those films you wish you could watch for the first time again.

gone girl1.png
Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl (2014) © 20th Century Fox

Masked as a typical murder-mystery, Fincher manipulates the audience into sympathising with Amy Dunne and despising her husband; Nick Dunne, thus shocking us when the screen cuts to black and the words: “I’m so much happier now that I’m dead”, are uttered. In a few seconds Amy’s ‘helpless victim’ persona is left behind, replaced by the reality of who she truly is; a villain. In one sentence our whole perception of her is changed and that’s how you do a plot twist.

Continue reading “Is Gone Girl’s Amy Dunne a villain?”