Armed Forces: Masculinity and Sexuality in the American War Film
By: Robert Eberwein (author)Paperback
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In war films, the portrayal of deep friendships between men is commonplace. Given the sexually anxious nature of the American imagination, such bonds are often interpreted as carrying a homoerotic subtext. In "Armed Forces", Robert Eberwein argues that an expanded conception of masculinity and sexuality is necessary in order to understand more fully the intricacy of these intense and emotional human relationships. Drawing on a range of examples from silent films such as "What Price Glory" and "Wings" to sound era works like "The Deer Hunter", "Platoon", "Three Kings", and "Pearl Harbor", he shows how close readings of war films, particularly in relation to their cultural contexts, demonstrate that depictions of heterosexual love, including those in romantic triangles, actually help to define and clarify the nonsexual nature of male love. The book also explores the problematic aspects of masculinity and sexuality when threatened by wounds, as in "The Best Years of Our Lives", and considers the complex and persistent analogy between weapons and the male body, as in "Full Metal Jacket" and "Saving Private Ryan".
Robert Eberwein is Distinguished Professor of English at Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, and the editor of The War Film (Rutgers University Press).
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- ID: 9780813540801
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