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Men on the Screen

Re-visions of Masculinity in Spanish Cinema (1939-2019)

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Edited By Juan Rey

Cinema, whether it is understood as entertainment, business, criticism, or art, is always a reflection of the society in which it is born. Men on the Screen is a review of masculinity in cinema made in Spain by Spanish directors from 1939 to the present. The objective of this volume is, then, to observe the different types of masculinities, whose classification gives rise to a chronology that goes from the man who embodies the dream dreamt by the dictator Franco to the modern man, who is lost in his labyrinth, while also examining the repressed men, those men who have strayed and who live in the city, the rascals and braggarts, those who fight every day just to survive, the petty criminals, those men who divest themselves of the rancid national-Catholicism in order to be themselves, those who are caring, those who harass and kill their prey, the heroes, those who seduce women with their gab, corrupt politicians, those who sell their bodies, grandparents, violent and chauvinistic men, those who live in anguish for the passage of time, and even those immured by repressing and hypocritical morality. All of the masculine categories delineated above indicate that cinema is a reflection of the great changes experienced by Spanish society during these years. During this long period, Spain has gone from being a poor, isolated, dark, sad, politically and religiously depressed country to becoming a dynamic, modern country, one of the great countries of the West. And these transformations, these men, who are diverse, who are in conflict at times, and who are depressed, hopeful, hungry, consumerist, and dreamers—they are what cinema gathers. What follows next is a catalog of men who have wandered and roamed the Spanish screens.

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21. Older People, Grandparents … How Men Age in the Cinema

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Salomé Sola-Morales1

In recent decades there has been an incredible increase in life expectancy in Spain and a progressive decrease in the birth rate. Currently, 19.20% of the population is over 65 years old, according to the National Institute of Statistics (ine),1 which makes it an aging society.2 Future prospects are along the same lines. It is estimated that in 2030, this generation will represent 30% of the population.3

The elderly face a series of conflicts of a physical, psychological, and symbolic nature. The passing of time and the closeness of death make them undergo transformations in relation to their ways of living, feeling, and being. Tomorrow may cease to be a horizon on which to draw dreams, options or life’s intentions, manifesting the inexorable contingency of the human being.4 For Pinazo Hernandis, “the changes that can occur during old age will depend a lot on the individual characteristics of each subject, of the micro-system, group/society to which they belong, of the meso or macro-system level, but, above all, on the way of dealing with such changes.”5

Old age is not only a biological state; it is also a cultural issue. Being old can acquire different values and meanings. According to Klein there are two tendencies: the paradigm of the helplessness of life, which shows devitalization, loneliness, illness and death, and two, that of the fullness of life: vital, energetic and without fear of facing challenges.6 Whether there are two,...

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