Edited By Rafael M. Mérida-Jiménez
More specifically, Hispanic (LGT) Masculinities in Transition will interlink the fields of political and historical change and artistic production in order to assess whether cultural representations can be understood as mere reflections of social and political change. In terms of the materials being examined, these are, in the first instance, literary, although other narratives are also addressed (filmic production and plastic arts). This volume is essential reading for professors and students of contemporary Spanish history and culture, as well as for those interested in lesbian, gay, transgender, and masculinity issues.
4—Embodiments of Class and Nation in Eloy de la Iglesia’s Gay Films
While most accounts of the twenty-three films directed by Eloy de la Iglesia (1944–2006) have focused on either their portrayal of social inequalities or their grasp of gay issues, questions related to how the body is portrayed and utilized have been largely taken for granted.1 Yet, a close reading of his last gay film, Los novios búlgaros (Bulgarian Lovers, 2003), reveals a careful treatment of the body’s visual rhetoric along the lines of a discourse based on class, nation, and sexuality. The different types of male characters defined by oppositions generated by these paradigms (privileged/subaltern, local/foreign, and gay/straight) receive a unique cinematographic treatment. For instance, well-off gay Spaniards are played by relatively unfit actors, while subaltern gay foreigners are played by young, fit, good-looking actors. Thus, Los novios búlgaros seems to respond to preconceived ideas about the physicality of certain human types and it does so in ways that are both complex and non-reductionist: focusing on individual differences amongst the several characters within each group; stressing individual evolutions; and suggesting that a given character can be reassigned to a different group. From this perspective, bodies are more than just mere physical supports for characters; bodies do embody values and ideological discourses. Taking Los novios búlgaros as a model, this chapter sets out to analyse de la Iglesia´s earlier gay films, Los placeres ocultos (Hidden Pleasures, 1977) and El diputado (Confessions of a Congressman, 1978), as instances of an embodied discourse not only on homosexuality but...
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