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Men on the Screen

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


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.

Introduction – Men Who Roam the Spanish Screens – Part I: Masculinities in the Francoist era – The Man Franco Dreamed of: A Prescriptive and Dictatorial Masculinity – Traitors of the Homeland: The Stigmatization of Reds in Falangist Discourse – Masculinities of the Past as a Re-writing of the Present Excessively Comical, Even Grotesque Men – Part II: Masculinities in Late Francoism and Transition Periods – The Man in Destape Films: Rascals, Braggarts, Sexually Repressed Men … – The Injured Man: Men Who Sell Their Body – The Latin Lover Who Degenerates into an Iberian Male – The Fetishist or the Erotic Gaze of the Repressed Man – The Quinqui as a Hero: Criminal Adolescence during the Transition – Man and God: The Sacred in the Construction of Masculinity – The Man of the Transition Period: Deadbeats, Losers and Simpletons – Part III: From the Transition Period to Present Day – Candidates and Corrupt Politicians: Political Men since the Transition – The Tragic Man: Cyber-Genealogy of the Impossible Male – The Heroes of the Thriller: The Disintegration of the Romantic Canon – The Man-Monster: Masculinity and Visual Effects (VFX) – The Realistic Man: Rural Masculinities – On Hunters and Prey: The Mise-en-scène of a Lurking Masculinity – In the Center of the Labyrinth: Man against the Minotaur – Part IV: New Masculinities? Continuities and Breaks – The Bullfighter as an Archetype and Icon of Spanish Masculinity – Idols, Characters, and Stereotypes of the Male Athlete – Older People, Grandparents … How Men Age in the Cinema – Violently Sexist Men: Aggression as a Sign of Masculinity – Men of Their Word: From Silence to Screaming – The Television Man: Beyond the Cinematographic Horizon – Filmography – Notes on Contributors – Index