Battleground Masculinity: Gendertroublers and Gatekeepers in Oliver Stone’s Platoon

24 07 2008

by Christina Judith Hein, 2007

Interesting perspective — from a German website

QUOTE: On the pictorial level, Elias’s masculinity is coded as deviant and somewhat queer, especially in relation to the conventions of the genre. In excess of representing moral integrity, or, with Mat-Ami, the rehumanizing power in a dirty war, then, Elias might be considered to bear certain traits conventionally perceived as feminine: he is sensuous, emotional and caring, he promotes singing and dancing, and he cherishes romantic settings, as in the intimate conversation he has with Chris under a densely starred night sky with its obligatory shooting star. (….)

Platoon, while still offering itself as a realistic and authentically scripted representation of the Vietnam experience, does address as well as negotiate the construction of maleness in a heteronormative environment. The way that the film brings to the fore issues of masculinity and discusses the repressive forces inbuilt into any social system makes it stand out among mainstream films of any genre. (…)

The very sober execution of Barnes at the movie’s end, mainly in full shot, stands in stark contrast to the spectacle of Elias’s death. And while Barnes, tellingly, is killed after he has received a bullet wound uncomfortably close to the crotch, after an attack at his virility, that is, Elias maintains his queer position… 

read the whole article

Hmmm…


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