Masculine Jealousy and Contemporary Cinema by Candida Yates (auth.)

By Candida Yates (auth.)

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Additional info for Masculine Jealousy and Contemporary Cinema

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As I go on to discuss, Mulvey’s model of masculinity and the omnipotent male gaze has since been developed to incorporate the differences and ambiguities of masculinity within contemporary culture. 44 The Psycho-Cultural Shaping of Masculine Jealousy This chapter reviews and traces the changing psychoanalytic theories of masculinity and cinema. The aim is to provide an overview of the relationship between masculinities and spectatorship in psychoanalytic film theory, from the all-powerful male gaze of ‘apparatus theory’, to more recent concepts of male trauma and the hysterical male gaze.

The Kleinian concepts of breast and womb envy have today again become popular with contemporary psychoanalytic feminists (Maguire, 1995; Minsky, 1998; Wieland, 2000). They re-work earlier theories (Horney, 1924; Klein, 1957; Riviere, 1932), to argue that male subjectivities are shaped by destructive, envious feelings, which have their roots in the first maternal relationship when the dependent boy resents the mother for her power and envies her plenitude. Again, this model implies that masculinity is shaped in a defensive way against femininity and so provides an explanation of the relationship between masculinity and misogyny, seen in films such as American Psycho for instance or Dead Ringers perhaps.

This is surprising because, as classical psychoanalytic theory reminds us, jealousy plays a significant role in the shaping of gendered subjectivities and in helping the subject to come to terms with the losses and compromises associated with the Oedipus complex (Laplanche and Pontalis, 1988: 282–7). 19 C. Yates, Masculine Jealousy and Contemporary Cinema © Candida Yates 2007 20 The Psycho-Cultural Shaping of Masculine Jealousy Psychoanalytic writers on gender often present a pessimistic picture of contemporary masculinities (Maguire, 1995; Minsky, 1998).

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