RTF 316M paper 1

RTF 316M paper 1 - Colors(1988 directed by Denis Hopper is...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Colors (1988), directed by Denis Hopper, is a controversial film about gang life in Los Angeles and its opening day was widely anticipated and a cause for concern. Across the nation it was feared that the realness and accuracy of the film would incite violence between rival gangs (Masters). As progressive as this film was seen as being – having researched gang life and kept the film as close to ‘reality’ as possible – further inspection reveals that it not only perpetuates preconceived notions of Latinos and Blacks in terms of gender and sexuality, but it also fosters the ideas of Enlightened Racism which continuously lays the blame of failing to achieve the American Dream on the ‘bad culture’ of the people themselves. In American culture there are two specific categories involved in defining a person’s gender: male or female; that is to say, masculine or feminine. Popular discourses within American society about gender – and sexuality – place White heterosexuals as the ideals of both masculinity and femininity. This act of exclusion from those other than the considered ‘norm’ creates a hierarchy within each respective category, and yet another hierarchy between the two categories themselves. While there is a gradation in regards to both masculinity and femininity, the following section will focus on the film’s depiction of the various forms of masculinity, in contrast to the depiction of women as gender – only slightly touching on differentiation in terms of race – with a later section mainly focusing on the racialized feminine hierarchy and the sexuality stratum that corresponds. It is made known through common discourse that white heterosexual males dominate the hierarchy within masculinity. To be anything other than this ideal is to deviate from both the norm and the idealized masculine form. Although gender was not
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
an intended topic of concern in Colors , a scene at the beginning of the film in which Sean Penn’s character, Danny McGavin, is introduced as the self-proclaimed, “guardian of masculinity,” the film automatically asserts the presence of a hierarchy. McGavin, a young, white, hot-tempered police officer is America’s ideal masculine man; he is an attractive, upstanding citizen, a protector and facilitator of law and order, his only visible emotion is that which enables him to be tough, yet he is capable of meaningful relationships with women. Throughout the film these ideals are manifested as he continuously bears an acceptably tough demeanor, physically overpowering and dominating the lesser Latino and Black gang members, emasculating them as he does so. He constantly berates the minority men and uses excessive force, usually to the point interference from his partner, and goes even further in his securing of domination by forcefully frisking the genital area of one headstrong Black man during a pat-down search, making the man jerk away from him, first in fear, then in anger, after which he succumbs to the emasculation and becomes subdued, accepting his domination by the
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Page1 / 7

RTF 316M paper 1 - Colors(1988 directed by Denis Hopper is...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online