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 Some discussion points to think of while you watch:

  • How does this film show the link between identity and physical form?
  • Are there any differences in the body types and how masculine their character is?
  • The body as object – how are male vs female bodies objectified differently?
  • Would the film change if the gender roles were reversed?
  • What difference are there in the types of actions/dialogue in the male vs female characters?
  • How does the male body type affect the character and the perception of that character by others?
  • How does the physical body influence identity for a character, or the audience perception of that character?
  • How is costume used to present the male figure?
  • How does the film treat disability with respect to identity and masculinity?
  • What masculine stereotypes exist in this film?
  • Does the male form become more fetishized by being presented in an alien form?
  • Does animating characters change the way in which an audience looks at a character? (i.e. changes in gaze duration, comfort level, how the camera shows the body vs a real one)

See our listings on

Magic Mike XXL – The Male Body as Object

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The Legend of Tarzan

Tarzan, having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment. Is masculinity characterized as wild versus civilized?

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When his brother is killed in a robbery, paraplegic Marine Jake Sully decides to take his place in a mission on the distant world of Pandora.

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In a world of avatars, does it matter what you really look like or who you really are? What is the authentic self in a world of constructed bodies?

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Avengers: Age of Ultron

Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk. That other guy…Does being a hero require super-muscles, meta-human powers or buff robot suit?

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Screening Related Topics & Reading

The Evolution of the ‘Perfect’ Hero Body

Over the last 60 years, on-screen superheroes have reflected America’s changing ideals for men’s physiques.

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Supermanhood: Geek Guys and Hypermasculinity in Superhero Movies

It is essentially male bonding or friendship-building by way of violence and it usually elicits wild cheers from audiences. It’s a plot point that I think should at least raise questions regarding the kinds of behavior being modeled for men about male relationships and communication.

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