Popular Music and Masculinity in Action Films
A Different Tune
Routledge – 2013 – 228 pages
This book is a study of how popular music has participated in the cinematic construction of gender, with a special focus on the action genre and films that share action cinema's interest in spectacularly violent masculinities. Particularly concerned with the aesthetic and ideological work of popular music in film, Howell traces the generic exchanges among contemporary music, music cultures, and filmic representations of masculinity. In her focus on popular music, she addresses an aspect of gender and genre neglected by previous studies of action film and critical accounts of screen masculinity. Her study aims to help us to understand screen gender as an audiovisual construction and to see historical and cultural connections between screen masculinities and contemporary scoring practices.
Introduction: Making Spectacles of Themselves in the Fifties and Sixties: Rebel Males, Jukebox Musicals, and Youth Cinemas 1. John Travolta, the Song and Dance Man in Action 2. Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, Black Masculinity, and the Dual Diegesis 3. Power Chords and Guitar Heroes: the Bruckheimer Film, Music, and Militainment 4. Queering the Rock Soundtrack: Gregg Araki's The Living End 5. Shall We Fight? Music, Masculinity, and Mise en Scene in the Films of Martin Scorsese 6. History in Action: The Word of Blaxploitation Music in Contemporary African American and Action Cinemas 7. Conclusion: Popular Music in Action
Amanda Howell is Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities at Griffith University.