Impossible Bodies: Femininity and Masculinity at the Movies

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Routledge, 2002 - Performing Arts - 237 pages
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This work investigates issues of ethnicity, gender, and sexuality at the margins of contemporary Hollywood. Examining stars from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Clint Eastwood to Whoopi Goldberg and Jennifer Lopez, Chris Holmlund focuses on actors whose physique or appearance marks them as unusual or exceptional, and yet who occupy key and revealing positions in today's mainstream cinema. Exploring a range of genres and considering both stars and their sidekicks, Holmlund examines ways in which Hollywood accommodates - or doesn't - a variety of impossible bodies, from the outrageous physiques of Dolph Lundgren and Dolly Parton, to the almost-invisible bodies of Asian-Americans, Latinas and older actors. From lesbian killers to Swedes who never play Swedes, the book considers how representations of ethnicity and race, gender and sexuality are played out in contemporary Hollywood films, and shows how popular cinema reflects and communicates contemporary values for audiences.

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About the author (2002)

Chris Holmlund is Associate Professorin Cinema Studfies and Women's Studies at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is the co-editor of Between the Sheets, in the Streets: Queer, Lesbian, Gay Documentary (Minnesota UP, 1997).

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