Friday, April 20, 2012

Upcoming Films About Men

Anthony Hopkins (left) Alfred Hitchcock (right).
There have been a number of comments left; Trish and others, I will be getting to them in the order you have left them, I promise! My next post is on the romantic drama Casablanca (1942) as a part of the film noir series I have been doing, examining how Humphrey Bogart's Rick Blaine set the stage for the future of troubled heroes populating detective stories and American cinemas; this will be followed up by Double Indemnity. Next Friday is the release of The Raven, the story of the last strange days of Edgar Allan Poe's life. The working list of references I have going which the film invokes includes: The Tell-Tale Heart, Annabell Lee, A Dream Within a Dream, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Raven and The Masque Of the Red Death (I am also going to be reading The Cask Of Amontillado). On Friday, April 27th, I will be getting up a post on everything (I think) you need to know before seeing the film without actually having seen the film.
A bit of film news: Anthony Hopkins is playing famed director Alfred Hitchcock and director Martin Scorsese has announced he's teaming up with Leonardo DiCaprio to do The Wolf Of Wall Street. Initial reactions to The Avengers has been generally favorable so far thus and a trailer for the new James Bond film Skyfall (to be released in November) will be attached to Men In Black III. In the meantime, here are some trailers of upcoming films, and it's interesting how they have to do with men and masculinity. Pertaining to fatherhood, here is The Kid With a Bike, released last year in Belgium, it's just now making its way to the US:
In a turn around, the next two kids are abandoned by their mother after their father finally gets out of prison. Wild Bill shows us another man having problems being a dad:
These are only two films, yet two more films may give us an insight into why men are having problems being the men and the fathers they need to be. I am primarily interested in Magic Mike because Hollywood is building a rather substantial dialogue about male sexuality (specifically abstinence which comes from Immortals, Shame, Wrath Of the Titans, This Means War) and it will be interesting to see what Mike really wants to do and how, if at all, he manages a conversion (the point of all art is conversion of some sort):
We have seen Rock Of Ages before but this is the second trailer and while I don't like nudity in films, it hints at dealing with some of the problems starting in the 1980s being the reasons for problems today:
Similarly, Blackthorn, about the still living Butch Cassidy of outlaw fame, (was released in the US in February), provides us with a role model for men that might not be the best:
To re-enforce the seriousness of examining masculinity and the role men are called to play in society and the family, Babycall will probably show us how a bad man ruins three lives: his wife's, his child's and his own:
I know very little about The Gospel Of Us:  a big company moves in and tries to take over a town and the father who has been missing for 40 days does the only thing left for hm to do, sacrifice himself.
It was released in the US in February, but is getting around remarkably slow: Mozart's Sister.
For those interested in the auteur approach to film--the study of a particular director's way of making film--one name is usually on everyone's top ten list: Werner Herzog. With such films as The Enigma Of Kaspar Hauser and Aguirre: The Wrath Of God, his newest film Into the Abyss examines killing in society:
The Island President draws our attention to the fact that not all countries are sinking just because of debt:
Even if we aren't getting a chance to see all the films coming out, it helps to have an idea of recurring topics and themes to connect with the films we do catch.