“To know who you really are, not who you’d like to be”: masculinity and melancholy in Cesc Gay’s Fiction (2006)

Antoni Maestre-Brotons

Abstract


The films of Cesc Gay (Barcelona, 1967) draw a complex portrayal of the collapse of hegemonic or traditional masculinity. In most cases, the male characters of the films are trapped between a conservative pattern—which is tied to patriarchy, marriage, family and heterosexuality—and a more flexible prototype that breaks away from conservative gender, sexual and family rules. This shift reflects what Anderson (2009) calls “inclusive masculinity”, existing in cultures of diminished “homohysteria”. In Fiction (2006), Àlex, the male protagonist, a married man and a father of two children, is unable to move on to that new understanding of masculinity and gender and sexual relations. Marriage and family entail a sacrifice, a loss, imprisonment. He remains bound up with an unattainable idealised self—“who you really are”—that only lives in his imagination. By drawing on psychoanalysis and affect theory, I argue that the scripts he writes, the portraits he looks at or the mirrors that reflect his face point at that other self with which he has a melancholic/narcissistic relationship as the lost loved object he mourns.


Full Text:

PDF

References


Deleyto, Celestino, 2008, “Aquellas pequeñas cosas: una entrevista con Cesc Gay y Tomás Aragay”, Hispanic Research Journal 9:4, 354-368.

Epps, Brad, 2013, “Echoes and Traces. Catalan Cinema, or Cinema in Catalonia”, in A Companion to Spanish Cinema, Jo Labanyi and Tatjana Pavlovic eds., Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell, 50-80.

Fernàndez, Josep Anton, 2012, “Translating the enigma: Temporality and subjectivity in Ventura Pons’s Barcelona (Un mapa)”, in Barcelona: visual culture, space and power, Helena Buffery and Carlota Caulfield eds., Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 119-132.

Fouz, Santiago; Martínez, Alfredo, 2007, Live Flesh. The Male Body in Contemporary Spanish Cinema, London and New York, I.B. Tauris.

Fouz, Santiago, 2013, Cuerpos de cine. Masculinidades carnales en el cine y la cultura popular contemporáneos, Barcelona, Bellaterra.

Fowler, Catherine; Gillian Helfield eds., 2006, “Introduction”, Representing the Rural. Space, Place, and Identity in Films about the Land, Detroit, Wayne State University Press, 1-14.

Gay, Cesc; Gimelberg, Daniel, 1998, Hotel Room, Spain-Argentina, Bailando con Todos, SL – The Machine Film.

Gay, Cesc, 2000, Nico and Dani, Spain, Messidor Films.

Gay, Cesc, 2003, In the City, Spain, Messidor Films.

Gay, Cesc, 2006, Fiction, Spain, Messidor Films.

Gay, Cesc, 2009, V.O.S., Spain, Imposible Films.

Gay, Cesc, 2012, A Gun in Each Hand, Imposible Films.

Gay, Cesc, 2015, Truman, Spain-Argentina, Imposible Films-Trumanfilm-BD Cine-Canal+ España –TVE-TV3-Telefe.

Gay, Peter, ed., 1989, The Freud Reader, New York and London, Norton & Company.

Gorton, Kristyn, 2008, Theorising Desire. From Freud to Feminism to Film, New York, Palgrave Macmillan.

Jordan, Barry; Mark Allinson, 2005, Spanish Cinema. A Student’s Guide, London, Hodder Arnold.

Sedwick, Eve K., 1985, Between Men. English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire, New York, Columbia University Press.

MacKinnon, Kenneth, 2002, Love, Tears, and the Male Spectator, Madison-Teaneck-London, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press-Associated University Presses.

Marks, Laura U., 2000, The Skin of the Film. Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses, Durham and London, Duke University Press.

Antoni Maestre-Brotons

Martí-Olivella, Jaume, 2000, “Ventura Pons o la teatralització de la impostura”, in El gai saber: Introducció als estudis gais i lèsbics, Josep Anton Fernàndez ed., Barcelona, Llibres de l’Índex, 373-392.

Martí-Olivella, Jaume, 2011, “Catalan Cinema”, in A Companion to Catalan Culture, Dominic Keown ed., London, Tamesis, 185-205.

Martí-Olivella, Jaume, 2013, “Tradició i modernitat al Nou Cinema Català: El cas d’Elisa K”, Rivista Italiana di Studi Catalani 3, 53-74.

Neale, Steve, 1993, “Masculinity as Spectacle. Reflections on Men and Mainstream Cinema”, in Screening the Male. Exploring Masculinities in Hollywood Cinema, Steven Cohan and Ina Rae Hark eds., London and New York, Routledge, 9-20.

Neale, Steve; Frank Krutnik, 1990, Popular Film and Television Comedy, London and New York, Routledge.

O’Rawe, Catherine, 2014, Stars and Masculinities in Contemporary Italian Cinema, New York, Palgrave Macmillan.

Peberdy, Donna, 2013, “‘Politics Is Theater’. Performance, Sexuality and Milk”, in Millenial Masculinity. Men in Contemporary American Cinema, Timothy Shary ed., Detroit, Wayne State University Press, 52-65.

Poyato, Pedro, 2014, “La transducción al cine de la novela Tristana: la forma cinematográfica buñueliana”, Signa 23, 731-752.

Resina, Joan Ramon, 2003, “L’imaginari mascle i el mascle imaginari”, in Calçasses, gallines i maricons: Homes contra la masculinitat hegemònica, Josep Anton Fernàndez and Adrià Chavarria eds., Barcelona, Angle Editorial, 58-77.

Shaviro, Steven, 1993, The Cinematic Body, Minneapolis and London, University of Minnesota Press.

Triana-Toribio, Núria, 2003, Spanish National Cinema, London and New York, Routledge.

Williams, Linda, 1998, “Melodrama Revised”, in Refiguring American Film Genres, Nick Browne ed., Berkeley, Los Angeles and London, University of California Press, 42-88.

Žižek, Slavoj, 1989, The Sublime Object of Ideology, London and New York, Verso.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.