In post-Franco Spain, a re-shaping of notions of the masculine has been under way for some time. The authors of Live Flesh demonstrate how contemporary Spanish films, during this modern period, have contributed to this process. They do so by visualizing the ways in which Spanish men have been abandoning old self images and adopting new ones, and they explain and explore the complexity and diversity of these fresh cinematic creations of masculine identities. The book's point of focus is Spanish films of the democratic period, both popular and auteur, made by directors of national and international prominence, such as Pedro Almodvar, Alejandro Amenbar, Bigas Luna or Julio Medem, as well as films featuring acclaimed actors who have contributed to the construction of contemporary ideas of the masculine in their country, including Antonio Banderas and Javier Bardem. Using a fresh theoretical framework, embracing queer and feminist theory and concepts of nation, race and class, each chapter examines key films that represent the male body, highlighting notable elements - young, muscular, homosexual, (dis)abled, foreign and so on - and goes on to focus on recent case studies from the early 1990s to the present. An increasingly transnational Spanish cinema is a most promising field in which to explore questions of how male bodies are represented - and mediated - in film. Live Flesh more than fulfils this promise and goes further, to reveal how these representations have intervened in the Spanish cultural imagination.
The Male Body in Contemporary Spanish Cinema