Borrowing its title from Gregg Araki's 2005 film, in which the camera's contemplation of the male body encourages us to feel that body, and covering a broad span of subjects and films, 'Mysterious' Skin offers a wider, more representative picture of the depiction of the male body in contemporary world cinemas than has hitherto been attempted. An international array of major experts explore the treatment of masculinity and the male body in the cinemas of Africa, Australia, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, North America, Spain, Taiwan and Vietnam, as well as Hollywood. Their common concern is to reveal how the representation of the male body is used in films to convey a country's anxieties about its national identity and history, as well as how it engages with questions of racial, sexual or gender politics. They discuss key actors, directors and films of these countries, from Ewan MacGregor in Peter Greenaway's 'The Pillow Book', through the films of Wong Kar Wai, to Paul Hogan as Mick Dundee in 'Crocodile Dundee'. In so doing, 'Mysterious Skin' also provides a strong overview of important cinema produced around the world in the last twenty years.
The Male Body in Contemporary Cinema