Viral Video: Pure Testosterone and Mahem

Gay Guy,

The clip above is "Pure," an action movie montage from professional film editor Jacob Bricca. In his words, it's a "meditation on genre, a commentary on visual cliches, and a celebration of the visceral pleasures of cinema." Sounds a little like master's thesis mumbo jumbo to me, but the final product is worth a look. It is interesting to notice the "predictability of certain images" as he cuts from fifty (or so) modern action films. (link)

Note the swagger, the stride, the sideways glance of the contemporary tough guy. Then watch all hell break loose. Including explosion-propelled jet skis -- and helicopters flying at extremely low altitude. Watch out! Oops, too late.

I won't suggest that these films are for straight guys only, as a previous post on destructoporn identified fans on both sides. But this is obviously also a study in modern masculinity. So, where are the women? Well, few of them are cut in just after the three minute mark. Was it me or were they all screaming in terror? Ugh. I get the trappings of the genre, but that point seems a little dated given how deconstructed that stereotype has become in the post-Buffy age. Especially considering that a few of the clipped films already have great examples of ass-kicking female protagonists.

I guess I get the bigger point. But if Pure is "commentary on the ubiquity and predictability of certain images in contemporary cinema," then why do I fall for these films again and again? The good ones anyway. Speed 2 and the first Matrix film might share a few visual cues, but one is rubbish and the other is art (please tell me you can guess which is which, GG).

Any proven formula will have repetitive elements, right? Who said "All art is derivative"?

For our readers who don't click with the action genre, I have recently become aware of the Mo Movie Measure (or Bechdel Test) which allows some lesbians (and many women in general) to screen films and watch only those that meet the following criteria:

1) there are at least two female characters
2) who talk to each other
3) about something other than a man

Good luck with that. I'm sorry it's so hard. Seriously.

I don't have that many rules. And by the way, action is not the only genre that I dig. But I'm still not ready for the Merchant-and-Ivory-a-thon that GG keeps threatening to put together.


--Straight Guy

UPDATE: Almost forgot to mention the Samberg/Ferrell spoof:
"Cool Guys Don't Look at Explosions." LINK


Dorn said...

The rules are too funny, sadly that creates a very short list of "popular" movies that make the grade. But as Hollywood is a for profit industry and not a socially responsible company, they look for the bottom line. That means SELL, SELL, SELL. Formulas/stereotypes work and SELL! Who is the target audience for most products? 15-45 year-olds. Women have their romantic comedies and men have their action-adventure. Just like politics, if you target a specific audience, you lose constituency. Everyone dishing out $$$ fears it and will block it at all costs for fear of a loss.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

I dunno SG, I can't say as I recognized many of those movies...I mean, the Fugitive of course (always a fan of Harrison Ford), but that seemed pretty masculine from what I saw. I doubt their fan base (as Dorn points out) was for gays.

Ah, sad. Gotta love the modern age huh?

SteveA said...

Having started to read his commentary about "Pure" it confirms or maybe gives some creedence to the fact that music reflects the sign of the times.

He was inspired by a song by Jesus Lizard which is a band I actually liked and mentioned in one of my posts. He seems to have been nspired by this song and made the video to match this song. I think that's cool!

I recognise most of those movies - but for me the faves are Matrix and Blade!

kathryn said...

I don't think my life would have been any less fulfilled if I hadn't seen all of the Diehard movies....but I will admit to wanting Taylor (18) to see them all. I keep telling him they're "classics" and simply must be viewed.

I think you men (notice I did not say you men looooove your violence and this is your way of vicariously living with it w/o landing in the clinker.

Just my 2 cents...

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