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Tuesday, December 6 • 9:00am - 9:20am
From Feral To Familial: Anthropomorphism And The Feminine Form In Stanley Kubrick's Films

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An exploration of gender dynamics and dualities of women and animals in Kubrick’s films, separately and together, reveals how each evokes vulnerability, emotional displays, and varying aspects of human nature in male characters. Women and animals act both as the hand of fate and as victims of fate in Kubrick's films. When animals do so, they can only be innocent, but when women change the tides, they are villainized. Men in Kubrick’s films seem to either embody or be held to hegemonic masculine standards, and are punished, killed, or otherwise meet ill fates if they deviate. Male characters’ softer sides appear when interacting with animals or women. Animals represent the ideal binary-masculine form, since in the wild they operate from basic instincts of eating, sleeping, fighting, and sex. Animals represent the ideal binary-feminine form when kept as pets, who depend on human (i.e. male) protection for survival. The same wild-animal protective nature that compels men to keep pets, compels them also to domestically guard women. Men guard themselves against women, who are never as innocent as animals, due to the gender-neutral human-nature traits of manipulation and suspicion. Kubrick utilizes these tropes to purposefully raise awareness of social issues through provoking discomfort, rather than displaying them gratuitously.

Tuesday December 6, 2016 9:00am - 9:20am PST
016 Karpen Hall

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