David Greven has produced a stimulating and wide-ranging study which focuses on a range of films which span the Bush-to-Bush era…One of the strengths of Greven’s book is its close focus on aesthetic aspects of film which are effectively linked to psychoanalytical concepts and wider debates concerning the representation of masculinity in the Bush-to-Bush era…Greven’s study succeeds in providing a thought-provoking analysis which should be very helpful to scholars of queer theory and Hollywood film. (Helen Oakley, The Open University Journal of American Studies 2012-08-15)
A challenging book...that turns a great deal of theory on masochism and masculinity on its head. In a complex yet intriguing manner, Greven manages to weave together classical mythology, psychoanalytic theory, Mulveyan gaze theory, and textual analysis of several key films of the era...The author delivers thought-provoking readings of these films. (Choice 2010-06-00)
Subtly radical...Greven takes to task the perverse academic gymnastics of theorists who valorize self-destructive and often self-hating displays of masculinity--and especially queerness--as somehow empowering, and offers as a corrective a sensible and cogent critique of the masochistic portrayals of the male body in Hollywood films of the last two decades. (Cineaste 2010-09-00)
Greven has put a very useful perspective on the notion of queer sexualities with this study. Moreover his work provides an excellent rebuttal of the position of several prominent film critiques who deny the usefulness of theory in analyzing cinem...a. Greven vigorously discards the injunction to reject a psychoanalytic basis for examining spectator’s identification with screen images. The readings here are nuanced and powerful and they are admirably supported by psychoanalytic theory. (College Literature 2012-01-00)
When he explores the movies themselves, analyzing text and subtext, directorial choices and scores, lighting and framing, symbolism and defamiliarization, David Greven's postulations are fascinating and often revelatory.... it’s a gift to read his insights and interpretations and then revisit these films after reading such a well-considered exploration of them. (Sacramento Book Review 2010-05-05)
The principal contribution of this book is the close readings of presentations of manhood in the films Casualties of War, The Silence of the Lambs, Fight Club, The Passion of the Christ, and Brokeback Mountain. (Neal King Men and Masculinities 2013-07-13)
DAVID GREVEN is Associate Professor of English at Connecticut College.