Masculine righteousness in Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds
masculinity, film studies
Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (1968) and Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds (2009) both suggest the need for an outlaw to address the lawlessness that cannot be engaged through legal measures. The image of a vigilante acting on a personal perception of justice is noticeable particularly through Batman and the Basterds. These two focus groups reflect a paradoxical reaction to the act of confronting crime and societal injustices by exerting their hyper-masculinity (aka an overly masculine performance) to gain a sense of dominance over their enemies. The idea of masculine violence is commonly portrayed in most action genre films, especially Marvel and DC superhero movies. By embodying the persona of a Cowboy (as an emasculated figure typically seen in spaghetti Western films), Batman and the Basterds apply their personal perception of how to fight crime through the infliction of ethically questionable violence. Miller and Tarantino explore how the perception and acts of Western Cowboys influence the American perception of masculine righteousness.
Presented on April 23, 2018 at Student Research Day held at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta.
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