Gran Torino Essay

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Discuss Clint Eastwood’s application of the cinematic techniques and the way they illuminate masculinity in his film ‘Gran Torino’ Walt Kowalski is portrayed as an aggressive, dominant masculine figure in the film ‘Gran Torino’. He lives and experiences everyday with the structured 50’s mentality. His chauvinistic ways makes it clear to the audience as to what he believes it means to be a man. The masculinity associated with Walt’s character is interpreted with great effect through the use of cinematography, dialogue and sound. Kowalski’s scowling character symbolizes a precise form of masculinity that relies on blatant prejudice as a collective feature. A close up shot on the grandchildren looking at old photographs from Walt’s experiences during the Korean War support the idea of masculinity he sets his life around. “We shot men, stabbed them with bayonets, chopped up seventeen year olds with shovels” the brutally honest dialogue concerning his time during War also supports his braveness and masculine obligations. The audio motif of the army drums reflects upon the masculinity of Walt’s character and reminds the audience of his background, also acknowledging the intention for him to pull out his gun. His gun in this film is a symbol of his masculinity due to the power it withholds. Walt appears stuck in the 50’s, an era that consisted of the ‘suburban dream’ subject by employment, a respectable standard of living and strictness concerning gender roles. The Gran Torino itself is a prominent symbol that reflects upon the masculinity surrounding Walt. Walt’s prize possession of the Gran Torino reflects upon his association with living the ‘American Dream’ highlighting the importance of masculinity in his life, making a point that a part of being a man revolves around having a nice car. The decision by Stephen Campanelli to incorporate constant aerial camera

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