Gran Torino Challenging Stereotypes
The film Gran Torino directed by Client Eastwood challenges The issues of stereotypes through the attributes of contemporary assumptions of status, gender and ethnicity. Exploring the themes of absence of a male dominate figure, enabling protagonist Theo to be a feminine figure exploits the idea of gender portrays the Hmong men to be stereotyped.Ethnicity and status also express multiple meanings through the cinematography and the Hollywood narrative style illustrates many representation of the western and eastern cultures These key terms gender, ethnicity and status all intertwine with each other during the entire film. The Hmong culture have been stereotyped by the western culture concerning that the American way is the only way which evidently challenges the ideas and ideologies of the Hmong society. the film illustrates the idea of realism but underlines the factor that cultures outside of America should obtain the manners and ideas of an American to survive in society. there is clear indication that classical Hollywood narrative, mis en scene and cinematography style can support stereotypes about gender, ethnicity and status.
The issue of gender in Grain Torino portrays gender through the characters of Walt Kowalski as the male dominate figure and Theo as a feminine figure. This symbolizes the attributes that Theo is a form of representation that is a class of a fixed female figure rather than a powerful dominant male. This draws on the ideologies of Walt’s white American culture versus Theo’s Hmong culture. This is clearly exposed in the sequence when Walt finally enters into Theo’s home, where there are numerous people form the Hmong society are feasting. As Walt travels through the house he is exposed to the lack of masculinity in Theo’s life, and the audience are introduced to a more feminized Theo. He is framed as a house wife/maid rather than a boy. Theo is washing the dishes; he is controlled by his mother, sister and grandmother. He has no dominance what so ever, as Walt watches Theo be the feminine figure. The theme here illustrates this s?©ance as a lack of male dominance.
Alternatively also there is an enormous concentration on the male gender and the female characters are shadowed. Ultimately Sue, Theo’s mother and grand mother and all Hmong women are represented to be immobilized and have no abilities to speak for themselves. We see this throughout the film as Theo’s mother feels the need to have Walt as a protector and understand that Theo will repay for his mistakes of trying to steal his ran torn. the audience experience the lack of English by sue translating her mothers word to English to wards Walt, this illustrates how the female figure exploits the idea of incapability . This is also shown in how Sue is framed against h three young African American “”thugs”” who harasses Sue and white ‘ useless’ boyfriend who had the inaptly to protect Sue from the ‘thugs.’ The editing of this sequence cuts to a mid shot of Kowalski driving by and encounters with the ‘thugs’ overpowering them with his gun. Kowalski become the heroic white American man, exposes that he has power not over the ‘thugs’ but also over Sue. Kowalski dominance proves this implication of dominance while he lectures Sue to avoid dangerous situations and the men she should be dating. The racial dynamics of the film’s mis en sance reinforces the idea that women must rely on white heroes to provide stability and guidance to be survive. Gran Torino exploits the idea that the white western male is the dominance and other cultures need to really on the typical American male figure to find guidance and stability in society. Reflectively this represents and stereotypes the Hmong community as incapable of obtaining there own stance in society. The American way is the only way which evidently challenges the ideas and ideologies of the Hmong society.
The portrayal of cultures through the aspects of cinematography explains how the western culture and eastern cultural show be observed. The Hollywood style enables a polysemic outlook on ethnicity. Jude Davies States that ethnicity should be brought “”attention to codes of ethnicity, which under the pressure of multiculturalism undermine binary constructions of identity.””(1995 p 19) Gran Torino plays on with the idea of constructing an identity, but only through the perspectives of the western culture. The audience constructs a perception and the true eastern identity is lost by the cinematography used in the film. This affects the realism of the Hmong and other cultures. The composition and lighting used in the two sequences of the barber shop, one involving Theo and not involving him. In the first sequence the framing and angels used is from a high point of view and mid shots of Walt and the barber. During this s?©ance, the insulting dialogue expresses the idea that the Italian barber is westernised and exploits the realism of the Italian culture. This also implies on Theo’s attitude whilst he comes to the barber shop insulting the barber, Theo confidently says “” You old Italian son of a bitch street barber.”” The camera angle and shots framing Theo (midshots) establishes the idea that Theo is now westernised and loses his Hmong Identity. The framing of Theo at the beginning of the film is constantly a long shot of him and at a high point of view, indicating he is of a low class and unable to protect or care. Cinematography affects the realism of culture identity in the film it creates multiple meanings and perspectives that the western culture is the ‘correct’ culture. The audience are expounded to uphold perspectives of western versus eastern, this uphold that the ‘other’ cultures/ethnicity are stereotyped to be powerless. Eastwood challenges this idea of realism but underlines the factor that cultures outside of America should obtain the manners and ideas of an American to survive in society.
The narrative/dialogue structure for the duration of Gran Torino defines status in numerous methods which underlines social, historical and political contexts. Adrienne Davis declares that the white conventional masculine turns into a political one that enables threatens the values of a certain community and political future. “”Race is a primary configuration of “”difference”” and inequality in the nation, then intimacy between the races is often construed as either a bellwether of equality and political utopia or a re-inscribing of political dominance, typically represented as sexual predation by men against women.”” (2010.)The use of gazes express this ideal of social, historical and political issues. Significantly throughout the film exposes shots of Walt’s interaction with Theo’s grandmother, the structure allows the status of the past generation expose the idea of historical memories. For Walt and Theo’s grandmother there is the memorabilia of war, the characterization of the two protagonist illustrate hated against one another , Walt is constructed as an archetype he is the American masculine hero and the grandmother is a n elderly Asian immigrant. The Hollywood structure enables the gaze to control they manner we view Walt and the Grandmother. Daniel Chandler defines Laura Mulveys theory of the gaze “”‘the controlling male gaze’ presenting ‘woman as image and man as ‘bearer of the look…The cinematic codes of popular films ‘are obsessively subordinated to the neurotic needs of the male ego’ An example of this is though the many sequences the gaze is in a intense manner, the action between the two define the ‘reality’ of one another. Walt and the elderly women would spit there chewing tobacco, Walt murmuring and the grandmother yelling.as the narrative moves forward we see the two become more hostile towards one another. this implies the political and historical beliefs they first had been shadowed. The final encounter between the two symbolizes peace and acceptable, underlines that they have left there past intention behind. The narrative/dialogue structure for the duration of Gran Torino defines status in numerous methods which underlines social, historical and political contexts. The role of Walt as a character arc/archetypes from the uptight American to accept the outsiders. this affects how we interpret the ideologies of the American corrections of status and the ideologies of the Hmong culture. This is a clear indication how the classical Hollywood narrative style can support stereotypes about status.
In essence, Gran Torino challenges The issues of stereotypes through the attributes of status, gender and ethnicity. these terms intertwine with each other and support the ideas of how the film concentrates stereotypes on the Hmong culture and other cultures. The racial dynamics of the film’s mis en s?©ance reinforces the ideas draws on the ideologies of Walt’s white American culture versus Theo’s Hmong culture and women must rely on white heroes to provide stability and guidance to be survive. Gran Torino exploits the idea that the white western male is the dominance and other cultures need to really on the typical American male figure to find guidance and stability in society. Reflectively this represents that the American way is the only way which evidently challenges the ideas and ideologies of the Hmong society. Cinematography affects the realism of culture identity in the film it creates multiple meanings and perspectives that the western culture is the ‘correct’ culture. The Hollywood style enables to define gender, ethnicity and status in numerous methods which underlines social, historical and political contexts.The portrayal of cultures through the aspects of Hollywood style explains how the western culture and eastern cultural should be observed. Eastwood challenges this idea of realism and stereotypes that underlines the factor that cultures outside of America should obtain the manners and ideas of an American, which is a clear indication of how this film supports the idea of stereotyping multi culturalism in numerous ways in a contemporary film.