Machismo
Saskatchewan Filmpool Co-operative
#301 - 1822 Scarth Street, Regina, SK, S4P 2G3
8:00 pm, January 21, 2000

Back in the late twentieth century, veteran filmmaker Don List honoured me by passing on to me the collection of 16mm films which his father had collected in the 1940s and 50s. A legendary nice guy, the elder Mr. List once made it a hobby to share the miracle of movies with patients in pre-tv hospitals. He’d also bring the Regina Beach community together once per week to take a gander at the flickering images. It is a collection of B-movies and short subjects which helped to inspire the young Don to take up the craft himself. Last year, I had just begun to probe through the piles of cans when I cobbled together the “Politically Incorrect” screening. This years selection takes on a different, and probably more wide ranging theme which runs through these films. They show us the war and post-war image of what men are supposed to be made of (that’s World War II, for those of you less familiar with that century).

Masculinity did not need to be suppressed in those days. Whatever impulses a man had were probably justified and correct. He must protect his girl, fight off adversaries and prove that each of us can be the best. It is okay to belittle our enemies for they are inferior to us. It is okay to kill our prey because they are a threat to us. We cannot fail if the love of a woman lies in the balance because she is what makes us strong.

I feel I must point out that I do not mean to belittle these films through tonight’s screening. I enjoy movies and have fun watching the new and old alike. However, we are not the innocent spectators of bygone days. Within the modern context, these films contain “unacceptable” ideologies which would prevent many of them from every reaching an audience again. By presenting them in this way, we can find entertainment in two ways. From the original “art” which went into them, and from the irony we cannot avoid when we open our eyes and see the shadow of our yesterday’s self.

Gerald Saul - curator, January 21, 2000

Program (times are approximate)

The Good Scout (6 minutes)
Director Ub Iwerks brought us this playful cartoon which proves that a boy scout is without equal if his girl is in trouble. Chivalry never dies in black and white.

Trailer for Dick Tracy meets CueBall (2 minutes)
Dick, with his viral full head of hair (or is that a hair helmet) faces the most disgusting foe yet.

Always Trust A Lifeguard (25 minutes)
In which our heroic male gets everything he wants, a girl and tires for the car. Sponsored by Goodyear, this film puts plenty of rubber into a relationship.

Short intermission
Jailbait (12 minutes)
In which Buster Keaton proves to what length he will go to win the girl of his dreams. Keaton is not the stereotypical macho man. However, all typecasting is thrown to the wind when his virility needs to be proven. If Keaton can prove to the audience that he is the best man for her, then certainly she will see that too. Her dreams do not seem to be an issue, as the audience is led to assume that a pretty girl will marry whomever approaches her with an engagement ring. Fortunately, the men in the audience are saved from seeing the deflating rejection which occurs in the scene following the end credits.

unknown title - fishing documentary, excerpts (10 minutes)
A group of very macho men help to rid the sea of all of its dangers. Aided by some “monkey boys” from the Dominican Republic, manta rays, turtles, sharks and sword fish are all captured with thrilling ease. The ill-informed nature of the ever-present voice-of-god-style narrator is revealed when he tells us about how sharks are scared by commotion. This documentary spills no information, only blood.

unknown title - war comedy (30 minutes)
I have as yet found only the second reel of this wartime comedy in which submarine-based soldiers find themselves in the enviable position of having Hitler and friends right where they want them. While certainly a crowd pleaser for soldiers in action, each scene is more absurd than the last. The American view of Emperor Hirohito, and all Asian people for that matter, is less than subtle as he seemingly transformed into an ape. Mussolini has rarely been portrayed as more of a buffoon. In many ways, these sorts of films were a necessity for soldiers, making them feel superior to the enemy which faced them in the most real way every day.

God Save The King
Please stand...... or not..

Parking our 21st century enlightenment at the door.

 

machismo
[Mexican-Sp., f. mach(o masculine + -ismo -ism.]
The quality of being macho; male virility, masculine pride. Also attrib.
1948 B. Griffith Amer. Me 50 Machismo makes a boy swear big round oaths as a youngster.
1969 J. Mander Static Society i. 56 The exaggerated masculinity, the famous machismo, of the Mexican.
1969 A. Marin Rise with Wind v. 63 The bus driver..drove with Latin machismo through a tangle of narrow streets.
Ibid. x. 125 A eunuch was without machismo, that peculiar combination of pride and virility that was the essence of manliness.
1973 Gagnon & Simon Sexual Conduct (1974) viii. 251 In the prison, toughness may substitute for intercourse as a measure of machismo.

THANKS TO
Don List
The Filmpool staff and volunteers
Men
and our sponsors:

Gerald Saul 2005