These are ripe times to study boyhood in cinema. Even though male characters have undoubtedly dominated cinema roles from the start, boys’ stories have not been consistently produced or appreciated. Since the publication of Where the Boys Are: Cinemas of Masculinity and Youth, a collection edited by Murray Pomerance and Frances Gateward in 2005, there has been increasing academic interest in boyhood representation through movies, as demonstrated by the articles collected here. This interest follows the expansive concerns of pop psychology texts at the turn of the century that took up the political and emotional consequences of boys’ behavior, such as Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood by William Pollack (1999), Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys by Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson (2000), and The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism is Harming Our Young Men by Christina Hoff Sommers (2001).As is evident in their titles, this research joined the chorus of a prevailing masculinity in crisis theme that has permeated gender studies in recent years: boys have been troubled by the pressures of patriarchy, the demands of feminism, and the culture of capitalism, and thus are in need of rescue and protection from these influences.
Cinemas of Boyhood, Part I
Boyhood: Twelve Years on Film, photographs by Matt Lankes, texts by Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland, and Matt Lankes. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2014. 200 pp. ISBN 978-1-4773-0541-6 (pb)
Cinemas of Boyhood Part II
We are proud to present a second set of essays on the topic of boyhood in cinema, adding to those that appeared in issue 8.2 of this journal. Again, the range of interests is eclectic, further illustrating the diverse concerns that boyhood’s representation evinces in movies and all media.