Always the larrikin: Ben Mendelsohn and young Aussie manhood in Australian cinema

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Abstract

Ben Mendelsohn is Australian cinema's quintessential working-class larrikin of his generation. This paper will consider the kind of young, masculine, roguish, destructive character that Mendelsohn has been playing since the 1980s. It will argue that by borrowing from his cinematic forefathers and adding his unique contemporary stamp to the mould, Mendelsohn incites audiences towards a particular brand of masculinity where being young, being male and being Australian is normalized and idealized. For good and for bad, Mendelsohn is a powerful text by which Australian society constructs, maintains, protects, challenges and teaches concepts of manhood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)862-875
Number of pages14
JournalContinuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies
Volume28
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2014

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