This essay examines the placement of the nude male body of Michael Fassbender in Shame (2011) to enunciate de-familiarization of representation of the nude male body within the popular screen culture. It argues that the full frontal display of Michael Fassbender’s nude body functions as a “biological male body” rather than a gendered masculine body by juxtaposing the nude male body and a non-gendered physiological activity on the screen. Judith Butler proposes the theory of gender performativity in relation to the clothed body, this essay initiates an understanding of the performed gendered nude male body in relation to its compositional space, objects and the activities that take place within that screen space. This representational technique of using the nude male body as a ‘biological nude body’ opens up a new space for critical discussion on how we conventionally perceive the nude male body as a masculine or subversive masculine subject and how this body gains its gendered agency on screen through a predetermined construction of gender naturalization.
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