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Fetish Filmmaking and the Revision of Masculinity in Scorpio Rising and Drive
Rebecca Sheehan

This article examines how the ironic construction of queer masculinity from biker culture, a realm of consumer fetishism and hetero-masculinity, in Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising (1964), influences Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 film Drive. As Anger’s film appropriates pop-culture images and icons of biker culture, fetishes of post-Second World War American masculinity, Refn uses overt references to Anger’s film to wage a similar reappropriation of muscle car culture, in the process challenging contemporary images of heterosexual masculinity in Drive. Like Anger, Refn relies upon the dynamics of fetishism and postmodernism’s illumination of the distance between sign and object to subvert muscle cars’ associations with masculine violence and rivalry, mobilising them instead to exploit the inherent multivocality of the fetishised object, seizing the car (and its mobility) as a getaway vehicle to escape prescriptions of identity and limiting definitions of gender and sexuality.

Film Studies