McManus (BF Taylor, 2014) – Audiovisual Exploration No. 38

In my other life I am rapidly approaching the start of the semester (again) and so my thoughts turn once more to what I will be doing in my classroom. In place of the book that I never started to follow the first book that I did manage to complete – details of which can be found here and here – I have been (spasmodically) running a blog called From Robin Wood to Robin Askwith. Here is where I have been compiling, dumping or indeed simply forgetting about things that (may) relate to my research interests. In many ways this blog still exists simply to taunt me by reminding me of where I am and where I thought I would be all those years ago as I started my undergraduate degree at the University of Kent. Nevertheless, I do occasionally return to the blog to see how it is getting on (almost) without me.

While I was there this morning I found this; a feature-length tribute to one of the heroes of the Golden Age of British Wrestling, Mick McManus. If you are wondering who I am talking about then you really should click here.

This tribute probably serves several functions, most notably as a simple cinematic exploration of duration and endurance. The film was inspired by a class discussion on what makes films unwatchable. I certainly think that this film goes a long way to answering this question.

I could tell you that this film is an audiovisual reflection on certain forms of masculine spectacle and I suppose that it is (to a certain degree). I have used it in class before but not as a contribution to any seminar on British popular culture. I normally tend to use this film as a means of getting a reaction and it certainly does always manage to provoke a response from the class it is inflicted upon. The film is a good conversation starter and a good conversation ender at the same time.

I’m not suggesting that you should watch it –  I just thought it might provoke a response. I’ll leave the final words here to Roland Barthes:

A boxing match is a story which is constructed before the eyes of the spectator; in wrestling, on the contrary, it is each moment which is intelligible, not the passage of time.

Roland Barthes, ‘The World of Wrestling’, Mythologies, 1972

Author: Barnaby Taylor

Inspired by his passion for films and video games, Barnaby Taylor loves writing dystopian science fiction and horror. He has recently written the VIRO series about a gang of teenagers struggling to survive in a world overrun by the infected. There are currently three books in the series and Book Four is on the way. VIRO is rapidly infecting the Amazon charts and gaining rave reviews along the way. Here's one of the latest reviews: 'I found myself sucked right into the characters and never-ending action and gore page after page. I very rarely buy books, but immediately purchased number two which I found equally as engrossing. Yesterday I bought book three in the VIRO series and instead of a good night's sleep I've got red eyes and a need for Red Bull! Fantastic series for all my zombie lovers out there!' Book One is currently FREE to download at the following links: http://bit.ly/VIRO1UKKindle http://bit.ly/VIROBOOK1 Barnaby posts weekly updates on his writing on his blog and you can follow these updates at www.falconboy.ie. You can also find him on Twitter @BarnabyFTaylor.

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