The Power of the Dog reveals the violence of queer masculinity

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The contemporary cowboy has been getting queerer and queerer since the arrival of ‘Old Town Road’ in 2019. Lil Nas X brought the mythology and imagery of the cowboy into the modern era by way of exploitation tropes.

As the cowboy has gotten increasingly queer and complicated, the ways in which the history of the stock figure – from the masculinity of John Wayne, to the deconstruction of Unforgiven – is being constantly challenged and reconsidered.

Jane Campion’s latest film, The Power of the Dog, feels like a natural continuation of the messy, queer ways in which the cowboy is being reinterpreted.

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