Rocky IVRocky IV üzerine yazdığım kısa ve basit bir final sınavı. Zaten research paper‘ımız olduğundan biraz formalite sınavıydı, ki zaten response tadında olacaktı. Güzel fikirler var, ancak dediğim gibi çok özenli değil.

Yazdığım kısacık giriş/introduction paragrafını sildim. Yazı, Rocky IV’e race/gender/class (ırk/~cinsiyet/sınıf) konularından bakıyor. Buyrun okuyun:

Race is a one of the central issues in Rocky IV. The movie starts with a flashback to the previous movie, and shows Rocky (Stallone) and Clubber Lang (Mr. T) on the box ring. Although the two are Americans, Rocky wears boxer shorts with patterns of the American flag, while Mr. T, an African American, wears black and white shorts. So, while Rocky, being white, represents America, Mr. T does not. Moreover, Mr. T loses the fight. The movie itself celebrates desegregation and equality on the surface, but is actually racist. Apollo (another African American boxer) is friends with Rocky, and Apollo is too confident of himself. When the Russian boxer first comes to USA and appears on television, Apollo is enjoying himself with his dogs in the swimming pool, which reinforces the lazy African American stereotype. On the other hand, Rocky is with his child, strengthens his family bonds. Furthermore, as Rocky states, Apollo is a man of talking, whereas Rocky is a man of action, which is an American attitude towards life. Rocky has a trainer when in USSR. However, he is African American and he does not do anything at all, but Rocky accomplishes all he does on his own, alone. However, the trainer wins a chess match against a white man, however he is a Russian. (It is also essential to state that Russians brought up many champion chess players.) This again shows the racial hierarchy. There is also the promotion of non-interracial marriages. Although this has become almost a common sense understanding, the reason for our taking this for granted lies on the movies. We see Rocky-Adrian is a white couple, and Apollo-Mrs. Creed is a colored couple. We see the white couple in their privacy, however we only see Mrs. Creed before Apollo dies. Apollo’s death is another race issue in the movie. As stated, Apollo is not a modest person but an over-confident one. On the ring, he dances with James Brown’s “Living in America” song. Ironically, shortly after this song, Apollo is killed by Drago the Russian boxer. Before his death, Apollo states to Rocky that this boxing match is about “us and them.” Therefore he has patriotism, which is promoted to the African American audience. Apollo’s death prepares Rocky’s decision to fight with Drago. As a result, the white man becomes the one to clean the mess the African American, the white man’s burden, creates.

Gender is another strong aspect of the movie. In Rocky IV, gender roles are clearly defined in juxtapositions of binary oppositions. In the movie, there is the binary opposition of American and Russian. Ludmilla (Russian wife, played by Brigitte Nielsen, who also played in a similar masculine role in Red Sonja) has short hair, as her husband’s. This makes her in the same status with her husband, since she is also the more dominant one. She dresses a suit, and she does all the talking for her husband, who never speaks in the movie. Moreover, Ludmille is angry to Drago when he is beaten by Rocky. On the other hand, Adrian Balboa (Talia Shire) plays a wifely role in the movie. We see that he is a loyal (in the general sense) wife. She dresses in a wifely fashion, and has plain hair. While Ludmille is like a supervisor for Drago, Adrian is a caring and supporting wife figure. Similarly, Rocky is a caring father and husband. He hangs out with his family, spends time with his child, celebrates wedding anniversary, etc. On the other hand, we do not see Drago and Ludmille have any kind of relationship at all. Moreover, the camera continuously shows Ludmille with a Russian officer, and she smokes the cigarette that officer was smoking. This can be read as a sign of polygamy or disloyalty, as opposed to American ideals. These examples show how an ideal family should be. Therefore, it also represents and manifests gender roles.

Class is another issue grounded in Rocky IV. American Dream is central in portraying class in the movie. Now that this is the fourth movie in the series, Rocky has two sport cars and a large glamorous house. As stated before, Apollo has a house with a swimming pool. This shows American Dream at work. Also, Rocky asks Apollo to postpone the box match for a while. Then, adds that they have lost from their fitness. While the Drago works and trains in a state-of-the-art laboratory-like place, Rocky trains in nature. Rocky is in a place that he cannot even shave. However, he manages to work hard and beats Drago. American Dream functions as a call to those who are unsuccessful. The movie states that if they work hard, they can still manage to do it. Furthermore, while Rocky is alone in his training, Drago works with an army of people. Rocky is a product of himself but Drago is of technology and group work. Therefore, Rocky promotes the American ideal of individualism: those who fail the American Dream should not blame others but themselves. In terms of class, the movie also creates the binary opposition of America and USSR. In other words, there is the opposition of capitalism and socialism. We see that Rocky has cars and when he is sad about Apollo’s death, he sets for the road. Cars and roads are symbols of freedom. However, this freedom is promoted through property owning – consumerism. Therefore, what is promoted becomes capitalism. Even Rocky-Adrian’s child has a camera and they give their uncles an AI robot for birthday present. These again show that how free it is to live in a capitalist system. On the other hand, Russians are either in military uniforms or in dark suits. What we see in the place where Rocky trains are poor old people, who look wearisome of life. At the end of the movie, everyone applauds Rocky, after he makes his speech. In this speech, he states to the Russians that they can change. For sure, the idea of change implied here is a shift to free enterprise capitalism.

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