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"Point and Shoot": A Search for Manhood in Middle Eastern War 

Tuesday, Dec 2 2014

As straight men reluctantly cede dominance of the culture, the definition of masculinity has become increasingly diffuse. Marshall Curry's documentary Point and Shoot considers one fellow's attempt to become a man, whatever that may mean. Realizing that he was a bit of a loser for spending most of his time in the basement playing videogames — and that the longer he avoided the real world, the less likely he was to become his childhood hero Indiana Jones — young Baltimore native Matthew VanDyke decided to give himself a "crash course in manhood" by filming himself riding a motorcycle across northern Africa. (And rechristening himself Max Hunter, obviously.) The majority of the movie is culled from the hundreds of hours of footage VanDyke shot, especially when his bromance with a "Libyan hippie" leads him to take up arms in the revolution against Gaddafi. And what boy doesn't want to be a big man with a gun? That we know VanDyke survived unscathed doesn't make Point and Shoot any less tense, as he makes one inexplicable, testosterone-driven choice after another. Indeed, the secret hero of the film may well be his girlfriend Lauren back home, who should be granted sainthood for her patience as her boyfriend fights in other people's wars to figure who he is.

About The Author

Sherilyn Connelly


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