, Volume 59, Issue 4, pp 265–275 | Cite as

Capitalism, masculinity and whiteness in the dialectical landscape: The case of Tarzan and the Tycoon

  • Deborah DixonEmail author
  • John Grimes


The intent of this paper is to explore how ‘reel’ and ‘real’ landscapes can be rendered dialectic. The analysis focuses on the filming of Tarzan's Secret Treasure (1941) at the wildlife preserve of Wakulla Springs in Florida, which was administered by the financial tycoon Ed Ball. Using Mitchell's recent commentaries on ‘good’ and ‘bad’ dialectics as our entry point, we offer two readings of this cinematic process. The first renders the on and off screen Wakulla Springs as ideological fodder, serving to valorise capital, masculinity and whiteness. The second reading addresses how this place has been actively constructed from discourses pertaining to class, gender and race, such that Wakulla exists as a series of fully relational spaces within diverse contexts, both ‘real’ and ‘reel’. In structuring our analysis in this manner, we hope to make clear why it does indeed matter for film geographers to acknowledge the conceptual presumptions brought to bear in the framing of the real and the reel as objects of analysis.

capitalism dialectical landscapes film geography masculinity whiteness 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Geography and Earth ScienceUniversity of Wales-AberystwythAberystwyth, WalesU.K.
  2. 2.Department of Geography and AnthropologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeU.S.A.

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