Foreign Languages & Literatures ETDs

Publication Date



This thesis asks a question: Can transformations to a cinematic character's hair be indicative of a realignment or shifting of that character's identity? As an attempt to answer this question, I introduce three new concepts: the Opaque Movement (OM), the Transparent Violent Moment (TVM), and the Transparent Moderate Moment (TMM). All of these concepts revolve around the treatment and appearance of a character's hair within a film. In this examination, I establish a theoretical foundation for cinematic haircutting and apply the three concepts to several films. I ground the discussion in a thorough examination of The Crying Game by Neil Jordan. The 1992 film contains four haircuts or hair transformations and through analysis of the central characters before and after their haircuts, I utilize the concepts above. This thesis illustrates that in cinema, not a cinematic hair is out of place, a choice in hairstyle, haircut or hair transformation isn't merely, or just, an example of fashion or cultural trend. In film, hair is a marker of cinematic, cultural and identity formation.


hair, identity, The Crying Game, identity formation, hairstyles, cinema, culture, monster theory, hauntings, pain, warfare, torture

Document Type




Degree Name

Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures

First Committee Member (Chair)

Coleman, Dr. Finnie

Second Committee Member

Hayward, Dr. Eva