Armitage anatomy: Two more uses of mentalis

OK, I said that the mentalis move wasn’t frequent for Armitage, but I’m finding some more instances of it. (To clear up any confusion, I’m reposting the chart above — mentalis is a chin muscle that makes you look thoughtful when you move it — comes from Latin mens, mentis, the mind. (Not to be confused with frontalis, which comes from the Latin frons, frontis, for forehead, and shows up in Spanish, for example, as frente). I discussed it in that previous link as a rare pout that he actually used fairly disingenuously, and then in a subsequent post as a sympathy move. But I’ve run into two more employments of the muscle.

First, when I was discussing Armitage nose logistics, I had to look at the Lucas / Sarah Spooks 8.2 first kiss a lot, and there’s a really glaring use of mentalis in that scene. Witness:

Right from the beginning, it seems like he’s got his lower lip protruded. I actually think this is supposed to signal aggression here — Lucas trying to take the upper hand and holding his jaw in a more forward position, which shows the lower lip further forward as well.

And then, in Strike Back 1.3, in the scene where Hugh, Layla and Porter are planning the Zimbabwe mission, we see mentalis again:

Here it appears at 0:05-0:06, and seems to be signaling masculinity, as if he’s saying “of course, I already knew that, I’ve got it under control.” It’s gone again after that, and by the end of the clip he’s back to hard-faced Porter again.

~ by Servetus on December 12, 2011.

9 Responses to “Armitage anatomy: Two more uses of mentalis”

  1. The top pic is more of a pout I think.
    It’s certainly a show of masculinity whether it is intentional or not I’m not sure. But by god he does look HOT…


  2. So, is it part of an alpha male persona seen in some of his characters? I don’t recall seeing the mentalis used in such a way for John Standring, for example, although as you said, it can demonstrate thoughtfulness and a plea for sympathy.

    Of course, Sarah Caulfield brought out a tremendous amount of aggression in ME. Wonder If I was using my old mentalis whilst watching her? 😉
    Mentalis, like Richard, appears to be very versatile. Thanks for the continuing anatomy lessons, prof!


    • I wonder, looking at these now, if we have to distinguish between an actual use of mentalis (protrusion of the lower lip in a pout or expression of calculation/doubt, as in the original post, and maybe in the SB example) vs a protrusion of the lower jaw that has the effect of protruding the lower lip, in aggression (as in the Spooks example) but that in itself does not involve a muscular movement of the lower lip.

      More thought and examples required.


  3. Ah, this means further detailed examination of the subject. What a difficult job. Someone has to do it, right? 😉


  4. I’m not certain the shape of mouth or jaw, is conducive to agressiveness by itself. The expression of that is strong in the eyes and brows, with less dependence on the chin. (I can proceed to argue against myself – it is in many ways an unusual face and some aspects are more subtle than others…)


  5. I’m curious to know if you think that Heinz Kruger portrays mentalis use in the seconds before he flips the lighter to set off the bomb in the lab. It’s not an expression I’ve seen Richard use before that I can recall. I was unable to rip my CA dvd and thus get a screencap so have to resort to linking GizTheGunslinger’s vid. The shot I’m referring to is 0.05secs in.


  6. […] discuss yet) and the chin (which I’ve done a little on with regard to mentalis: see here and here on potentially emotional or emotionalizing uses of mentalis) and the lower cheeks and corners of […]


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