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Re: [a_film_by] Re: The Violence Problem

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  • Jack Angstreich
    Actually, the examples I cited are irrelevant to the argument which they imply -- which is that Brad s criterion for excellence in art appears to be mere
    Message 1 of 213 , Jan 1, 2008
      Actually, the examples I cited are irrelevant to the argument which
      they imply -- which is that Brad's criterion for excellence in art
      appears to be mere agreement with the political message of the work in
      question. Under communism there would be no need to suppress artworks
      but censorship of some artworks may be necessary until the conquest of
      political power by the proletariat is secure.

      Jack Angstreich







      On Jan 1, 2008, at 5:55 PM, Rick wrote:

      > --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Jack Angstreich <angstreich@...>
      > wrote:
      > >
      > > Right, and the typical John Sayles (or Stanley Kramer?) film is no
      > > doubt aesthetically superior to "Birth of a Nation" or "Triumph of
      > the
      > > Will", etc.
      > >
      >
      > As if Sayles=Kramer.
      >
      > Personally, I will gladly watch "Passion Fish" (not to mention any of
      > Sayles' Roger Corman movies like "The Howling")any number of times
      > over "Triumph of the Will," though some of our more rigid formalists
      > would sternly disapprove.
      >
      > I guess my taste in movies is too subversively anarchic. Man will I be
      > screwed when Jack is appointed Minister of Official Art after the
      > revolution.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • thebradstevens
      ... simply ... am ... If you have a copy of the film at hand, take another look at the scene in question - the early one in which two heterosexual cops talk
      Message 213 of 213 , Jan 7, 2008
        --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Brian Dauth" <magcomm@...> wrote:
        >
        > Brad:
        >
        > > I mean honestly, this is such a blatant misreading of the scene
        > that the only way you could possibly have arrived at it is by
        > starting from the assumption that the film is homophobic, then
        simply
        > going through it looking for evidence to support your prejudice.
        >
        > 1) It is less a misreading than it is my reading. It is only a
        > misreading if the claim is made that there is one correct and
        > incontrovertible reading of CRUISING (or any film for that matter)
        > possible that renders all other readings deviant and incorrect (I
        am
        > not saying that you are making such a claim).
        >

        If you have a copy of the film at hand, take another look at the
        scene in question - the early one in which two heterosexual cops talk
        about how much they hate their wives and humiliate two transvestite
        prostitutes. Who do you believe that Freidkin expects us to
        sympathize with in this scene, the cops or the hookers? To me, it
        seems that he does everything possible to make the cops unsympathetic
        in every way (short of having them kick a dog). The prostitutes, on
        the other hand, are shown to be vulnerable and harmless, having done
        absolutely nothing to warrant the treatment they receive. Am I really
        being unreasonable in claiming that a reading of this scene as
        homophobic is not an alternate reading to mine, but an actual
        misreading? There may be several ways in which this scene can be
        interpreted, but that is not one of them.

        Incidentally, it's worth pointing out that it is Friedkin's stylistic
        decisions, his mise en scene, that make all the difference here. A
        homophobic director could easily have portrayed the cops as a couple
        of happy go lucky guys and the prostitutes as pathetic predators (see
        Peter Hyams' contemptible BUSTING to see how this can be done). Mise
        en scene is never 'mere', the stylistic icing on a thematic cake: it
        is the tool whereby which a director establishes the morality of the
        work.
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