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June 1994


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"Bryson, Denise" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 3 Jun 1994 08:36:58 CDT
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>I think that Falling Down has a lot to do with the downfall of the American
>dream (did I already use that image in another message?)
>D-FENS (the name suggests that he _re_acts to something from the outside
>rather than just going plainly crazy) repeats a few times that he "just
>wants to go home".
>Home being a classical American icon for shelter, security and intact values.
>For D-FENS it only takes a 'walk through the bushes' to get from the violent,
>poor slums to the peaceful, affluent resort that is defended like Fort Knox.
>Also, try to elaborate on the police's reactions to calls from different
>social environments.
>The 'resort' is instantly defended, while D-Fens's wife's call is not being
>taken seriously. I think that this elemnt is intended make the point that
>society has reached a point where safety and security have become a luxury
>that has to be 'paid' for instead of being a bsaic right.
Strikes me the movie would have been embraced with open arms if the
protagonist had been someone other than who he was:  white, male, etc.
Can you imagine the "empowerment" rhetoric we would have had to deal
with had the protagonist been a person of color?  Even more, should
femaleness enter the picture.  In this case, the protagonist's apparent
mental illness would not have made a difference:  it would have been
deemed "society's fault."  Someone might want to think about reworking
the script to spotlight a different race and/or gender (if we can
bring in sexual orientation, too, then *voila|* we have an instant
hit--at least in academic circles).
After all, when Thelma and Louise broke several of society's bigger
laws, the response from academe was "SO?  Oh, fine, MEN do it and it's
OK, WOMEN do it and it's BAD?  I think we can see the inherent sexism
here......"Maybe we could cast Susan Sarandon in this new project
(Falling Further Down, maybe?).  Instant hero status.  I promise.
Feeling a bit sarcastic and generally displeased with hypocrisy in
any form,
Denise, who wonders why the public is so STUPID sometimes.