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September 2001, Week 3


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 17 Sep 2001 11:57:48 -0400
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Susanna Chandler <[log in to unmask]>
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Tuesday was the most violent day in U.S. history since the Civil War. How we
have contributed to the psychology of the times we will all discuss for
years to come. For the present, during this time of fallout and the need to
contribute to the level of understanding we need to avoid the viscous cycles
of violence, we have a few examples in the movies.

Dalton Trumbo's Johnny Got His Gun [1971]  is a powerful example of a film
which deals with the human dimension of something beyond our individual
comprehension. This is especially interesting because the immediate horrors
of violence are not depicted through actual images, instead are mental-,
almost word-pictures. The viewer is instead confronted with the personal
consequences of mass violence and the personal choices which are all that
remains. The unreality, the dream-state that results from the horror of war,
is equally relevant to our current situation.

Another movie which comes to mind is Gods and Monsters: which again only
implies the violent horrors which have shaped not only a man's entire adult
life, but have shaped his *vision* as a movie-maker. The jewish experience
of the Holocaust has effected so much of Hollywood [a seldom acknowledged
aspect of L.A.], and will undoubtedly continue in these circumstances. How
can we try to understand ALL the different psychologies which will pour into
the collective experience. How do we try to understand those who are
isolated via difference [Arabs and Muslims in largely non-Muslim countries].

I personally have thought of *MASH* a number of times: when individuals have
no power over change except locally, and how they fight the insanity with
humor and simply being all-too-human.

Just some thoughts.

Susanna Chandler
Gravity Groove Productions
Sky Groove Productions
Cambridge, MA 02139

> From: [log in to unmask]
> Reply-To: Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2001 14:15:46 -0400
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: tuesday and movies
>>> Far from being repellant films like
>>> Bonnie & Clyde, The Godfather, MASH,
>>> Catch-22 and The Dirty Dozen were big
>>> hits.
> lang is clearly right, and my wishful attempt to find
> some bit of silver lining in all these clouds seems
> futile . . . still, could one reasonably claim that
> the violence in those films [i'm thinking especially
> of the violence in CATCH-22--both movie and book]
> DID feel awful and repellant, even if the films them-
> selves were successful? . . . to put it differently,
> could one argue that the violence in those films
> aimed at  playing a role in a rhetoric of  anti-
> violence, unlike the violence of schwarzenneger,
> stallone, bronson, van damme, et. al. which is
> meant to be enjoyed, celebrated and applauded?
> i'm not sure about this, and i guess that DIRTY
> DOZEN shoots that theory in the foot [or in the
> head] cause as i remeber it all these years later
> it hardly harbored a pacifist sensibility [as CATCH-
> 22 in fact did]
> what do people think??
> mike
> ----
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