SCREEN-L Archives

January 1996, Week 4


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
David Smith <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 23 Jan 1996 19:33:32 -0400
text/plain (48 lines)
>a cop who gets the job done his own way.
A strikingly unique and original scenario, don't you think?
>     Death Wish, is another.  One of the most controversial films ever about
>a man, Charles Bronson, who's wife is killed and daughter raped.  Bronson
>becomes a vigilante and goes out at night looking for criminals.  The movie
>is about a struggle between a man and the unjust  government ideologies and
>problems with the system.
This is the basic premise of just about every superhero pulp novel, comic
book, oater, cop show, in short the bottomless cesspit spewed out by pop
culture over the last hundred or so years.
Supposed notions of rebellion against "the unjust government and the
bureaucracy's [sic] involved", "government ideologies and problems with the
system", etc. are easily sated by spectacles of mayhem like Death Wish and
Dirty Harry, except in the case of a handful of sociopaths who may feel
emboldened to go out and 'execute' some 'criminals' (or anyone walking
around today).
The films also reinforce delusions about society that serve the very,
"unjust government"/"system" which they purport to be critical of.
>      Also it's important to remember a big reason why the movie of the
>anti-hero like these were popular was because the Vietnam War was ending and
>people liked seeing a character that stood up to the system like Eastwood in
>Dirty Harry and Bronson in Death Wish.
These films pandered to the basically fascist, violent impulses of
Americans who felt they had been cheated of victory in Vietnam by those who
really "stood up to the system"--a  conceptual analog of the Nazis' 'stab
in the back' theory on why Germany lost the first world war.
David Smith
[log in to unmask]
"Multimedia Design Studio"--
**Optimized for viewing
with Netscape Navigator 2.0b
on Macintosh.
To signoff SCREEN-L, e-mail [log in to unmask] and put SIGNOFF SCREEN-L
in the message.  Problems?  Contact [log in to unmask]