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March 1993


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 24 Mar 1993 12:09:41 -0400
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Has Jordan talked about what he was/is trying to do in"The Crying Game" and
the audience for whom it is most constructed?
Why is Jody pathetic?  Because he's fat (as a lot of us are--it helps here
and gives a certain image--would anything work in the film if Fergus/Jimmy
was fat?)?  How pathetic is he apart from his situation, ie. in the hands of the
IRA, with a bag over his head and a death sentence.  He knows they will do what
   they say and
that the British won't release the other guy.  He's scared and that is
pathetic.  He's also very canny and working very hard to get to Fergus
through Fergus's mind/inexperience/decency.  He's trying to give himself
a last opportunity to escape and in fact probably succeeds here (this is not
submission and earns for Fergus a courtmartial).
But race also plays a part.  Jody says only here (in Ireland) has he been
called 'nigger' to his face.  In London, Fergus/Jimmy is careful to disguise
his origin--he's a Scot.  (There is also class going on at the building site).
Here there is a parallel between the two and the places they find themselves
in--where they're not welcome, and don't fit.  Formally, Fergus/Jimmy
takes Jody's place, and these similarities--both being ethnic minorities--
give that some deeper structure, that then connects with the issues of
gender, image, and body.  That Jody and Dil are both black makes them,
probably, much harder to read (or be on to) for Fergus/Jimmy, and for,
probably a large segment of the audience, which puts them in a position
comparable to Fergus/Jimmy's.
I'm sure race also operates at a deeper, much more inaccessible level for
white filmmakers and white audiences, but . . . .
Jesse Kalin, Vassar