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July 1994


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"MECHAR,KYLE WILLIAM,MR" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 5 Jul 1994 19:56:07 EDT
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It seems obvious to me that the representation of AIDS and homosexuality
in Philadelphia was merely the backdrop upon wich the dominant fictions
of American culture were rearticulated and reaffirmed (i.e. heterosexual
ity, the nuclear family, the American dream of life, liberty, etc, etc.)
Hanks's new role in Forrest Gump, due this week, is being described as
"an embodiment of all that is good about post World War II America."
excuse me? (Memories of Hanks's Oscar acceptance speech??). The connecti
on I want to draw with Philadelphia is: given the ultimate message of
Philedelphia (that justice in America can prevail), why has his new film
served to continue these lies? Was social mechanisms are in place that
could allow an actor to play a gay man who dies of AIDS and then an
embodiment of all that is good in Post WWii America? Or are both films
really saying the same thing? Could this new role have been possible
if it weren't for his previous role in Philadelphia? This man must be