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February 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 18 Feb 1994 10:24:51 -0500
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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I fail to see how Louis Schwartz sees a 'dialogue-driven' cinema
as a "masculinist" cinema.  Please enlighten me; let's have some
dialogue about it (wicked and evil and 'masculinist' as may be).
Are we ready to condemn such snappy, 'dialogue-driven' films as
THE FRONT PAGE, or all of Billy Wilder's marvelously witty scripts
because they were written by men?  I'm not.
Dialogue -- talk -- is not the province of men.
Some KINDS of talk do tend to be more closely identified with males
than with females (in this culture), and vice versa.
Carol Gilligan and Deborah Tannen have produced some quite
accessible accounts of this in recent years.
If anything, Prof. Schwartz, today's films are far LESS
'dialogue-driven' than films of 30 or 40 years ago.
Action (or 'violence') exports better to the international market,
and often seems to play better here to a popular audience.
Action flicks might better be considered 'masculinist' than films
in which people TALK.  Talk is communication; what is wrong with
film in which people communicate, rather than shoot each other,
or run down civilians in high-speed chases?
THE PIANO was wonderfully visual, no doubt about it, and not by way
of explosions and fire!fire!fire!    But gee whizz, here we are
on a 'discussion network,' designed to promote dialogue,
and being made to feel ashamed.
        -- Derek Bouse