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March 1993


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 22 Mar 1993 14:01:52 EST
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One of the things I resent about the secrecy surrounding THE CRYING GAME
is the way that it exempts the film from serious critical debate. I finally
saw it this weekend, after avoiding the "secret" til now, and was not startled
or amazed. I did see it coming from the outset, more or less. What frustrated
me was the way that Del's character fit so smugly within the entire history
of self-pittying gay men in the cinema -- a throwback to BOYS IN THE BAND.
S/he is so frustrated by who he is, feels so sorry for his social life, that
he will hook up with anyone who shows him the slightest bit of kindness. Please.
 If this isn't an unattractive and frankly homophobic treatment of alternative
sexual choices, I don't know what is. I was interested in watching Fergus's
shifting responses, the breaking down of bareers, etc. but why did we have to
portray Del as so fundamentally pathetic? Or, is there not a element of
mysogyny here as well -- if Del looks like a woman, why not give her all the
worst traits of traditional femininity? I don't mean to be hypersensative,
but I would have thought that a film which gets all kinds of Kudos for taking
issues of sexuality seriously might have advanced beyond a 1950s vintage