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June 1994


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Derk Bruins <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 2 Jun 1994 06:48:42 EDT
text/plain (36 lines)
Please excuse the observation of a novice to the list and
a political scientist, but it seems to be very difficult in an
action type of film to get sophisticated messages across.
For example, it was my impression when I saw "Sneakers,"
some time ago that an anarchistic or nihilistic orientation
motivated the character played by Ben Kinsley.  In my mind, socialism
involves the collective ownership of the means of production, either by the
workers, the state, or some other
collective.  Perhaps I missed the identification of a collective
to which Kinsley wished to turn over the running of the
economic system.  But it seemed to me that, like Russian
nihilists of the last century, Kinsley simply wanted to kick the system in,
on the assumption that whatever evolved afterwards
would have to be better than the present system.
The problem of transmitting sophisticated messages seems to
be rampant in popular action films.  For example, it wasn't
until the second viewing of "Terminator II: Judgement Day,"
that I caught the critical sentence about what started
"Judgement Day," the nuclear war--humans attempting to turn
off a computer system that had become self-aware, a modernized
version of the theme underlying "Colossus: The Forbin
Project."  Rhetorically, I wonder how many viewers picked up
that explanation?
**  Should this be a SPOILER WARNING???? **
**  Question posed by a newcomer **
Sometimes, the movie maker, in order to bring some sort of
logical explanation for a film must resort to an awkward
device, such as Stephanie Zimbalist's 2-minute crying
monologue in "The Babysitter" (1980) after she had been
disarmed by William Shattner.  Note: if anybody is interested,
this made-for-TV movie will be televised on TBS, this Friday
at 7:30 p.m. PST.