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October 1997, Week 3


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Jeffrey Scott Holland <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 16 Oct 1997 14:09:29 +0100
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Michael Hass wrote:
> Mike Frank might perhaps ask Michael Sugarman why he believes that The Wizard
> of Oz conveys a happy message.  The book on which it is based is, of course,
> profoundly pessimistic.
=== Agreed. In fact, many of the films listed in Donald Larson's
well-done exhaustive post belong in the pessimistic box, notably
"Altered States", which is not a film about transcendence so much as
man's inability to transcend - - in the end, Dr.Jessup (William Hurt)
shrugs and accepts his lot in life and gives up attempting to transcend
humanity, adopting an "ignorance is bliss" philosophy.  "Tommy"'s ending
is even more pathetic, and rather than transcending, Tommy ends up, like
Dr.Jessup, right back where he started.
I would add "Angel Heart" to Larson's list, wherein Mickey Rourke finds
(on two entirely different levels) that having a transcendental
supernatural experience is not a good thing. Another case for ignorance
sometime being bliss.
Jeffrey Scott Holland - - Berea, Kentucky
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