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February 1996, Week 4


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mike Frank <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 25 Feb 1996 13:50:31 -0400
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (34 lines)
in connection with my comments about "cinematic pietas" Jerry asks:
"Obviously Olsen and Pizzato DID agree on certain textual restraints, and
thus, had no reason to theorize on them.  That was not what their
discussion was about.  Why does Frank find this so interesting?  Is it
because he doesn't believe in relative readings?"
and i suppose it's a reasonable question . . .
what i find so interesting and troubling about the exchange is not that i don't
believe in realtive readings but that don't think i'm prepared to believe in
absolutely relative readings . . . that is to say, there must be something
understood as being IN the text which works to contrain and delimit what we
may say in response to it . . . otherwise all texts get reduced to the status
of rohrschach blots and all responses are equally valid  . . .
what i was asking is whether the reproduction--either in films or for that
matter in any other text-- of the trope called "pieta" carries with it an
already present evaluative position, or whether the trope is, as it were, value
neutral, and the claim that it is sexist is merely in the eye or the ideology of
the beholder . . . and this still seems to me a crucial question
BTW, i never meant to suggest that olsen and pizzato ought to have addressed
this question . . . jerry's quite right that that was not their purpose at all
. . . but their exchange did have the effect of raising the question in a very
pointed way
mike frank
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