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December 1997, Week 1


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Michael Haas <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 26 Nov 1997 06:26:41 -0500
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<I'd like to read some thoughts on what people liked about The Ice Storm
generally.  The reason for the 1973 setting seems unclear to me -- other
than to provide a different backdrop for a fairly familiar story of
alientation and familial dysfunction.  Political issues of the time seem to
have been collapsed into decorative but fairly meaningless props and sound
bites.  It's not that I didn't enjoy _watching_ the movie, but I'd like to
know what other people found particularly insightful about it.
The film shows that major events were taking place in the USA, yet adults in
one of the most affluent communities had become so hedonistic that they were
neglecting their families as well as the political crisis.  One child was
interested in Watergate but could not get anyone else interested.
 Alienation, in short, was the response to Watergate, according to Ang Lee.
 However, my experience with New Canaan snobs is that they are too affluent
to be concerned about politics, as politics is not of much interest to them
compared to Wall Street, a point that Ang Lee may or may not have realized.
 If Ang Lee is trying to date the decline of political idealism and morals
from Watergate, the timing is off.  The war in Vietnam did that.
Michael Haas
Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama.