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March 1993


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Rick Francis <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 22 Mar 1993 07:55:50 CST
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M.B. raises interesting points about Falling Down, but I wouldn't
get too upset about the preview twist.  Clearly there's nothing
quite "average" about D-Fens at the start of the movie, and
much less so by the end, but... I think it's equally clear that
viewers DO tend to identify with him.  So pure hucksterism
would cause the PR folks to sell the movie that way.
That said, one     would hope that viewers  would at some point
confront the consequences implied by their identification:  that
it could lead to fascism.
True, it was the white cop who puts together the pieces to connect
and solve it.  On the other hand the point is made fairly well that
it is Duvall's similar plight, and his more successful handling of
it, that makes him the appropriate agent to understand D-Fens.
Now, M.B. raised another issue, which is the treatment of women in
the film.  I would take this tack:  in typical Hollywood style,
the Duvall cop-character asserts his wholeness, recovery, masculinity,
etc. in what way?  By telling his wife to shut up.  I   don't see
any great progress in this; in fact it seems utterly regressive.
ooop, gotta go.
|  Rick Francis  C47805NF@WUVMD      |
|  Dep't of Comparative Literature,  |
|  Box 1107                          |
|  Washington University             |
|  St. Louis, MO  63130              |