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January 1997, Week 3


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
"Do not read this line." <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 15 Jan 1997 12:33:37 -0400
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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with respect to arild's observation that
 >  von Trier himself saw Dreyer "The Word". From this film Trier gets
 >  a core problematic: is Bess insane or is she a modern Jesus? Only, Trier
 >  does not manage to make this question a disturbing dilemma. . . .
it seems to me the power of the film came from the way it made the dilemma
VERY disturbing indeed without falsifying or exaggerating any of the
alternative claims that are held suspended in the precarious balance of
undecidability . . . but of course all of this is shot to hell by
the obviousness of the final tableau which undermines the film not only
by violating generic expectations  [perhaps our generic expectations
SHOULD be buried] but by making the question that has been the spine
of the film trivial, and by making any viewers who took the question
seriously feel foolish and abused by the movie
the defense of the film on fatuous grounds that it is represents a kind
of post-modern theology insults both post-modernism and religion
mike frank
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