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July 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
"MECHAR,KYLE WILLIAM,MR" <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 8 Jul 1994 15:21:20 EDT
In reply to your message of THU 07 JUL 1994 14:00:17 EDT
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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One very obvious example occurs in the first hospital scene, where
Andrew Beckett (Hanks) is suffering from diarrhea. While thee, he is inf
ormed over the phone that an important document in his "highliner" case
has gone missing, the situation that ostensibly brings about his
dismissal from the firm. Okay, so Hanks is on the phone, chanting
"every problem has a solution," in this context refering to the lost
document. While he is saying this, the camera is focused on the back
of his neck, which is marked by a Kaposi's sarcoma legion, thble sisble
signifier of the body of AIDS. With the camera focused on the lesion,
and Beckett saying "every problem has a solution," the scene immediately
cuts to another hospital scene; only now it Miller (The lawyer who will
take the case--Denzel washington) witnessing the birth of his child. Ind
eed, every problem has a solution. Its obvious what the solution to
AIDS in Philadelphia is: heterosexuality, monogamy, and the maintenance
of the nuclear family.
Examples like this abound. When ever there is an anxiety producing momen
t caused by the presence of the queer body?AIDS body , the scene
switches to affirm more traditonal sexualities. Think also of the
Maria Callas scence, and you can begin to see the ways in which
the representation of homosexuality and AIDS is continually underminded
in this way.This anxiety producing moment for Miller (never mind Beckett
) results in him running to the arms of his wife, as the same Callas ari
a reaches a cresendo.  Kyle, McGill University, Montreal