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March 2000, Week 5


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gerald jones <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 31 Mar 2000 08:30:15 -0500
text/plain (63 lines)
On Mon, 27 Mar 2000 01:29:28 EST
 [log in to unmask] wrote:
> Although this is off-cinema in T.V. land, I've become
> fascinated with the
> depiction of Tony Soprano, the most "zeitgeist" evil hero
> of our time.
> He's the protagonist of the series and we are clearly
> meant to identify
> with some of his more typical suburban problems and
> malaise, as well as
> his groping for greater self-knowledge through
> psychotherapy.  He can
> also be very clever, not just devious but even witty.
> However, he is a
> villain, as is his wife and his organization, and
> everything they touch
> they eventually destroy.  (Certainly if The Sopranos were
> on regular
> network television, Tony would be smoothed out, and not
> just in
> language.)  His actions are brutal, his treatment of
> other people is
> generally horrendous, he destroys other families to
> enrich his own, and
> his monstrosity is represented by his own grotesquely
> overweight body.
> What I wonder is if this view of him as a villain is
> shared by the
> viewing public.  Is watch The Sopranos like watching Dr.
> Mabuse or
> Scarface (Hawks) where we ultimately don't really mourn
> for the
> protagonist, or is it more like A Clockwork Orange, where
> the audience
> seems to identify with the evil protagonist, due to the
> fact that Alec is
> so much more interesting and alive than anyone else in
> his world?
> Mark Netter
> [log in to unmask]
> ----
> Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film
> Dept., the
> University of Alabama:

I thought that Tony's evil was based on the interconnection
of the mundane and the exotic. That is, he is a suburban
father and what he does is his "job." The interesting point
is that evil is mundane and every day not necessarily
exotic. Just like the Nazi destruction of Jews. The horror
is that it was treated as a job.
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