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December 2000, Week 1


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John Dougill <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 3 Dec 2000 16:13:32 +0000
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on 2/12/00 12:49 pm, Thomas Morsch at [log in to unmask] wrote:

> films that present 'non-hegemonic' relationships (e.g. homosexual
> relationships, relationships between adults and children,
> pseudo-relationships from afar between fan/star, etc.) as an alternative
> to hegemonic ideas of love,

Four Weddings and a Funeral is worth considering because it is such a
popular mainstream romantic comedy yet in the subplot it contrasts a happy
loving stable homosexual couple with the fluid heterosexual affair in the
main plot.  The commitment phobic male, the female in search of a good man
and taking the initiative, and the fashionable seal of approval on the
homosexual pair are all icons of our age - My Best Friend's Wedding and the
latest film of Madonna and Rupert Everett (title escapes me) also show
similar notions with an affirmative nod for the homosexual.

Perhaps one of the most important representations of homosexual
relationships 'as an alternative to hegemonic ideas of love' would have to
be Maurice because of the success of the film.  It's striking for giving the
polished Merchant-Ivory gloss to an alternative relationship, and was the
first time on mainstream screens in the States for men to be shown making
love.  The romanticised images and pleasure of the spectacle made it
attractive to audiences for whom the content would normally have been

Finally My Beautiful Launderette and Crying Game use the idea of a
homosexual relationship between a white and black man to open up questions
about identity, race and class through the central love story.  In both
cases the love story subverts convention and incurs violence - love as
radical in contrast to the usual drive for stability and order that
underlies the love story.


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