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March 1993


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 19 Mar 1993 17:58:38 -0500
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An interesting perspective on this film... but just one set of comments
related to one of your points.
I don't think Neil Jordan (the film's maker) left Fergus' feelings for the
Jaye character completely unexplored, but the extent to which it leaves
them open-ended or ambiguous is, I think, purposeful.  The film is leaving,
for the audience's consideration, the speculation raised by Fergus' story--
the one that Orson Welles actually used first in Mr. Arkadin (/Confidential
Report), about the frog and the scorpion.  The scorpion stings the frog,
thereby insuring both their deaths by drowning, because he could help his
nature.  The dilemma of the Fergus/Dil relationship is: given their natures,
Fergus' in particular, what will happen to that relationship?  Being a human
being rather than a lower animal like the frog, is he destined to freeze it
as it is?  Or are there signs that changes he's already undergone may lead
him to a newly complicated future with Dil, once prison's behind him?  I
think Jordan's film is at least a celebration of the positive aspects of
being more than an animal, if your an optimist.  If you're a pessimist, it
can seem and be argued the reverse.  Either way, it's a bittersweet medi-
Sorry for the semi-coherence of the foregoing. Off the top of the head, and
constrained by trying to talk around crucial points in the film, that's as
good as I can get it at the moment.
Jeff Clark