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March 1993


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John Izod <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 23 Mar 1993 13:37:58 GMT
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Henry wrote very persuasively -
> One of the things I resent about the secrecy surrounding THE CRYING GAME
> is the way that it exempts the film from serious critical debate. I finally
> saw it this weekend, after avoiding the "secret" til now, and was not startled
> or amazed. I did see it coming from the outset, more or less. What frustrated
> me was the way that Del's character fit so smugly within the entire history
> of self-pittying gay men in the cinema -- a throwback to BOYS IN THE BAND.
> S/he is so frustrated by who he is, feels so sorry for his social life, that
> he will hook up with anyone who shows him the slightest bit of kindness.
>  If this isn't an unattractive and frankly homophobic treatment of alternative
> sexual choices, I don't know what is. I was interested in watching Fergus's
> shifting responses, the breaking down of bareers, etc. but why did we have to
> portray Del as so fundamentally pathetic? Or, is there not a element of
> mysogyny here as well -- if Del looks like a woman, why not give her all the
> worst traits of traditional femininity? I don't mean to be hypersensative,
> but I would have thought that a film which gets all kinds of Kudos for taking
> issues of sexuality seriously might have advanced beyond a 1950s vintage
> stereotype.
But is Dil gay?  Has he made an "alternative sexual choice"?  Or is he a
transsexual?  If the latter, his despair at being trapped in the wrong
gender is for me at least easier to understand and accept.
John Izod