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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]>
Thu, 7 Jul 1994 19:19:55 EDT
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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In an earlier post, I said that Philadelphia was merely an excuse
to reinscribe the dominant fictions of American culture (ie, hetero-
sexuality, the nuclear family, etc.) A memeber of the list took
offence, pointing out that these cannot be classified as "fictions."
True enough, is as much as they are realities for many people. I was
using the term "dominant fiction" as Kaja Silverman defines it in
Male Subjectivity: "The dominant fiction consists of the images and
stories through which a society figures consensus; images and stories
which cinema, fiction, popular culture, and other forms of mass
representation presumably both draw upon and help to shape" (p. 30).
I take the cue from Silverman to suggest that Philadelphia works to
figure audience consensus about the virtues of heterosexuality and
monogamy over and above homosexuality (despite it posturing as a
"liberal" film).