SCREEN-L Archives

October 1994


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
J Roberson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 26 Oct 1994 12:37:41 -0500
text/plain (67 lines)
>The I-didn't-get-it-so-it-wasn't-there school of film viewing seems to
>have taken hold, judging by recent posts.  One post-er claims not to have
I wouldn't go so far as to say that if I didn't see it, it asn't there.
Recall that in literature (and in many other things) you get out of
it what you read into it, based on your experiences. I think a lot of
people are getting things out of it that Tarantino never intended. I think
this happens to many directors -after seeing the play I directed,
people were discussing ideas I hadn't thought of - but which made sense
once I understood the context they were bringing to the play.
>detected any clues that The Secret Beyond the Door was anal rape.  Um,
>two men with accents out of Deliverance and a prisoner in full leather?
Such imagery is not universally representative of rape. I thought that
perhaps Marcellus was being raped, but I was also prepared for it to
simply be a beating. But then again, I don't get off on plot prediction
and leave my mind open to possibilities - you never know if your
anticipation is what the director is playing on or playing against.
>Or, put another way:  I'd love to tell you what time it is, but my watch
>is up my father's ass.  If that wasn't a big clue for you, I don't
>know what would constitute a BIG ENOUGH clue.
I don't make a connection between that scene or the rape scene AT ALL - but
given the spacing in the movie between the anecdotes, I concede that it makes
>  One recent post goes so far as to say that the torturers are not homo-
>sexual, merely sadists.  As I tried to suggest last time, this substit-
Well, as I'm sure you're aware, there are sadists, there are homosexuals,
and there are homosexual sadists. One could argue that their homosexuality
is secondary to their sadism. I certainly thought it as. But then again,
I was focused more on the violent aspect of what they were doing to Marcellus,
not the sexual one - no surprise since rape is an act of violence, not sex.
>an external question but one central to the on-going process of naming
>and constructing homosexuality.
Looking ahead, maybe what we need to do is not define homosexuality but
rather the copnents. For instance, rather than say a man is a homosexual(which
means many things to many people) say that he is sexually attracted to men.
Iterate everything else about him specifically, rather than say it's
effeminate or masculine (another battle in the etiology of homophobic ideas).
Why define homosexuality when it's more accurate to describe the components
of a specific identity? Say no to labels - describe what's in the box.
>sexuality as, for example, I myself live it, but it has everything to do
>with the culture's obsession with masculinity, male pride and violence--
I would have to agree that the sadists are not representative of homosexuality,
and that male homosexuality is almost a different culture - one of the great
ironies I discovered growing up was that gay men aren't neccessarily effeminate
 - they love other men! Why would they want womanly things, except in a society
that links sexuality and gender?
However, I think that Tarantino is aware of what his movies brings up, but
rather than ask questions and answer them, he just presents us with the
images and lets us ask & answer the questions. That's the mark of a good
writer and filmmaker.
J Roberson