At the risk of repeating points that have already been made by others of
you--I myself joined the list just recently--I'd like to say in response
to [log in to unmask] that if being "in touch" with things means
accepting the values of a movie just because it is seen by a lot of
people ("Forest Gump was seen by four times the number of people as saw Pulp
Fiction"), we've got a problem. Dumb and dumber did pretty well at
the box office.
Certainly, as eiliff@discovery suggests, there are distinctions to be
made between Gumpism and Gingrichism; still, Gump argues against
intellectual and political life--just as the present conservative
majority argues against politics ("throw the bums out") and against the
value of education and intellect. Clearly, Gump is a movie abt how, if
we divest ourselves of all of the trappings of intellect, we'll be
better off--politics just gets us into trouble (this is the logic of
Jenny's story). I think the film is much more invested in arguing for
simplicity--just as Dumb and Dumber, Billy Madison, and Tommy Boy all argue
for simplicity by finding it so very human and so very warming--than it is
interested in showing the painful effects of Vietnam. History exists in
this movie as a large-scale backdrop for some wonderful special effects;
beyond this, the values of the movie are pretty reprehensible.
Again, if being "in touch" with Gumpism means an acceptance of the simple
life--and surely this film taps into the current anti-intellectual
climate--elitist or not, I'd rather lose touch . . . .
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