SCREEN-L Archives

November 1995, Week 1


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
Errol Vieth <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 7 Nov 1995 12:13:47 +1000
text/plain (63 lines)
>Date:    Thu, 2 Nov 1995 13:29:15 -0500
>From:    Justine Sawyier <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: moral ambiguity in film
>Thanks in advance to anyone who responds to this:
>I am beginning to research a paper on the question of moral ambiguity in male
>and female characters in film, dealing with the primary issue that this
>quality has been allowed in male characters (hero/anti-hero), and not in
>female characters.  I want to use examples in modern film that show that bias
>is slowly changing, allowing female characters more shading and dynamic
>range.  My intent is to use examples from early film (D.W. Griffith, German
>Expressionists, Classical Hollywood Cinema, Film Noir, the reactionary 50's
>era films, up through the modern), to trace the development of moral
>Does anyone have good recommendations for films and materials to look at that
>deal with this issue?
It's something that came up in a class I was teaching a few weeks ago,
while looking at ROBOCOP 2. Of the primary characters, all males were evil.
Most women were 'good'. The evil female was only following the lead of evil
males anyway. The only good representation of something resembling the male
was the cyborg, the synthetic human.
Students pointed out a similar construction in TERMINATOR 2, where the only
good 'male' was a robot.
It's not quite what you wanted, but it is an interesting thread. Males
cannot be themselves to be 'good', they have to be some kind of replicated
human, some kind of cross between man and machine. Sarah Connor in
TERMINATOR 2 suggested that the T100 (Arnie) was the best father the young
John had ever had, because, to paraphrase, he would always be there for him
(John), would never hit him, or abuse him, or come home drunk.
The point might be that some trend towards the _anti-male_ is appearing,
some simulacra of a reality that no longer exists, a copy. All males are
Interestingly though, in both the films above, the women like only the
cyborgs. In ROBOCOP 2 the women minders of Murphy are concerned about him,
are his mother/lover. Similarly in T2, Sarah Connor is, as the extract
above suggests, enamoured with the T100.
Errol Vieth
>Does anyone have recommendations for modern films and materials that show
>this aspect evolving?
>Does anyone have any thoughts on the subject that they wish to share?
>Thank you,
>Justine Sawyier ([log in to unmask])
To signoff SCREEN-L, e-mail [log in to unmask] and put SIGNOFF SCREEN-L
in the message.  Problems?  Contact [log in to unmask]