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December 1996, Week 3


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Mike Frank <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 20 Dec 1996 12:18:39 -0400
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"up to the challenge"??? . . . hmmm . . . maybe -- but maybe the challenge IN
PRINCIPLE isn't all that great [though it's specific local and political
ramifications are endlessly challenging] . . .
. . . to wit:  western culture [and i'd venture a guess this is even more
widespread than that] has a ancient tradition of distinguishing between the
civilized and the barbaric, and acknowledging the presence of the barbaric
within the civilized [cf. BACCHAE, etc., usw.] . . . call it the demonic, the
id, werewolf, vampire, witch, etc. . . . it is always recognized and rejected
but with a grudging sense that--as conrad puts it--there's something in that
darkness that beckons us to follow . . .
now, to say that the green mask [in the movie that i have to admit i've not
seen] provides access to that power or drive or whatever . . . that it works
the same way as the bacchae or the congo or certain drugs . . . is merely to
find in this film another articulation of a longstanding [eternal??] issue . .
but . . .
. . if krin gabbard is right, and that articulation is coded or marked in this
film in a way that has specific racial/cultural conotations [something i can't
speak to not having seen the film] that is certainly worth exploring and
discussing . . . but unless there's something going on that has not been
brought to the surface in the exchanges thus far, i don't know that the larger
thematic is challenging except to the extent that it raises yet again a
challenge that most of us has lived with and dealt with pretty regularly
mike frank
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