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November 1997, Week 3


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Viet Nguyen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 20 Nov 1997 11:10:37 -0800
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>Viet Nguyen wrote:
>>That would be like calling Robocop an
>>anticorporate, anticapitalist film simply because it has some fun with
>>corporate excess while it makes a hundred million dollars.
>I have difficulties following this argument. Do you actually mean that the
>fact that ROBOCOP was an economic success alters the ideological content of
>the film. Would it have been considered an "anticorporate, anticapitalist
>film" if it failed at the box office? In my view, ROBOCOP is by far the
>most interesting action film when it comes to the portrayal of the
>conseqences of the neo-libertarianism.
>Ulf Dalquist                  Phone:  +46 46 2229572
I can't remember whether someone in the course of the discussion actually
cited Robocop as an "anticorporate, anticapitalist" film; I might have made
it up as a straw man.  That is, if someone were to take this position on
Robocop, it would seem naive, in the sense that the ideological content of
an anticapitalist film would certainly be altered if it is produced from a
corporate location.  It would be difficult to see in what way the
_reception_ of ideological content would not be altered by the ways in
which films are produced, distributed, promoted, etc.  For films which
expressly attack capitalism, this becomes an added problem.  Let me clarify
and say that I am _not_ arguing that films can't critique capitalism simply
because they're made by capitalists--what isn't, at this time?  In the case
of Robocop, however, and in light of our comments on Verhoeven's cynicism,
the anticapitalist critique would simply seem to be another marketing ploy,
i.e., in the same way that politicians routinely bash the political
"system" for their own gain.
I'm not sure where "neo-libertarianism" comes into play with Robocop.
Viet Nguyen
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