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March 1998, Week 4


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Dick Gollin <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 24 Mar 1998 16:15:28 -0400
TEXT/PLAIN (27 lines)
Yet another (if not yet mentioned) is "The Ipcress File," in which Michael
Caine's character is imprisoned in a warehouse in London while being
led to believe he's in some Central European jail.  But if the key
element is, a character is led into a fabricated reality he believes is
real (as in "Vertigo"), and perhaps the audience is duped in the process,
then Big Con films such as "The Sting" or Mamet's "House of Games"
qualify.  Strictly speaking, it isn't the mind that's bent but reality
itself in these films, the mind retaining normal credulity.
There may be an analogy in films like these with the dramatic process
itself, fictive worlds presented as if real being the stock in trade
of dramatists and filmmakers as well as confidence men, wife murderers,
spies, politicians, and car salesmen (among many others).  If we are to
believe the Kurosawa of "Rashomon," all human beings adapt their concepts
of reality to their own needs.
Some further discriminator seems needed, if elaborate schemers like Gavin
Elster is included in the category, because all of the above seem to
troop in after him through the door he leaves open.
Dick Gollin
Film Studies, Univ. of Rochester
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