At least we can be hqappy that many good films did make it on there. I
was surprised at both _The Birth of a Nation_ and _The Jazz Singer_'s
inclusion (admittedly, I have only seen clips of any of them). I was also
quite irritated at _Rocky_'s inclusion (perhaps the most overrated film of
all time), particularly at the exclusion of two of my favorites among the
nominees, _Brazil_ and _The Night of the Hunter_. The high rank of _The
Wizard of Oz_ was predictable, despite the fact it breaks the novel (which
it has sadly overshadowed) into something simple and conventional, wheras
Baum was convoluting everything even declaring "white is the witch color."
Baum's witch was very, very different from the witch as portrayed by
Hamilton, whose witch was incredibly conventional, and the narrative
structure of the original was destroyed, not to mention the conflation of
the two good witches which forces the film to be a fable. (Baum's
grandmotherly Good Witch of the North (who is not Glinda) was not aware of
the power of the shoes, aside from that it had some, and if she had, she
would have been seen as very cruel for sending a child a long and
harrowing journey down a road with wide unbridged chasms as ferocious
beasts. I know it's utter blasphemy to speak out against this film in the
movie world. Ironoically, the safest place to blast the film is on the
Ozzy Digest, where some people utterly hate the film, other share my
ambivalence, and some love it.
On Wed, 17 Jun 1998, gloria monti wrote:
> After suffering through three hours of CBS broadcasting last night,
> here are my thoughts on this thread:
> On Thu, 11 Jun 1998 09:51:49 -0500 Kino International Corporation wrote:
> Unfortunately many people in the film business as well as archivists are
> justifiably afraid to say anything publically for fear of offending studio
> people and most journalists are only getting one side.
> It's the same story in academia, I am afraid, especially around job
> market time.
> However, what I found truly disturbing beyond the inevitable
> selection of one film that excludes another, is the oppressive whiteness
> that informs these 100 best American films. The only references to race
> were white folks in blackface (*The Jazz Singer,* *Birth of a Nation* -- a
> truly scandalous choice, when aesthetic considerations mask political
> considerations) or the familiar stereotype of the black domestic laborer
> (*Gone with the Wind* making the top 10, another abomination). Oh yes,
> *Guess Who's Coming to Dinner:* "an elite black [invited] into the club of
> the truly human, but always on white terms," as Robert Stam and Louise
> Spence have brilliantly pointed out.
> *Singin' in the Rain* and *An American in Paris* but no *Malcolm
> Gloria Monti
> gloria monti
> lecturer & director of undergraduate studies
> film studies program, yale university
> 53 wall st., #116, new haven, CT 06510
> voice mail: 203-432-0152
> fax: 203-776-1928
> e-mail: [log in to unmask]
> "Ou est donc la verite? De face ou de profil?"
> Jean-Luc Godard
> Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
> University of Alabama.
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