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September 1998, Week 3


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Jason Lapeyre <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 14 Sep 1998 18:37:05 -0400
TEXT/PLAIN (31 lines)
Ken Mogg wrote:
Now, please, what is the 'obvious' sexual symbol in STRANGERS ON A TRAIN
when Miriam's strangling is reflected in a lens of her glasses lying on
the grass (the other lens has been cracked)?  I'd love to know!  My mind
simply goes 'boingg!' when Wood says the symbolism is obvious.  Is the
lens supposed to represent spilt semen, or something? (But semen isn't
reflective.)  A ruptured hymen?  (But that sounds far-fetched to me.)
The equivalent of birds attacking people's eyes in THE BIRDS?  (Ditto.)
Wood was probably referring to the Hollywood convention of eyeglasses
denoting the power of the "look", which in theory-speak means that anyone
who has the power to look at other people (in Hollywood, almost always men
looking at women, thus the connotation of sexuality) also has power over
them in other ways.  There's been alot of work done on the way women have
been depowered in Hollywood films very simply by removing their glasses,
symbolizing that their ability to be on the "looking" rather than the
"looked at" side of the relationship has been taken away.
Just a thought.
Jason Lapeyre
York University
Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
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