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I agree with Dr. Perry that we should be careful attributing
incoherence.  I would have thought that making sense of narratives,
appreciating them on their own terms, was a big part of our job.  Before
I attribute inconsistency I must find glaring and unexplainable lapses
in whatever logic explains everything else in the movie.  I would take
testimony from one of the chief collaborators as evidence of story
trouble, however.  Along those lines, I recall Verhoeven reporting that
Basic Instinct had a major cheat -- Beth assumes a hostile stance when
she has no reason to do so.  This inspires Nick to blow her out of her
socks, advancing the plot.  Everything else in that movie fits together
pretty well, if you're willing to enter that moral universe.  I
mentioned Cruising before, as another example of a movie with a director
who acknowledges narrative problems.  I wonder if it's a coincidence
that the two movies share imagery and themes.  Does Sea of Love, close
cousin to these two, have similar story problems?  Not that it matters,
of course.  When I need stories that make no sense whatsoever I go to
see recent Robin Williams movies.

N

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Neal King
Belmont University Sociology
Nashville TN 37212
615 460 6231

http://www.belmont.edu/Pages/FS/King.Neal/nkt.html

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Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite
http://www.tcf.ua.edu/ScreenSite