Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Women who are men

Date: 06 Jul 2006

Channing wrote:

"True the man/woman is the killer and in Spillane's world deserves to be blown away, but Hammer takes extra pleasure in the act because the man/woman had the gall to try and seduce him."

This reminds me of a comment made in a documentary about the depiction of homsexuality in Hollywood, Celluloid Closet. The screenwiter of Philadelphia (forget his name, don't feel like looking up) is discussing a film (title at bottom of email for those who don't mind the spoiler) whose villain was a transvestite. He points out that the movie audience
(at least the one he saw it with) cheers when a pistol is emptied into this crossdresser (in a public rest room, no less). He allows that part of the cheer is for the death of the villain, but adds that it was particularly vociferous because the villain was also being punished for flouting society's standards of gender and sexuality, standards then
(and to a large degree still) so ingrained that most don't even think about them, accepting them as nature, not a social construction.

I'm not trying to start a nature/nurture debate about sexuality, but trying to point out that there's no reason an ending can't be doing two things at once. In fact, the most satisfying endings reassert social norms. Yes, hardboiled and noir tend to treat the return to the status quo as far more provisional, temporary and personal than cozies do, but we still like to see our heroes stick to their codes and those codes do have ties to social norms, even if the ties are often to what should be and not what is.


* SPOILER -- the movie was Freebie and the Bean

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 06 Jul 2006 EDT