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Applying fixative to:

The vivid purple vase at Gillian's place. Didn't it go well with the barbie-pink hair?

The half-natural, half artificial noh-inspired stylised gesturing from The Actor's Revenge. Not that you really need reminding, you'll be doing it for the next 24 hours.

Being called Miss at Oddbins. It sure as hell beats being called Madam.

way too brightLaurie Zimmer's character in Assault on Precinct 13. You're probably going to be disappointed by the remake. Oh well.

Little Alice, now one day old. Ask about visitors tomorrow, becuase that mad cockerel toy you bought needs a home.

The housedoctors, ruining Elle's life; the sale on the flat fell through, and now her husband wants to remove all personal photographs, stop her using the kitchen, and put the sofa in storage. Oh, the mundanity.

Home network admin stuff meant that Damian gave me back some of my old photos. He got bored around June 2004. But that's OK, that covers most of it ...


11th Feb, 2005 16:38 (UTC)
1976 characters: white secretary 1 (F), white secretary 2 (F), black young cop (hero), white criminal (killer), black criminal 1 (unspecified), black criminal 2 (unspecified), white older cop, transfer cop 1 (white), transfer cop 2 (white)
2005 characters: white secretary (F), white psychiatrist (F), white young cop (hero), black gang-boss, black criminal (watch theif), black criminal, probably a lesbian (F), hispanic junkie, white older cop 1, white older cop 2, transfer cop 1 (white), transfer cop 2 (black)

... and, as you can see, 2005 scores higher on the minorities. However, the hero of the 1976 film was black, and the villain white. In the 2005 film, not only has this been reversed, but the increased participation of minorities has been balanced by character treatment -- the white cop hero gets both the girls, redemption, and his life back on track, the black transfer cop delivers a few (extremely racist) lines about the petty criminals, then dies in the first scene. The black woman transforms from whining rightsist (a theme throughout) to uberkillerbabe (in a way that has become rather cliched in recent years) before being uncerimoniously (and inexplicably) killed offscreen. Given that this is followed up with a on-screen drawn-out (and equally inexplicable) death scene for the white, feminine psychiatrist, the difference in treatment seems marked.

Black, hispanic and female characters are used to make sexist, racist and pro civil-rights statments before giving a death scene whose length mapped directly against how pale their skin was. The older white (read: racist) cop instead of being killed in the first scene (as in Carpenter's movie) was kept around to be a pain in the arse for everyone, for the express purpose of keeping a little tension going with who was the betrayer at the end.

And in the end, the good cop killed the bad cop and let the criminal escape, promising that he'd track him down, "only him". Carpenter's original vision of disperate, desperate individuals thrown together into a temporary community by an incomprehensible menace instead becomes a paen to macho posturing and stepping outside the system; Falling Down run in reverse, where "fate" (here represented by Byrne's bent coppers) kills all the people who annoy you and your macho response impresses the (conveniently only remaining) girl, the last few remaining colleagues left standing, and the bad guys so much that you can finally stop hating yourself and get on with your life.

I like to argue that all films are about coming to terms with your father. This one, emphatically, is not. It's about the white American male and his crisis of masculinity. Which is all very well, and can make for a good film (see Fight Club for further details). But if that's what it's about, then leave the girls, gays, blacks, hispanics out of your film; passing off your racism (sexism, homophobia) as theirs will not help you come to terms with that crisis.

That said, some of the early scenes of abandoned snowy cityscapes were wonderfully atmospheric; and Ethan Hawke sharp, stylish, and easy on the eye, and there was some very pretty camerawork around Byrne, especially when he was in his SWAT gear in the snow.