giggly guys

Michael Hoover hoov at
Wed Mar 24 06:42:48 PST 1999

> Perhaps significantly, Gorris's films are big hits in Holland - men
> understand and appreciate them, too. Hollywood might copy *The Vanishing*,
> but I bet it won't copy any Gorris films - not without robbing them of what
> makes them great, anyway.
> Rob.

*Vanishing* example makes the point - George Sluizer's Dutch version (*Spoorloos*) is ambiguous...the guy trying to find his woman-friend may not be such a 'good' guy, the missing woman may not be such a 'good' woman, and the killer isn't clearly coded as a worse man than the boyfriend...the horror here is that the ostensible decency of 'ordinary people' isn't recuperated...

Sluizer also directed the Hollywood version which immediately draws viewers into the killer's, the bad guy is so creepy that his villainy reamins foregrounded throughout the film...during his search for his missing woman-friend, the decent and naive middle- strata guy is saved from death at the hands of the killer by a working class woman...throughout the film, the heroine outwits the killer while the good guy bumbles and stumbles along...ideology comes to the rescue at the end, however, as the boyfriend gets his fifteen seconds of heroism by saving the waitress who has suddenly become a 'damsel in distress'...

another example would be differences between the Australian verison of *Shame* and the later US made-for-television version...both feature a motorcycle riding woman lawyer trained in martial arts whose bike breaks down while riding through town...forced to wait for parts to get it fixed, she confronts rapists, their accomplices, and others who just want to turn a blind eye...but the Australian film's 'Western' looking town serves to make what is conveyed more ominous than the small-town atmosphere of the US film...moreover, the latter film's lead, Amanda Donohoe, is more conventionally female in Hollywood terms than is Deborra-Lee Furness in the former...Michael Hoover

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