Area:    Feminism
  Msg:    #227
 Date:    12-11-94 08:52 (Public) 
 From:    Paul Kienitz             
 To:      All                      
 Subject: Michael Douglas does it a
Another new Michael Douglas movie is out.  And guess what?  Surprise
surprise, it once again features Douglas's character getting involved with
a dangerous woman and everything going to hell in a way that is all the
evil woman's fault.

The movie is called "Disclosure", and is based on a novel by Michael
Crichton.  I have not seen it, only seen a review in the local paper.  The
reviewer, Kelly Vance, hates it.  But the important part is just the plot

The movie is about sexual harrassment.  It takes a Hard Look at the Issue, or
at least I guess we're supposed to think it does.  And it looks at it from
just the perspective you'd expect from Michael Douglas: the unscrupulous
Demi Moore comes on to Douglas, they start getting naughty, then she accuses
him of sexual harrassment, and everybody believes her and he, though
innocent, gets fired (or almost fired) and hauled into court on criminal

Yeah, right.  A tough but fair look at the issue.  Sure.

Here's a quote from the review, which though it does not specifically
raise the subject of misogyny, does ask some overdue questions about what
the hell Douglas's problem is:

    What I want to know is: How does Michael Douglas get into these jams?
    At least once a year we go to a movie and there's Douglas with that
    mortified, turd-in-the-pocket look on his face, being forced by
    circumstances beyond his control to go around slamming doors and lying
    to his wife.  First it was "Fatal Attraction": maniac one-night stand
    catches hubby with his pants down.  [Note that this movie was
    originally written sympathetically to the woman's viewpoint, and her
    transfiguration into a monster was a change made by Douglas and
    director Adrian Lyne. -pk]  (Actually, the very first was "Coma", a
    1978 thriller, directed by Crichton himself, in which Douglas played
    an intern mixed up in a series of hospital murders.)  Then it was "The
    War of the Roses": hubby and wifey start trading insults and end up
    trying to murder each other.  [I believe this one contains a scene in
    which wifey offers Douglas a blowjob, and then bites hard. -pk]
    "Basic Instinct": detective hubby scrutinizes kinky murder suspect a
    little too closely.  [Isn't this the one where he persuades a killer
    dyke to like men by giving her a really good fuck? -pk]  And finally
    "Falling Down": nerdy hubby comes unhinged by modern times, runs amok.
    Once, long ago, he was Gordon Gekko.  Now he's Norman Nudnik.
    Or rather, America's hubby.  Michael Douglas has perfected the role of
    the ordinary, decent, domesticated man with a telltale weakness.  In a
    momentary lapse of judgement [which is always the fault of some other
    person -pk] he succumbs to that weakness, gets caught and pushed into
    an extreme position, more often than not by a woman [who more often
    than not personifies every castrating-bitch stereotype of anti-male
    womanhood -pk], and then gets even, with the heat of his vengeance
    running in rough proportion to his guilt.  The hubby does a remarkable
    slow burn.  The more contumely heaped on his head, the better he likes
    it....  Tom [his character in this movie], like many of Douglas's
    characters, carries a whiff of masochism about him.

In this masochistic element, he reminds me of Sylvester Stallone, another
actor who delights in protraying himself being tormented and injured by
evil people so he can indulge in improbable revenge.

On Demi Moore's character, he says this:

    If I were an angry feminist I'd feel cheated, but then angry feminists
    know better than to go to a Michael Crichton film.

He also objects that the whole harrassment issue is simply discarded in
the last third of the film to make room for a humdrum techno-thrill
suspense story.

    As for the sexual harrassment McGuffin, it's even less of a factor
    here than in David Mamet's shouting contest "Oleana".  As arch as that
    play and film are, they at least take a stab at a Serious Social
    Issue.  In "Disclosure" it's more of an excuse to show some thigh.

He recommends that those who are into that sort of titilation should not
settle for half measures, but go see Russ Meyer's "Faster, Pussycat, Kill!
Kill!"  which is currently in revival, of which he says:
    Not only that, "Faster Pussycat", made to capitalize on a big-tits
    craze in 1966, has become an avant-garde feminist must-see.

Oh REALLY?  First I've heard of such an idea...  Interesting if true.

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