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"Deliverance" and rape culture


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I have Turner Classic Movies on, and they just showed a discussion with some of the stars of Deliverance. This is at the TCM film festival, and most of these moments at the festival have been light little interludes.

Robert Osborne started with a nice question or two about whether they are all friends, etc. I was only half paying attention, so I may bit off about who said what at first.

But I think it was the director, John Boorman, who turned things to a more serious note right away, going out of his way to say something about how women seem to understand the film better than men, knowing what it is to be vulnerable to rape (not an exact quote, but he was clearly trying to remind all that the movie was about macho posturing being bullshit, and that rape is a horror).

Then Burt Reynolds said something about the point of the film being that men need to stop making cute little comments and jokes about rape, that it is no laughing matter.

OK, not a breathtaking anti-rape-culture stand, but I was impressed that, in that "let's be jolly about old movies" setting, they wanted to remind everyone what they were trying to say in 1972.

To his credit, Osborne went with their change of tone, and didn't try to lighten things up.

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Always good to hear. It's sad to think how little things have progressed in 40 years.

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Always good to hear. It's sad to think how little things have progressed in 40 years.

Yeah, that part of it saddened me, too.

I tend to think of these things (anti-feminism, rape culture, racism, bigotry against gay people, etc.) as cyclical, though, and I do see a gradual rise to a kinder world as the cycles repeat.

But we have to be ever-vigilant -- ugliness and the people who support it will always be around.

Not that anyone here on FJ needs me to tell them that! :D

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Well good for them, honestly. And agreed on how sad it is that 40 years later, things haven't changed all that much.

Totally unrelated personal six degrees of separation sort of trivia: my grandmother had Ned Beatty in her church children's choir. He's always been one of my favorite actors. He still cracks me up in Superman and I LOVED that he was in Toy Story 3.

Carry on.

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I remember back in the dark ages, that I went to a double feature. The first film was Clockwork Orange and the second was Deliverance. The thing is that people stayed for all the rapes in Clockwork Orange and when the male rape happened in Deliverance, half the audience left.

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I remember back in the dark ages, that I went to a double feature. The first film was Clockwork Orange and the second was Deliverance. The thing is that people stayed for all the rapes in Clockwork Orange and when the male rape happened in Deliverance, half the audience left.

That's really interesting. Yesterday, I was sitting on my couch, doing some things for work on my laptop and had the television on in the background. It was an old episode of What Would You Do, where they hire people to act out situations to see how the public reacts to it.

Yesterday, they were doing one on hazing. They started with men and the ones being hazed were dressed in adult diapers, had dog collars and leashes attached, were being plastic wrapped to poles and what seemed to be alcohol poured down their throats. Almost immediately people started intervening, telling those doing the hazing that if they didn't stop, the police would be called.

The following day, the did the same thing, but with women. The women being hazed were in shorts and bra tops for the most part. The women doing the hazing were writing slut, ugly, whore on the other women's bodies with marker, circling fat and giving them cruel names. They were also plastic wrapped to a pole and "alcohol" was poured down their throats. This time the public did worse than nothing. There were a number of men who gawked and the women passers-by actively participated by helping to give cruel names and writing on the women's bodies. It wasn't until one of the women being hazed was instructed to cry did anyone start to stand up for them.

It makes me wonder whether we're so used to seeing women being dominated over (I don't think that's the right word, but I'll go with it for now) in movies and tv that we've become almost immune to seeing a woman in distress. As in, our (general our) subconscious says "Yep, ok, that makes sense." But, when we see a male in the same type of situation, our (again, general) brains can't compute. Social order being thrown to the wind, chaos reigning kinda thing.

It's quite disturbing and certainly something we, as a society, need to be working to change.

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I remember back in the dark ages, that I went to a double feature. The first film was Clockwork Orange and the second was Deliverance. The thing is that people stayed for all the rapes in Clockwork Orange and when the male rape happened in Deliverance, half the audience left.

The rapes of men and women are portrayed very differently on film. In Deliverance, the focus is on the victim and his pain. In the Accused, the gang rape of Jody Foster was almost pornographic--the focus was the males' excitement, and that seems to be the case for most scenes.. In the early 1990s I worked on a project and we needed a film in which rape ( of women) wasn't glossed over/glamorized in some way. All I could come with was Two Women.

Maybe the new films are better. I applaud the Deliverance people, but yahoos will always see the rape of men as different than that of women (I actually had one male tell me that the act itself is appalling to men, which is why rape is so much more horrible for men, while as "the act" is not disgusting to women, rape is not so serious--more like sex when you're not in the mood. And that was an educated guy in NYC.

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I worked in a movie theatre when The Accused came out. I worked there for 4 years, and I think the only movie that had more walk-outs was Dead Ringers.

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Deliverance was practically shot in my backyard; by that I mean that it was filmed on the Chattooga River which borders Oconee County, SC, Rabun County, Georgia and a little of Jackson County, NC. Ellicott Rock is midstream and all three states meet there -sort of our version of Four Corners. The river has some great Class III and IV rapids a bit downstream which is where the movie was filmed.

My brothers, my sister and I went to see the film t the old Astro Theatre in Greenville. We sat on the first row and you felt like you were going to drown for much of the movie.

I think it's wonderful that the director wanted to make a statement about rape. I wish I'd seen that interview (Hell, I wish I'd been at the festival!) but I'd watched The Runaway Jury, IIRC, on AMC while waiting for Mad Men. Should have watched They Live by Night instead.

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I have a love/hate relationship with this movie. I loved the actual movie and hate that it makes people think that they have to vigilantly guard their backsides from all us inbred redneck Southerners :lol: I've never seen Ned Beatty in another movie that I didn't think about that scene, and squirm a little. It did show that rape is violent and humiliating, and is definitely about power not just sex.

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One summer in high school i worked at a overnight summer camp, I think it was between my junior and senior year. Since it was easier to stay there over the weekend, on saturdays somebody would go into town and get a video to watch for the evening. Well one weekend we watched Deliverance and honestly i dont think anybody really knew what it was about besides guys camping in the woods, it freaked alot of people out, including myself. There was this one girl who was crying so hard, we thought she was going to tell somebody and we were all going to get fired. To this day if my parents mention that movie, I still pretend ive never seen it before.

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I remember back in the dark ages, that I went to a double feature. The first film was Clockwork Orange and the second was Deliverance. The thing is that people stayed for all the rapes in Clockwork Orange and when the male rape happened in Deliverance, half the audience left.

Wow. That's heart-rending.

I think that Deliverance reached some people with the message that rape is monstrous, but not everyone. That's probably why the people involved still talk about that being one of its themes, to remind us.

I found this quote, from early in the film, when Reynolds' character is trying to talk the others into going down the river with him before there is no river:

"Because they're building a dam across the Cahulawassee River. They're gonna flood a whole valley, Bobby, that's why. Dammit, they're drownin' the river...Just about the last wild, untamed, unpolluted, unfucked up river in the South. Don't you understand what I'm saying?...They're gonna stop the river up. There ain't gonna be no more river. There's just gonna be a big, dead lake...You just push a little more power into Atlanta, a little more air-conditioners for your smug little suburb, and you know what's gonna happen? We're gonna rape this whole god-damned landscape. We're gonna rape it." -- Lewis (Burt Reynolds)

So they did touch on the way people carelessly throw around the word "rape."

I looked at the IMDb boards for the movie this morning. Now, IMDb boards are often well-populated by assholes of all types. But there is a particularly bizarre kind of asshole on that board -- several people who post over and over (and over -- one of them started more than 40 threads like this :evil-eye: ) about the rape scene, making jokes that aren't funny (by which I mean they just don't work as jokes -- even if the subject wasn't shocking, they wouldn't be well-constructed jokes), calling it a love scene, talking about how Beatty's character was irresistible, how he wanted it, how he and the "mountain man" are now dating, etc.

A very strange obsession.

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I worked in a movie theatre when The Accused came out. I worked there for 4 years, and I think the only movie that had more walk-outs was Dead Ringers.

Your comment prompted me to look up Dead Ringers and from the description the movie sounds terrible. Jeremy Irons as identical twin gynecologists, the more aggressive one passing off patients he's "seduced" to his brother without telling them. More passive brother abuses drugs and alcohol and has delusions about "mutant women" with strange genitalia. Ends with

one twin disembowled and the other dying in his arms.

Imagine my surprise when I scroll down to find the movie was critically well-received. :wtf: Is it better than it sounds? It seems like some awful B movie.

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Your comment prompted me to look up Dead Ringers and from the description the movie sounds terrible. Jeremy Irons as identical twin gynecologists, the more aggressive one passing off patients he's "seduced" to his brother without telling them. More passive brother abuses drugs and alcohol and has delusions about "mutant women" with strange genitalia. Ends with

one twin disembowled and the other dying in his arms.

Imagine my surprise when I scroll down to find the movie was critically well-received. :wtf: Is it better than it sounds? It seems like some awful B movie.

It's directed by David Cronenberg, which is the tip-off that it's fucked up. But it is a good movie, if you liked fucked up movies.

Beverly and Elliot (the brothers) are based on real people, I think.

It's full of creepy imagery, and lots of loving shots of the gynecological instruments that the brothers invented. I haven't seen it since it was at my theatre, but when it was there I saw parts of it a lot. We had to go into the houses to check on the temperature and stuff, so I was always in and out. There's a scene where one of the brothers has Geneviève Bujold tied up with surgical tubing while they have sex. I saw that scene a lot. :?

My manager gave me the poster when the movie left the theatre. I still have it, but it's not on display.

Do not watch the movie if you have a fear of doctors, or hospitals, or medical procedures, or are scheduled to go for a pap smear anytime soon.

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