Download e-book for kindle: Motherhood Misconceived: Representing the Maternal in U.S. by Heather Addison, Mary Kate Goodwin-Kelly, Elaine Roth
By Heather Addison, Mary Kate Goodwin-Kelly, Elaine Roth
First selection of essays on cinematic motherhood.
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Extra info for Motherhood Misconceived: Representing the Maternal in U.S. Films
There’s a high-speed pursuit . . Ends here and then this execution type deal. I’d be very surprised if our suspect was from Brainerd . . ” Marge’s assessment of the evidence serves as proof of her professional abilities at the moment that she offers it, precisely because the audience has already witnessed the actual criminal events and we are able to corroborate her story in our own minds. But immediately after accurately deducing the specifics of the homicidal events based on what she sees, Marge grimaces and bends over in a gesture that seems to echo her reaction to the site of some of the homicide victims.
7 The filmmakers’ unease with this social scenario is literally and finally sounded in the film’s closing moments. Marge, having just solved the triple homicide case, is pictured embracing Norm while talking with him in their bed. The diegetic sound records their contented refrain “just two more months,” while the non-diegetic sound underscores the film’s anxious focus on Marge’s state of maternity, playing the film’s mournful theme song that has been transformed into a haunting lullaby. The film’s obsessive preoccupation with Marge’s physical and physiological condition, manifested in its representation of her enlarged body and her excessive eating and vomiting, read not as “harmless humor” or “mere entertainment” but rather as the film’s (or filmmakers’) own anxious response to the cultural phenomenon that this character, simultaneously dangerous and in danger, represents.
He must therefore be able to control his own fertility, by which we can assume he would generally use a condom for contraceptive purposes. Remembering that Thrill appeared at a time when discussions about the increased availability of the pill and diaphragm were rife throughout the media, the film’s insistence on Beverly’s reproductive system being subject to Gerald’s control appears as an act of almost hysterical nostalgia. The Thrill of It All can thus be seen to emphasize the importance of male control both of motherhood (Gerald determines how many children his wife will have, and when) and of female sexual agency, using Gerald’s status as an obstetrician to disguise the fact that it is his gender, not his professionalism, that gives him the right to decide when Beverly will conceive and, as another incident when he turns down her advances shows, MOTHER’S DAY 37 even have sex.
Motherhood Misconceived: Representing the Maternal in U.S. Films by Heather Addison, Mary Kate Goodwin-Kelly, Elaine Roth