Malle may change things. The gifted French filmmaker dealt compassionately with adultery The Lovers , incest Murmur of the Heart and child prostitution Pretty Baby. In Damage, he puts a touchingly human face on sexual obsession. Jeremy Irons plays Stephen Fleming, a doctor turned member of Parliament.
His wife, Ingrid Miranda Richardson , and her influential father, Edward Ian Bannen , are pushing him toward high office. Damage - Louis MalleSynopsis, Characteristics.
Find trailers, reviews, synopsis, awards and cast information for Damage - Louis Malle on AllMovie - Adapted from Josephine Hart's spare novel by. He is Armstrong, a lower-tier reprobate who is a kindred piece of casting to the bouncing, bow-legged cocaine factory owner portrayed for a couple of scenes by John Leguizamo. While content is a little Catlateral Damage has received far too much negativity from the entertaining light-hearted nature of the game. The undeserving poor deserve little, perhaps just enough to sustain life, perhaps not even that.
The undeserving poor today are included within the label of the underclass Jencks The underclass, however, is not limited to the poor. Gangsters and hustlers, for example, may earn good money, and yet be counted among the underclass. What matters is that, like the undeserving poor, they quite openly reject mainstream values and virtues, and in this sense, may seem to live apart from general society, outside or beneath its class system.
Elias has described how violent spontaneity in table manners, bodily functions, sexuality, and fighting gradually receded since medieval times behind a curtain of shame, transforming the very idea of proper behavior. In place of this earthy hedonism, we have been socialized in self-control, becoming sensitive to the sensibilities of our fellows.
The underclass seems somehow to have evaded what Elias called the civilizing process. It is not that the underclass is indifferent to shame; on the contrary, its orientation is very much toward shame and not guilt , but shame is conceived in terms of a quasi-medieval code of honor that would redress loss of face through impulsive, ferocious retaliation -- which, of course, invites further retaliation.
The consequences of shame, therefore, are precisely the opposite of what Elias found see also Fletcher. Are they the playthings of larger forces too powerful and insidious to overcome, like racism Massey and Denton or the movement of entry-level jobs from the inner city to the suburbs Wilson More 41? Or are they, possessing significant autonomy to manipulate the world around them, responsible for their own plight Mead? Its members serve as a tangible, cautionary example of the wages of sin, and thus give society at large a common foe to unite against.
In this way, paradoxically, the underclass contributes to the maintenance of social order. The underclass also carries with it a profound, legitimizing power. After all, if losers did not seem to question the rules of the game, they must be fair enough. Moreover, by insisting on the importance of excuses to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, the concept of the deserving poor refuted charges of heartlessness by providing opportunities for acts of sympathy and mercy. As targets of charity, the deserving poor are occasions of virtue.
Relatedly, since we tend to see in others what we want or expect to see and to be guided by stereotypes, we may interpret experience to match our preconceptions — and movies may be significant in this regard to the extent that they help to shape or reinforce our preconceptions. What upset it was race. The early turn of the 20th century underclass movies were often populated by immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe, who were typically demarcated into races that fell awkwardly between white and black Jacobson.
It is the image of the underclass as mainly an African American phenomenon that distinguishes it from the underclass of the Depression. This newer image may probably be dated to the War on Poverty and the urban riots of the mid s that exploded across the nation: in cities on the decline like Detroit and cities on the rise like Los Angeles , in conservative cities like Birmingham and liberal cities like New York. From there were more than riots, resulting in deaths, 12, injuries, and billions of dollars in property damage -- all conveyed in headlines and bulletins, public speeches and private conversations that continued week after week, month after month, year after year.
Street crime also zoomed, with murder, rape, and robbery rates leaping from That the scholarly and popular media appear clearly to have exaggerated the racial component in the underclass Alex-Assensoh is beside the point, for it was perceptions that affected policies, politics, and the movies about them.
Similarly, the decade saw the sharpest wage gains by black men relative to white men, due mainly to the decline in legal racial discrimination Donohue and Heckman.
Yet the old maxim that a bad regime is most vulnerable, when it begins to try to reform itself may be apposite for by discarding traditions, it may generate hopes, expectations, and feelings of entitlement that will go unsatisfied, and so feed resentment, alienation, and rage. Thus, the happiness gap between the races during this period was much greater than the income gap would suggest, particularly among the young Stevenson and Wolfers , Conservative intellectuals, meanwhile, pointed to West Indians, Asians, and other minorities, who through hard work had risen to prosperity, implicitly indicting African Americans for their failure to progress see Sowell.
The old undeserving poor who had been mocked as shiftless became the new deserving poor who were denied the opportunities and experiences from which motivation springs McCord et al. Malcolm X, Claude Brown, and Piri Thomas, among many others, were lionized, not for overcoming their underclass roots but for parading them, and thus establishing an authenticity that white radicals could only envy.
The underclass thus ceased being misfits, predators, or losers and instead, relieved of sin, became members ex officio of the class of unjustly treated victims. It did not seem to have occurred to the defenders of the underclass that to be fixated on the elevated status of others is to be dominated by them.
Bush, a neoconservative argued that the unrestrained individualism celebrated by the s counterculture infected segments of the poor with a scorn for marriage and work that proved devastating Magnet.
Though critics replied that these cultural critiques neglected far more important economic and racially discriminatory factors, they were unable to dampen the interest in cultural factors. The interest in culture generally was extended to popular culture.
Heretofore widely dismissed by intellectuals as lowbrow, it began to be analyzed and critiqued with a respect reserved for the classics Horowitz , and much of what seemed authentic, creative, and emotionally powerful was produced by African Americans. Worse, it denied the underclass its revolutionary role to instruct society on its injustices and to provide a model for resistance. Thus did a new deserving poor arise on the Left to challenge the old. Each was poor and outside the economic market; the relative surplus population was moral, wanted to work, and retained its class consciousness; the lumpenproletariat, on the other hand, was immoral, did not want to work, and would join with any class that would offer to buy it off.
Meanwhile, the old deserving poor, now revealed as ignorant dupes, were hardly worth discussing, except to note that their docility served the interests of their oppressors Piven and Cloward. The politicization of cultural matters, pursued by both the Left and the Right in the s, was now pursued almost entirely by the Right, as the Moral Majority and other evangelical groups became major electoral and issue forces. By creating perverse incentives, Murray claimed, the programs were hurting the poor and transforming them into the underclass; ridding the poor of programs intended to help them would help them to help themselves.
Other writers echoed this call, sometimes arguing that the answer was spiritual see Olasky. By the end of the Reagan era, the underclass had become a scandal du jour, or, to be more precise, a moral panic. Fears and fantasies brought on by the anxiety of social change are amplified by the media and other moral entrepreneurs, who scapegoat the moral deviants as folk devils.
Exploding street crime and the trauma of the urban riots of the s and s had marked the African American underclass as enraged, explosively violent, unimaginably threatening. Yet the profound and undeniable facts of slavery, segregation, and discrimination also meant that this feared class possessed an immense moral advantage, and could not simply be answered with condemnation. Inarguably, they had been treated unjustly and shamefully.
Urban riots, with their action, violence, and potential for powerful narratives, generated no studio productions.
Notwithstanding its potential for narratives of uplift and corruption, dramatic and comedic, welfare was rarely in evidence. That these and related topics were at the time so widely discussed would seem to have guaranteed substantial audiences. In time, however, once the threat of the urban underclass receded, it could appear more fascinating than dangerous, and regain its place as an important Hollywood genre.
It was The Warriors , however, that has continued to generate the greatest interest. The characters, however, are entirely cartoonish, and so the question of what formed them never arises; their underclass status is simply a given. Movies targeted at African American audiences had often urged blacks to imitate white customs and manners; these movies were typically produced by white-owned companies and shown at white-owned theatres.
Both the most famous silent film, Birth of a Nation , and the first major talkie, The Jazz Singer , featured white men in black face. At the same time, in dissonant counterpoint, white audiences were flocking to Dirty Harry and Death Wish — plus their numerous sequels — where dehumanized urban, often black criminals came to experience justice through extravagantly extrajudicial means.
It was not that viewers were unfamiliar with all this; rather, they had never seen it so vividly and aggressively displayed in movies. Because they brazenly celebrated conventionally anti-social behavior, they came under feeble attack from members of the African American establishment see Griffin. In any case, by the mids, the brief blaxploitation vogue was over, and Hollywood seems to have concluded that the subject of the urban African American underclass was exhausted.
On the cover of Newsweek, interviewed on television and in magazines, Lee was immediately established as a black wunderkind, articulate, outrageous, smart, charismatic, and angry.
In focusing on one street on one day, Lee revisited the synecdoche of a microcosm employed in classic New York movies of an earlier era, specifically, Street Scene and Dead End Lee does not pretend that all these people are alike under their different colored skins. Nor does he paint them as so many good guys and bad guys. Instead, his characters, like real human beings, are marked by a jumble of feelings and beliefs. Though he retains a fondness for the pizzeria owner for whom he worked, his heart lies with the black rebellion.
The other African American characters reveal no such conflicted emotions, laying aside their differences in order to unite in violence against the whites. Racial categorization, which had favored whites, now punishes them. Doing the right thing, the film seems to conclude, entails overcoming inhibitions and joining in acts of racial solidarity, even if they are violent — at least if you are among the oppressed.
The street is more a social center, lively and interesting, than a locus for urban pathology. In all this could be heard the echo of the blaxploitation movies of years earlier, but these new films were far more ambitious in purpose and serious in execution. Its members may do bad things, it is true, but the real culprit is society, racist, unequal, and unfair. Underclass behavior, therefore, is not merely excused; it is praised, for there is something heroic about it.
Yet the films draw back from the last step of the radical critique, the call for revolution. Events had revealed this to be childish and futile. Countless everyday encounters with police and bureaucrats were taken to underscore the irrefutable fact of their hostility or indifference. Even anti-poverty programs, often seen as stingy, demeaning, and intrusive, could not escape attack though even when they fail to reduce poverty, they may improve physical and mental health and subjective well-being [Ludwig et al.
Other programs with fine sounding rationales, like zoning or building codes, also had perverse effects, for example, discouraging residential construction, and thereby raising rents, exacerbating crowding, and limiting good paying jobs. But if the industry was thinking chiefly in terms of economics, the directors had a larger goal in mind. They had African American stories to tell to a world that they believed had heard far too few of them.
Which emphatically is not to say that the point was to educate whites, but rather to present the African American experience to any who would come to view it. Collectively, the films comprised nothing less than an homage to the underclass. Though its members might fight among themselves, they constituted a true community of the spirit, a community brought together by a common foe: voracious, vicious, hypocritical, mindless, evil racism.
Other slum residents, unable to see through the innumerable misleading messages from the media, advertising, public officials, and schools, might succumb to false consciousness. As a consequence, they are not mere hoodlums or criminals. Instead, their words and deeds must be seen as part of a struggle to right wrongs as much as to enrich themselves. The underclass are soldiers in a race war, activists in a social movement.
In the abstract, it is not obvious that the effects of ghettoization need be harmful. Separatists have argued that, under the proper circumstances, it can enhance feelings of power, solidarity, and pride, and conduce to ideological thinking, cooperation, and self-help see Tyner.
If the ghetto includes persons of different strata, this heterogeneity may provide role models, stoke ambition, and offer a variety of goods and services otherwise unobtainable. Real life problems, however, intrude to overcome these apparent advantages: ghettos physically separate residents from middle class society, from good jobs, and from quality public services, heightening destructive peer pressures and nasty stereotypes. For these and other reasons, ghettoization leaves its residents seriously worse off Cutler and Glaeser.
Directed by twenty-three year old John Singleton, the film begins in South Central Los Angeles, circa , and follows the story of three friends, who grow from boyhood to manhood on the same street, surrounded by the same people. However different the paths, each rests on an individualistic notion of self-help. Doughboy and Ricky are doomed: their surroundings will overwhelm and defeat them. It is only the how and why that are problematic.
Will a trifling slight provoke a murderous response? Will an accident prove fatal? Tre, torn between loyalty to his friends and ambition to escape, flees the ghetto and survives.Instead of defending an old moral order or championing Ali kemal okyay thesis spell and without moralizing. The other African American characters reveal no such conflicted emotions, laying aside their differences in order to unite in violence against the whites. Yet the underclass movies, especially the Hollywood studio movies, were no more anti-capitalist than were the Mao jackets of the same period.
What upset it was race. Underclass behavior, therefore, is not merely excused; it is praised, for there is something heroic about it. No harm should come from the NC rating ruckus. The feminist challenge to take control of their own lives and renounce victimhood leads the women to violent crime. Notwithstanding its potential for narratives of uplift and corruption, dramatic and comedic, welfare was rarely in evidence.
Other programs with fine sounding rationales, like zoning or building codes, also had perverse effects, for example, discouraging residential construction, and thereby raising rents, exacerbating crowding, and limiting good paying jobs.
Neither victims of racism nor its enemies, these white youths seem entirely unmoored from all considerations of social justice. Yet for moviemakers the specific etiology of urban poverty remained unclear. Thus has the function of class been turned on its head. Enterprises are attracted by the promise of increased productivity from economies of scale in production and easy access to labor, markets, and financing , and workers are attracted by better pay and more secure employment made possible by the increased productivity and the presence of multiple employers.
Why, then, the interest over the past two decades? Each was poor and outside the economic market; the relative surplus population was moral, wanted to work, and retained its class consciousness; the lumpenproletariat, on the other hand, was immoral, did not want to work, and would join with any class that would offer to buy it off. Thus did a new deserving poor arise on the Left to challenge the old. His wife, Ingrid Miranda Richardson , and her influential father, Edward Ian Bannen , are pushing him toward high office.
In a classic robber-baron entrepreneurial fashion, he eliminates the middleman, undercuts the competition, and maximizes his market share, all the while leveraging his blackness, which earns him adulation in Harlem at the same time that it induces the racist police repeatedly to underestimate him. Commercial success is an indicator that the movies resonated widely with the public; critical acclaim points at exerting influence on future movies. The environment is blamed not for making them underclass but for foiling their efforts at escape. Moviemakers were not policy makers. The underclass, however, is not limited to the poor. Tocqueville had argued that Americans would prefer equality to liberty.