Sunday, July 02, 2006

Devolved Standards

This has been a wonderful Tennessee Williams weekend. Watched The Roman Spring Of Mrs. Stone and Baby Doll - ended up loving the second movie. Without showing anything explicitly sexual, the movie manages to be highly erotic. The sensual gives way to comic relief seamlessly and without any loss of tension - a very odd and interesting genre.

By today's standards it would be considered pretty bland fare and would likely not merit even a PG rating. However, in its time religious organizations in America denounced it. Young audiences are so blasé today that the erotic suggestiveness of Baby Doll would escape them and in as such they would fail to appreciate Elia Kazan's artistry. It is like the palate's inability to appreciate the nuances of haute cuisine after being subjected to junk food for a long time.
Our standards of decency have probably devolved. We are so desensitized by graphic vulgarity that we are no longer titillated by mere suggestion. It was redeeming for me that I found Baby Doll as erotic as I did.

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