Monday, January 29, 2007

DDC: Developmentally Disable Cinema

I recently ran across an article on called Top Ten Movie Retards. Now, I'm not claiming to be any kind of a subject matter expert on the developmentally disabled in cinema but it is something of a hobby of mine. I really have to call TheShiznit on some of their choices. One of the characters they chose never got on screen (GARDEN STATE) and one of them is just pretending to be retarded in a film that rips off "South Park" (THE RINGER).

Years ago someone (I think it was Chris Gore) proposed that there be a film festival in Park City, Utah every year called "Tard Dance" where films old and new with developmentally disabled characters. It would have kicked off with the embarassing THE OTHER SISTER (Garry Marshall, 1999) and would have gone from there. I'm not sure if it would have included autism films in the fold (there was a spate there with Michael Lessac's HOUSE OF CARDS and Bruce Beresford's SILENT FALL) in the early '90s. I'm also not sure if it would have covered TV movies as Anjelica Huston's RIDING THE BUS WITH MY SISTER would have been perfect. Mickey Rooney as TV's BILL (Anthony Page, 1981) was a classic as well.

Anyway, TheShiznit is missing out on intentionally exploited, unintentionally funny, and heartbreakingly sincere portrayals of DD characters by overlooking Cuba Gooding Jr's titular RADIO (Michael Tollin, 2003), Debra Winger's Martha Horgan in A DANGEROUS WOMAN (Stephen Gyllenhaal, 1993) and Tom Hulce's Dominick from DOMINICK & EUGENE (Robert M. Young, 1988). They need to redifine their terms a bit better and rethink this list because, as it stands, it's just retarded.

Addendum: While also a grey area, TheShiznit should have given consideration to the badass Downs Syndrome killer, Jimmy Szaragosa (John Talor) in THE SEVENTH SIGN (Carl Schultz, 1988).


Anonymous said...

I nominate ARNIE GRAPE, the best performance DiCaprio ever turned in.. (with the AVIATOR coming a close second, of course.. he wasn't a retard... usually). But then what do I know?? I'm just a Puppy Wrangler.

Mike White said...

Luckily that was one role that The Shiznit recognized.

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