Essay 2: The World According to Garp According to Christianne Benedict

The following is a rough translation of an essay by Stefanie Schlüter of the Kunst der Vermittlung project. I used Babelfish and Google Translation to stitch together the most coherent translation I could manage; by no means perfect but hopefully you’ll get the idea:


Shooting Down Pictures # 940 (82)

Lingering before THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP (GARP, AND HOW HE SAW THE WORLD) (Director: George Roy Hill, USA 1982), I was a teenager late at night in front of the TV; due to the movie, I became a reader of John Irving novels. Christianne Benedict and Kevin B. Lee's video essay makes me equally curious, because I barely have more cinematic memories of THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP did. Memory rather of a symptom as to a picture: At that time I had gotten a notion of the fact that there are other stories to discover than those, which I had so far seen and had read.

A character in the movie is Roberta Muldoon, she is transsexual and is the center of the film about the film by Christianne Benedict. At this figure Benedict goes to the question of the representation of transgender in the cinema, and notes that Roberta is a rare phenomenon: "She is not a victim. She is not a prostitute. She is not a punch line. And she is not a psychopath "- what the stereotypes would be appointed to the cinema for the representation of transgender in store.

Christianne Benedict herself is transsexual, and when speaking about the cinema, which has a very personal, conversation-like tone has, she reaches several times into film history. As casually as a film fan passing examples of a striking lack of positive characters among transsexuals. In four contemporary films, which Christianne Benedicts regards again on the occasion of the video essay, transsexual protagonists are prostitutes: TODO SOBRE MI MADRE (ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER) (Spain / France 1999,Pedro Almodovar), MAUVAIS GENRE (TRANS-FIXED) (France / Belgium 2001, Francois Girod), WILD SIDE (France / Belgium / UK 2004, Sébastien Lifshitz) and 20 CENTIMETERS (France / Spain 2005,Ramón Salazar). On the other hand, along the movie clips from THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP the sympathetic picture of Roberta and show them in different roles - as a partner of Robin Williams, as a mother or an ex-football player.

John Lithgow, who plays the role of Roberta Muldoon according to Benedict as a kind of reparation for his woman murderer role in BLOW OUT (USA 1981, Brian de Palma), is nominated with this role for the Academy Award - and not only as an Actor / Actress in the treatment of a character between the sexes embodies.

According to Anne Benedict of Christ: "That was a very weird year at the Oscars." Anyway, what gender politics.