Saturday, 16 October 2010

Fried Green Tomatoes Excuse me, did we see the same movie?

Fried Green Tomatoes
Excuse me, did we see the same movie?

i like the title.

- being inform to watch by my supervisor

when we are talking about cannabalism.

why? dunno

done watching at you tube

go to this site

from Jump Cut, no. 39, June 1994, pp. 25-30
copyright Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media, 1994, 2006

In a culture that tends to line up for movies starring muscle bound men named Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, FRIED GREEN TOMATOES has turned out to he the little movie that could. The movie grossed $25.4 million by its second month of release, not had for a film that cost $11 million to produce (Fox). Critics have praised FRIED GREEN TOMATOES' sepia colored depiction of life in the rural south, and surprisingly in a town that favors babes, bangs and blood, the film copped an award from the Writer's Guild for best screenplay based on material from another medium (Weinraub C21).

Based on Fanny Flagg's novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, the film is a story within a story of Southern female friendship and love. The movie opens when Evelyn Couch, an unhappy housewife, meets tip with Ninny Threadgoode, a resident of a nursing home. Ninny begins telling the story of Idgie and Ruth, two Depression-era women who love each other, raise a child together, befriend African Americans and run the Whistle Stop Cafe. Not your typical blockbuster.

But the film managed to attract mainstream audiences despite the absence of testosterone-driven action. The National Review's movie critic called FRIED GREEN TOMATOES

"a modest American film that can be enjoyed by adults and children, natives and foreigners, feminists and male chauvinists, Southerners and even Yankees who never so much as saw let alone ate, less than a rubicund tomato" (45).

Ironically, for someone who sees the world in terms of black and white, the reviewer left out two fairly conspicuous pairs — African Americans and whites, and straights and gays. Maybe that's because rather than dealing with race and relationships honestly, the film attempts to appeal to whites' attitudes about blacks and to straight peoples' attitudes about same sex partnerships.

As for the racial issue, Flagg said when she adapted the book for film, she intended to show a

"different side of the South, because most literature and film about the South are either about poor white trash or faded Southern aristocracy" (Keough E3).

Obviously, she was only interested in correcting the negative stereotypes of whites, for the film carries out Hollywood's tradition of depicting blacks as good Negroes, loyal, devoted and harmless (Roffman and Simpson 15).

Correcting the erroneous stereotypes of Southerners wasn't Flagg's only intention though; she also planned to show the affection that existed between blacks and whites. "People don't realize how much love there was — and still is between the races," she added, remembering her grandmother's stories about how blacks and whites pulled together during the Depression (Clendenin 14). But the film fails at this attempt as well. The Black perspective of these friendships is missing, although not surprisingly so. As William Alexander Percy, a Mississippi planter, wrote in his 1941 autobiography, Lanterns on the Levee,

"It is true in the South that whites and blacks live side by side, exchange affection liberally, and believe they have an innate and miraculous understanding of one another. But the sober fact is we understand one another not at all" (Goldfield 4).

What Percy is describing is the result of racial etiquette that produced a

"stage Negro [which] inured whites to the suffering of Southern Blacks" (4).

Although whites were able to express their familiarity with Blacks, Blacks were required to refer to Whites as "sir" or "maam," positioning themselves in a humble manner that

"would make a white comfortable in believing that this deferential mien was not only right, but the way things ought to be" (3).


Arar, Yardena. "TOMATOES stirs up a story within a story." Los Angeles California Daily News, February 9, 1992:D5.

Clendenin, Dudley. "FRIED GREEN TOMATOES Uses Southern Ingredients. New York Times December 29, 1991:14.

Curb, Rosemary. "FRIED GREEN TOMATOES." LCN Express 9.2 (1992):4.

Daniell, Rosemary. Fatal Flowers. New York: Holt, Rhinehart and Winston, 1980.

Dawes, Amy. "FRIED GREEN TOMATOES." Variety, December 23, 1991:C3.

Ebert, Roger. "Performers outdo script in GREEN TOMATOES." Denver Post, January 10, 1992:D8.

Flagg, Fannie. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1988.

Fox, David. "GREEN TOMATOES: Why a Little Film Bloomed." Los Angeles Times, February 10, 1992:D2.

"FRIED GREEN TOMATOES." The National Review, March 30, 1992:44.

Goldfield, David, Black White and Southern: Race Relations and Southern Culture, 1940 to the Present. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1990.

Hartinger, Brent, "Instinctive Response." Outlines: The Voice of the Gay and Lesbian Community. March 1992:28.

Holmlund, Christine. "When Is a Lesbian Not a Lesbian? The Lesbian Continuum and the Mainstream Femme Film." Camera Obscura, 25-26 (1991):l45.

Jacobs, Tom. "Tomatoes tells story of feisty individualism." Los Angeles California Daily News, December 27, 1991:A13.

Keough, Peter. "Southern fried movie flies a feminist flag." Chicago Sun Times, January 5, 1992:E3.

LaBadic, Donald. "Friend's life in a shoehox inspired Flagg." Commercial Appeal, January 10, 1992:B1.

Lewis, Anne. "Two 'really, really good friends.'" The Washington Blade, January 17, 1992:45.

Lynch, Lee. "What 'living in exile' is about." The Washington Blade, May 15, 1992:47.

Maslin, Janet. "Women Finding Strength in Women," The New York Times, December 27, 1991: C3.

Murphy, Ryan, "TOMATOES' appeal: Give women, and South, their due." Miami Herald, January 12, 1992:D13.

Roffman, Peter and Bev Simpson. "Black Images on White Screens." Cineaste 13.3 (1984) 15.

Rich, Adrienne. "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence." Blood, Bread and Poetry, New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1986.

Russo, Vito. The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies. New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1987.

Smith-Rosenberg, Carroll. "The Female World of Love and Ritual: Relations between Women in Nineteenth-Century America." Signs 1.1 (1975) 1, 2, 8.

The Mob Still Rides, Commission on Inter-racial Cooperation, 1936.

Thibault, Diane. "Life Long Girlfriends." Xtra, February 21, 1992: 19.

Weinraub, Bernard. "Writers' Short List of Prize Films." The New York Times, February 13, 1992:C2

for scholarly review

1 comment:

maria emilia said...

This movie is great well worth watching. Was very successful in Brazil.