obverse of the same coin and thus hasnthe same value. Second, the content. It isnremarkable that Dean London is so dismissivenof Missing. Costa-Gavras, thenman who also directed Z (1969), isnopenly an ideological enemy; he is anserious foe and should be addressed asnsuch. ThatMissingwas not a “box-officensmash” in the U.S. doesn’t mitigate thendestructive power of the movie. Thenfew, the elite, always form policies; thenmasses follow. Instead of coming to gripsnwith a serious foe, Costa-Gavras, DeannLondon launches into an attack on whatnare featherweights by comparison andnemploys techniques reminiscent ofnMarxist literary criticism: one part mindnreading (vide Marx and Engels on Bal2ac)nand one part metaphysical twisting of innocentnfacts. As I have covered four ofnthe five films Dean London lists innChronicles, my comments will be briefnThe attack on ET.: The Extra-Terrestrialnis the most astonishing. Certainlynthe film is open to interpretation. It is antestimony to Steven Spielberg’s abilitiesnas a filmmaker thatiJ T can support multipleninterpretations. Dean London’snmost serious problem is that it portraysngovernment officials as enemies to littlenaliens and little children: it is, he thinks,n”a snide swipe at… American authority.”nMy interpretation is somewhat simpler.nSpielberg is simply portraying the adultnas authority figure, a characterizationnthat is a convention in fairy tales. RemembernPeter Rabbit? That little brown creaturenwas chased by a very large man whonmade a particular noise as he walked, onenthat sent Peter scurrying. Peter knew thatnif he didn’t hop, he would be cut up for anstew or pie. I’ve yet to hear Peter Rabbitncharacterized as an antiauthoritariannstory, but there it is, with all of the elementsnof ET. Peter Pan didn’t want tongrow up because he knew that if he gavenup the magical ability to believe in feiriesnhe would become a humorless adultnwho would undoubtedly have problemsnwith films like The Wizard of Ozn(Dorothy as anarchist? Gore Vidal hasnraised the point of her possible seditiousnnature and his wit is notably lacking)nand ET.nThe female disguise seems to disturbnDean London most about Tootsie. Thenman in women’s clothing has had a longnand respectable history in the theater,nand because Milton Berle had a penchantnfor pumps doesn’t negate that history.nWhile the film does have a pro-E.R.A.nmessage. Dean London, I think, missesnthe point of the scene he offers as evidence.nIsn’t Hof&nan’s repentance actuallyna ploy? The woman he addresses isnone that he has been, correctly, lustingnafter throughout the film. His words arenones he knows will win her and thusnpermit him to ungirdle his hormones.nHis, it seems, is a variation on “But I reallynlove you” spoken in the backseat of ancar, not the feminist sniveling of an AlannAlda or Phil Donahue. As for GandhinLondonncontinued from page 46ninterplanetary angel? His adversaries,nhowever, conceal their eyes with inhumannmasks and their insensitive actionsnwith jargon-laden language. Whonare these pursuers of arbitrary law andnorder? NASA officials; yes, the samenpeople who brought you a step on thenmoon are now characterized as thenBrown Shirts of intergalactica. No wondernU.N. representatives thought thisnfilm was so noteworthy; it simply confirmedntheir vitriolic assumptions aboutnthe United States. This film is not only ansymbol of friendship across the solarnsystem, it is also a snide swipe at governmentnauthority generally and Americannauthority specifically.nIf £ T. is the United Nations film of thenyear, Tootsie is the E.R.A. vision of tomorrow.nWhat is ostensibly a five-minutentransvestite sketch for the old Show ofnShows has been converted by directornSydney Pollack into a statement for thenso-called women’s movement. DustinnHof&nan, who dresses in drag to securena part on a soap opera, comes to appreciatenhow badly women are manipulatednby chauvinistic men wishing to gratifyntheir egos at the expense of unwary fe­nnnand Solidarity: as far as I know, its “symbolicnacts and demonstrations” (e.g., thencross in the Gdansk shipyard and thengeneral strikes) have been most effective.nCommunist thugs can’t defeat peoplenwho wear pictures Of the Virgin onntheir lapels; thugs can crush those whonact in kind. Dean London is right andnwrong about The Verdict Correct in hisngeneral interpretation. His selection ofndetail is wrong. In cases when a searchnfor truth is being made, a search withnserious effects on human lives, isn’t itnpossible that the sanctity of a U.S. Postalnbox could be violated? Finally, the attacknon Garp: basically. Dean London isncorrect. But surely he exaggerates. Thatn”millions” wiU experience a sea changenfrom the interpretation of Irving’s garbagenis unlikely. Thousands, perhaps. Dnmales. Hoffman comes to see the wickednessnof his ways and, in a “tenderhearted”nmoment at the end, demonstratesnto a woman that he fully appreciatesnthe difficulties women face. Nevernagain will he flex his machismo psychenat singles’ parties; he has been converted.nAnother victory fOr androgyny; anothernsexist vanquished. Tootsie has done fornfeminists what Kramer v. Kramer did fornsingle-parent families. With the successnof this film another nail is driven into thencoffin of differentiated sex roles.nPerhaps the most successful artisticnaccomplishment of the year belongs tonRichard Attenborough and his filmnGandhi This is indeed a film of grandeurnwhich, in part, explains why it is sonpernicious. The photography and actingnare so compelling that one is tempted tongloss over the message. However, Attenboroughncan’t resist his instinct for didacticism.nAgain and again the viewer isnreminded that passive resistance works.nAs the screen version of Gandhi notes,n”Even in the case of Hitler I would practicenthese methods; for in the long runntyrants fell.” I should like to think Gandhinwas right about the “long run,” albeit thenjury is out on that question. But whatnMHM47nJune 1983n