litical status quo under the guise of reform.rnPresident Clinton cannot claim tornbe a reformer by acquiescing to a congressionalrndesire to rig elections. Ratherrnthan “reinvent” government, Congressrnand the administration appear set tornreinstate themseKes as our goerningrnelite.rnSteven Schwalm writes fromrnWashington, D.C.rnMetaflicksrnby David R. SlavittrnJurassic ParkrnProduced by Kathleen Kennedyrnand Gerald R. MolenrnDirected by Steven SpielbergrnScreenplay by Michael Crichton andrnDavid KoepprnReleased by UniversalrnThe FugitivernProduced by Arnold KopelsonrnDirected by Andrew DavisrnScreenplay by ]eb Stuartrnand David TwohyrnReleased by Warner BrothersrnRobert Warshow, one of the bestrncritics of film we ever had (all seriousrnmoviegoers should read his collectedrnessays, The Immediate Experience), wroternthat the most difficult thing about reviewingrnmovies is “admitting that yournwere there.” I thought I understood thatrngnomic pronouncement 30 years agornwhen I realized, one dreary morning in arnManhattan screening room where I satrndrinking coffee, nibbling on a Danishrnpastry, and watching Annette Funiccllorncavort in some beach party movie, thatrn. . . I was enjoying myself. One way orrnanother, I would have to contrie a wayrnof admitting that.rnBut I have been reconsideringrnWarshow’s reviewers’ koan, because Irnhave come to understand that it is morerncomplicated than I thought—perhapsrneven more complex than he thought.rnThe trick)’ word is “there.” Where? Thernobvious answer is in the theater (orrnscreening room) up on the screen, whererna work of art is filtering down throughrnthe enlivened motes in the air from thernprojectionist’s booth behind us.rnBut the moviemakers know better.rnThe movie, the big moxie anyway, isrneverywhere, in the snippets we see onrnthe Tonight Show, or in the trailers andrnads, or even on the giveawav noveltiesrnat MaeDonald’s. A big movie floatsrnthrough the ether, and much of its transactionrnoccurs before the patron has enteredrnthe theater. The producers and thernwriters have bet millions of dollars onrnthe accuracy of their reading of ourrndreams, which is what thev are manipulatingrnand selling back to us, and abovernand be}ond the commercial hype therernis a kind of Jungian collective unconsciousrnon which the movies draw and tornwhich they also of course contribute.rnIn the case of two of the commerciallyrnsuccessful hlms of this past summer,rnthe dream is easily definable, a clearrntheme on which the screenplay and therndirection were mere embellishments, hirnthe case of Jurassic Park, what we have isrnan elaborate revision of Frankenstein—rnwhich is to say, an expression of the ordinaryrnperson’s suspicion (and resentment)rnof the arrogance of scientists andrnintellectuals. On the one hand, there isrnthe scientists’ belief in progress; on thernother, there is our eommonsense understandingrnof the inexorabilitv of the operationrnof Murphy’s Law. Something willrngo wrong. The clumsy assistant will producernthe wrong brain, or the venal andrndisloyal assistant will—most implausiblyrn—turn off the electrical fences andrnthe computerized security devices.rnThen there’s carnage, which is the faultrnof the oerweening pride of these guys inrntheir white coats. And then order is restored.rnSpielberg’s film is not ver’ interesting,rnnot even very amusing to watch.rnThere are a few impressive special effects,rnbut those don’t sustain our attentionrnfor more than a few minutes. But torntalk about what was up on the screen isrnto miss the movie’s presence, a strangernphenomenon that ranged up and downrnthe cultural scale from the Dino-sizedrnfries and the Jurassic Park souvenirs forrnthe kiddies to pompous intellectualrnpieces in prestigious journals—likernStephen Jay Gould’s in the New York Reviewrnof Books, which tells us not tornworry, that you can’t really graft strandsrnof dinosaur DNA into frog embrvosrnand produce a triceratops. (Who reallvrnthought so?) There was even an op-edrnpiece in the New York Times to explainrnthat Crichton’s book and screenplayrnhadn’t allowed enough time for animalsrnof such size and tonnage to have maturedrnfrom these manipulated ova and tornha’e reached their fighting and maimingrnweights.rnThe bothersome part of it, though, isrnat the other end, the lucrative world ofrnthe kiddie toys, tie-in books, and sou-rn’enirs. The Jurassic Park souvenirs arernlike trinkets from the Titanic, after all.rnAs the film makes clear, the park is arndisaster and is destroyed. But the kidsrnmostlv don’t know this, or they oughtn’t.rnI was pleased to hear that one of my childrenrnhad gone to check out the movie tornsee whether it was too violent for hisrnseven-year-old son (and he decided thatrnit was—even gratuitouslv so, mentioningrnin particular the shot in which the fleeingrngirl feels a hand on her shoulder,rnthinks it means that she now has an allyrnand savior, but then discovers it to be arndiscarded morsel from one of the technicians:rnan altogether cheap and contrivedrnhorror-show gesture). Many parents,rnI should expect, made such arnjudgment. The}’ mav have been able tornprotect their children from the movie,rnbut there was no way on earth that the’rncould shield them from the metamovie.rnIn I’he Fugitive there is the memory ofrnthe television series of the 1960’s…. Butrnno, not just the 60’s, for the scries andrnDa id Janssen’s Dr. Richard Kimble arernstill running on A&E every afternoon atrnfour o’clock Eastern time, as energeticallyrnand absurdly as ever. With the passagernof the years, the show seems woefull’rnclumsy; each program begins with arnteaser, a small snippet from the climax,rnand there is crudely intrusive narration tornexplain to us what they have alreadyrnshown us vividly enough. The dream—rnor nightmare—which is hardly subtle, isrnthat the government, the Establishment,rnDECEMBER 1993/49rnrnrn