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Kaylin: #1 (Medical Model of Disability)

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Emily Boyer

on 11 February 2013

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Transcript of Kaylin: #1 (Medical Model of Disability)

Chapter 16
Eng 220 Disability Umbrella term referring to: mental, physical, emotional, and or developmental conditions. Medical Model of V.s. Social Model of
Disability Disability Changing Attitudes
Genetic or Biological Conditions
Seeks to Understand Causes
Focus: Individual's Impairments Function of the Interaction
Between Individual and Society
"Who gets to decide what is considered "normal"?" Freak Show Era American Cinema is Born Freak Shows banned by mid-twentieth century
Continued to have a lasting impact on the trademarks in Horror Films
Initiated new Contemporary Trend... Representing people with disabilities in films as living and breathing human beings, complete with all the joys and sorrows of so-called "normal" or able-bodied people Disabled People In Early American Film (Actualities) Curiosities and Freaks
Create Comedic Situations
False-Cripple Disabled People in Horror Films Freaks (1932 Disabled People in Crime
and Horror Films •Exploited disabled people “freaks” as obsessive avengers AND•(Like the medical model of disability, represents them as fairly well developed human beings with their own feelings and desires. Obsessive Avenger
Well-Developed Human Beings Little People Roles Spooks Run Wild (1941)

The Corpse Vanishes (1942) Breaking previous stereotypes, disabled characters are more recently being portrayed as complex and human individuals.
These films are not explicitly about their characters disabilities.
Instead they focus on showing that the individuals are deeper than their surface disability. Recent Trends The Station Agent (2003) Independent Film
Stars Peter Dinklage, an actor with Dwarfism.
About a little person who is a train-enthusiast trying to get away from society, but instead finds solace in unlikely friends.
Great portrayal of a disabled person who isn't defined by his ailment.
Highlights the idea that everyone has their own problems and outlooks on life and a simple label of definition doesn't suffice. Disabled Characters The choice to use an able actor to play a disabled role is much more popular one.
There is a trend where lead actors in these roles tend to win Oscars.
For example:
Tom Hanks - Forrest Gump
Al Pacino - Scent of a Woman
Dustin Hoffman - Rain Man
Daniel Day-Lewis - My Left Foot Some films dealing with disability have been critiqued as ableist.
Ableism means discrimination against people with disabilities.
For example, Million Dollar Baby (2004) has been criticized for having ableist themes by suggesting that suicide is preferable to quadriplegia. Disability in Dumb White Guy Films - The Farrelly brothers - the films show the characters' lives outside of their disabilities
- Dumb & Dumber; Me, Myself, and Irene; Kingpin; There's Something About Mary; The Ringer
-Do they exploit disability? Or try to normalize it?
- Often use actors who actually have disabilities for supporting roles
- What is it that audiences are laughing at? The circumstances the people with disabilities are in, or the people themselves? The Ringer (2005) - Johnny Knoxville enters the Special Olympics pretending to be intellectually disabled
- Features several supporting actors who are disabled
- Received endorsement from Special Olympics officials The Disabled and the Happy Ending Veterans Tragic Victims self-reliant Post-WWII Social Problem Films also began to depict happy endings for the disabled in other types of films Johnny Belinda (1948)
The Miracle Worker (1962) examples: More recent example: Forrest Gump (1995) Depictions of the Disabled Obsessive Avengers
Tragic Victims
Sweet Innocents
Saintly Sages Romanticism of the disabled "Counter-cultural metaphor" films example: Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon (1970) Social Model of Disability examples: The Elephant Man (1980)
Mask (1985)
Children of a Lesser God (1986) as Comic Relief example: The Ringer (2005) Sweet Innocents: Stereotypes of a disabled woman or child as a saintly uncomplaining figure meant to be pitied. Cinematic Stereotypes of the Disabled Tragic Victims: Stereotype of an embittered disabled person, often associated with anti-war movies in which disabled veterans are used to dramatize the high cost of war. Noble Warrior Stereotype of a wounded veteran who takes his (or more rarely her) disability in their stride; often found in pro-war movies
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