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Title: The cloak of incompetence : representations of people with intellectual disability in film
Authors: Callus, Anne-Marie
Keywords: People with mental disabilities
People with mental disabilities in motion pictures
Tropic thunder (Motion picture : 2008)
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Liverpool University Press
Citation: Callus, A. M. (2019). The cloak of incompetence: Representations of people with intellectual disability in film. Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies, 13(2), 177-194.
Abstract: At the half-hour mark of Tropic Thunder, Robert Downey Jr’s character Kirk Lazarus teaches Ben Stiller’s Tugg Speedman a lesson about Hollywood and the Oscars. Lazarus and Speedman, both actors, discuss Speedman’s interpre- tation of a person with intellectual disability in one of his films: Simple Jack. Lazarus argues that Hollywood does not like portrayals of people with intellectual disability that are too realistic. Taking this approach leads to actors going home “empty-handed” on Oscar night, he tells Speedman. In his argument, the key part of which is reproduced below, Lazarus refers to four films: Forrest Gump, Rain Man, Being There, and I am Sam. The portrayals of people with intellectual disability and the depiction of their lives in these films, and to a lesser extent in Tropic Thunder itself, are the focus of this article.
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacSoWDSU

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