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New Left Review I/220, November-December 1996


Elizabeth Wilson

A Note on Jumanji

Parents have a different experience of cinema going from the childless or ‘child free’: instead of the Art-Deco bar of the local art house, the cavernous spaces of the multiplex and a sense of having been magically transported to the United States as kids in baseball caps and clutching giant cartons of popcorn surge around the foyer. The film is likely to be Hollywood as well, and while in my academic teaching life the term ‘Hollywood’ conjures up dark visions of film noir, critically deconstructed Westerns and Hitchcockian degeneration, on my visits to the Holloway Odeon in North London it means over-the-top technology combined with reassuring comedy. Jurassic Park may have been an exception (though one that I thankfully missed), but The Mask and Jumanji offer high-octane energy, thrills and spills and everything coming out right in the end.

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