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Encyclopedia > Lawn Dogs

Lawn Dogs (1997) is a controversial film dealing with class relations, or possibly an even more controversial film dealing with pedophilia. Although filmed in Louisville, Kentucky in the U.S., Lawn Dogs is a British film produced by Duncan Kenworthy. It was directed by John Duigan and screenwritten by Louisville native Naomi Wallace. It stars Sam Rockwell and Mischa Barton. This is a list of film-related events in 1997. ... Louisville redirects here. ... Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... Duncan Kenworthy is a British film and television producer, and co-founder of the production company DNA Films. ... John Lawless Duigan, (born June 19, 1949 in Hampshire, England) is a film director. ... Sam Rockwell (born November 5, 1968 in Daly City, California) is an American actor who has received consistently strong critical acclaim for his work in 40 plus films including Box of Moon Light, Galaxy Quest, The Green Mile, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and The Hitchhikers Guide to the... Mischa Anne Marsden Barton (born January 24, 1986) is an English-born American film and theatre actress and former child fashion model, who, despite her early successful film career is arguably best known for her role as Marissa Cooper on the popular Fox television teen drama series . ...

The term "lawn dog" refers to someone who mows lawns, and the main character, Trent Burns (Sam Rockwell), is doing just that when he meets a lonely 10-year-old girl-dreamer, Devon Stockard (Mischa Barton), who comes from a wealthy bourgeois family that has deliberately isolated her. Trent lives in a trailer in the woods, and Devon lives in a walled-off compound (see gated community) with security guards at the end of the street. Bourgeois at the end of the thirteenth century. ... Entrance to a guard-gated community (Paradise Village Grand Marina Villas, Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico). ...

They strike up a friendship, which is later completely misunderstood by the townspeople, who begin to suspect that Trent is a child molestor (ironically one of his adversaries is, but Trent is not). More importantly, he is resented as a dirt-poor working-class man corrupting a "respectable" child from an upper-middle class family.


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Lawn Dogs interrogates, criticises and subverts the values and behaviours of middle class America. It is a scathing satire on the monetarily rich but morally bankrupt, materialistic, competitive and paranoid behavior of the bougeois. Image File history File links Circle-question. ...

It deals with themes such as - Marxist ideas of middle class exploitation - Hierarchy within modern America - Security is frivolous because threats are from within, not the outsider - The culture of violence will lead to the eventual downfall of America - Love and compassion are being sacrificed for reputation and power in our modern society - The level of one's wealth gives no indication of one's real worth - The capitalist 'dog eat dog' world has lead to a corrosion in the American moral fabric - Wealth and material possessions are no substitute for traditional parenting and compassion.

These themes are communicated through narrative elements, such as characters who embody sets of values, narrative techniques, and filmic codes ( symbolic/audio/technical)

Values and Attitudes

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Values are embodied in characters, and how we respond to the characters indicates the intended response to the values and attitudes. Duigan both draws on the values of the audience (Middle-Class America) to ensure he does not isolate them, but at the same time challenges them to make the film a memorable experience Image File history File links Circle-question. ...

Lawn Dogs denounces capitalist values of perfection, reputation and wealth through creating the repulsive Stockards, Devon's parents. They are willing to go to any length to increase their social status, even if it means isolating their daughter. Devon is sent to sell charity cookies to the neighbourhood, especially to those 'on the school board', to which understandably rebels against. Yet when she doesn't sell the cookies, her parents are not worried about the charity not receiving money, rather '...It would be a shame if some other little girl got their face in the paper'. Most disturbingly, when an older boy, Brett, puts his hand up Devon's shirt her parents choose to overlook this because Brett's father is the vice president of Maxitaw Kentucky'. Devon's reaction to this is echoed by the viewer as she regurgitates her dinner, disgusted and disturbed at her parents trivial wavering of her claim. Brett, incidentally, is sleeping with her mother.

From a variety of films such as Edward Scissorhands to Far and Away, the dissection of modern middle class America has been an issue which gets to the heart of dis-topia. More recently, television programme like Desperate Housewives and Weeds, have eluded to a dissatisfaction at the hollowness of community within these gated communities. In the film this is contrasted to the loving, if economically strained, relationships between Trent and his trailer living parents. One scene in particular highlights the regard between classes, when Trent's mother makes Iced Tea, using the 'better' glasses. In a previous scene Trent was given a glass from 'underneath the sink' to drink water out of. However, perhaps this says more about regard towards fellow humans and how class difference has eroded the basic civil respect between citizens of a variety of backgrounds. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... DVD cover Far and Away is a 1992 drama film directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. ... This section does not cite its references or sources. ... Weeds redirects here. ... In its modern form, a gated community is a form of closed community, characterized by a controlled entrance for pedestrians, bicycles, and automobiles, usually staffed by full-time, private security guards, that leads into one or more small residential streets, with walls or fences surrounding the perimeter of the entire...

The relationship between Trent and Devon is peculiar yet not entirely unfeasable given the kookiness of Devon's personality (shaped immensely by her cotton wool upbringing attributed to poor health in early childhood) and the subsequent dissatisfaction of both their domestic lives. While there is injustice from the perspective of the viewer about Trent's mis-labling as a child molester, it is worth noting the sensitive nature of this issue as a whole. In which case, the perpetuators of violence towards Trent -given the circumstantial evidence even without current prejudices- cannot be seen from a dichotomous 'good vs bad' point of view.

  Results from FactBites:
While most male dogs will hike their leg and mark once they are over a year of age, a few will continue to squat when urinating, which is more common in female dogs.
Dogs that are being obedience trained should not be trained with treats on the lawn during this housebreaking or pets and reward systems can really become confused.
Dog owners who actually note that their dog’s urine is no longer causing lawn burn, without having made any changes, should have their dog examined by their veterinarian and a urinalysis performed to make sure there are no medical conditions causing this change.
  More results at FactBites »



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