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On Sunday night, Melania Trump spoke at the Ford Theatre’s annual gala, where she served as honorary chairperson. It was her first major public appearance after her lengthy, and still unexplained, disappearance from the public eye this past month.
The strangeness of this saga reminds us just how much the workings of this administration resemble classic Hollywood thrillers such as Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes and Rebecca or George Cukor’s Gaslight — all mystery stories surrounding a dead or missing woman, and the desperate anxiety, even near-madness, experienced by another woman trying to solve the mystery, as she grapples with physical danger as well as the deliberate lies and misdirection of those around her. In its treatment of Melania’s disappearance, the Trump administration placed us in much the same situation. We desperately tried to make sense of chaos, to fill in the void of information that opened up around an absent woman.
Lot - Excitement - Films - Heroines - Lockwood
A lot of the excitement in watching these films comes from identifying with the baffled, imperiled heroines. Is Margaret Lockwood hallucinating or was her traveling companion really kidnapped? Can Joan Fontaine figure out what terrible fate befell her husband’s first wife, Rebecca? When will Ingrid Bergman realize she’s not losing her mind, but being “gaslighted” by evil Charles Boyer? As these characters race to make sense of chaos, so do we, dreaming up possible answers from clues provided by the movie.
To review briefly this cinematic enigma: Melania Trump enters Walter Reed to undergo, we’re told, a minor, normally outpatient, procedure for a “benign” condition, requiring — paradoxically — a one-week hospital stay. Although such a procedure would have been scheduled well in advance, the First Lady’s hospitalization was not announced beforehand, as would be customary.
Hospital - Spot - Melania - Aides - Scrubs
At the hospital, witnesses spot Melania’s aides dressed in surgical scrubs — another peculiarity that seems to...
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