September 28, 2006

A chorus in the filmosphere: We hate Bush.

That's how I read the first paragraph of this Manohla Dargis movie review:
Is there something in the air, say, the stench of death and decline of empire, to have inspired the recent spate of films about imperial power? Fashionistas of course are already worshiping at the altar of “Marie Antoinette,” with its title bubblehead and hollow charms, while Forest Whitaker devotees are savoring the outrĂ© venality of Idi Amin in the rather too enthusiastically entertaining “Last King of Scotland.” Those who think more crowned heads should have rolled in the 18th century, in the meantime, can cozy up to “The Queen,” a sublimely nimble evisceration of that cult of celebrity known as the British royal family.

IN THE COMMENTS: Some purport not to get my point. George, however, does:
You could take the critic's lede sentence and rewrite it as:

"Is there something in the air, say, the manly odor of courage, to have inspired the recent spate of films about staying the course?"

Then you could mention The Guardian, the Kevin Costner Coast Guard movie, Flyboys about WWI aviators, Clint Eastwood's Iwo Jima flick, and the three or four recent football movies.

15 comments:

JorgXMcKie said...

And I'm supposed to care about 'Fashionistas' why?

downtownlad said...

The trailer for Marie Antoinette looks really good.

downtownlad said...

Then again, any movie that uses New Order in its soundtrack has to be good . . .

Eli Blake said...

What does this have to do with Bush?

Sorry, I don't get it.

I suppose there will be those who will see a Bush hater behind every rock and tree in the movie industry, but I just don't see anything here about Bush.

Revenant said...

cozy up to “The Queen,” a sublimely nimble evisceration of that cult of celebrity known as the British royal family

The fashionistas' ongoing mission:

To rehash strange old comedies!

To reuse old plots and characterizations!

To boldly go where John Goodman has gone before!

Palladian said...

"Marie Antionette" looks like a piece of trash, at least as far as the period details and the performances. What a great film it might have made, especially using Antoinette's story as a metaphor for the destructive vapidity of celebrity and decadence, and the toll that misguided revolutionary impulses take from human society. But it's probably just going to be an excuse for the powder-nosed fashion whores to hang lace and toile on their skeletal frames.

I also hate the tiresome strategy of using anachronistic pop music in a period film. Ok, Sophia, we get it, you're hip and ironic. Did we really need an MTV version of the leadup to the French Revolution? I'm hoping the pop music was only for the trailers.

Revenant said...

I also hate the tiresome strategy of using anachronistic pop music in a period film.

It worked well in "A Knight's Tale". But that's about it.

rightwingprof said...

"Forest Whitaker devotees"

They exist? That's really frightening, kind of like Pee-Wee Herman devotees.

George said...

You could take the critic's lede sentence and rewrite it as:

"Is there something in the air, say, the manly odor of courage, to have inspired the recent spate of films about staying the course?"

Then you could mention The Guardian, the Kevin Costner Coast Guard movie, Flyboys about WWI aviators, Clint Eastwood's Iwo Jima flick, and the three or four recent football movies.

Pffffft....

BJK said...

Why would you write something like that without mentioning the top two 'Down with Bush' movies coming to market.

1) The Jon Stewart for President movie starring Robin Williams, and

2) "Death of a President" You know...the film where they ask 'what would happen if someone shot and killed President Bush?' Not just a fictional President, but the actual office-holder.

Richard Dolan said...

A chorus not just in the filmosphere. And it's all just a rerun of the "we hate Reagan" chorus of 25 years ago. That lede could just as easily have been written then (many versions of it undoubtedly were).

David said...

The comment about "toxic tribal formations" is telling. It appears that Dargis, without a hint of irony, overlooks how the movie industry treats power within it's own insular community when writing about power projection outside.

The old saw "Question Authority" seems not to apply to them but for them. First ammendment rights are fine for them as long as those rights support their world view.

The movie I look forward to is the one where the Hollywood establishment is shown eviscerating itself in the face of sharia law forcing changes in the entertainment industry in India and Indonesia.

That the war on terror ultimately provides protection to the film industry, for one, is lost on them! It has died out with the aging and deaths of those stars who served in the military during WW2 and Korea and provided an example of the quiet strength that is a direct result of self-sacrifice for a higher ideal.

We could use the manly and womanly odor of courage (Nice, George) instead of the noisy yapping dogs of Hollywood barking at the hand that feeds them!

PatCA said...

Dargis is a very good writer, but unfortunately embraces a philosophy as reasonable and thoughtful as Noam Chomsky's. The LA Times was too small a pond; she ended up of course shrieking in the NYT. She hates Western civilization and all its accoutrements: royalty, popular culture, Texan presidents, the military, the "puppyish" Blair (why not just say it, he's Bush's poodle!).

As the real imperialist threat to the world reveals itself, the demi-world of Dargis' imagination will wither. The chorus will rise in futile anger, and the end I fear will not be pretty.

Christy said...

Speaking as a Forest Whittaker devotee and as someone who thinks living in Pee-Wee's Playhouse sounds fun ....

Anyone see the second episode of Studio 60...? When the writers were pitching skit ideas, they were one after another all Bush-bashing skits. Not funny ones either. I got the impression Sorkin is bored with Bush-bashing. Anyone else?

Alcibiades said...

We Hate Bush was the subtitle of every review fo Manola Dargis I ever read, which is why I'm not reading them anymore.

Yeah, I also saw the second Studio 60, but I didn't get the impression that bashing Bush is now considered boring. I'm sure we will get to it in time.

He did manage to bash the Drudge report, bloggers, pajamas media as talentless people who think they have the status to challenge people who are real successes, etc.

There's also the ironic anomoly that he's writing about writing a cmedy show, but so far, no comedy.