June 11, 2009

The movie "Bruno" should play with a big disclaimer: "This is intended to expose homophobia."

The folks at the Human Rights Campaign "strongly feel that Sacha Baron Cohen and UNIVERSAL PICTURES have a responsibility to remind the viewing public right there in the theater that this is intended to expose homophobia."

Really, why are people even allowed to see movies? God knows how they might interpret them. I knew this one guy one time who saw a movie and concluded that it could be understood on multiple levels. Moviemakers have the obligation to nip that sort of mind-wandering in the bud. Channel us, please!

29 comments:

Sy said...

Here is a question. How many homophobes will actually pay $10-$14 to see Bruno? Hell, not even "regular" folk will see the movie.

Pogo said...

Why bother with a disclaimer?
The correct view should be compulsory.

The Soviets wielded huge control over society by randomly declaring certain works showed insufficient ideologic correctness or were deemed outright subversive.

Some were, of course, but you never knew if you were entirely right, because it was intentionally made impossible to comply.

In PC, it's the uncertainty that you have demonstrated complete obedience sufficiently that keeps you in line.

It's their genius.

Smilin' Jack said...

From what I've seen of this Bruno character, I expect this movie will create more homophobes than it exposes.

Maguro said...

Cohen's favorite BRUNO scene is said involve the comic strutting around ultra-orthodox streets of Jerusalem in short-shorts and Hasidic black hat.

Would love to see him try that trick in Gaza...I might even pay to see it.

Salamandyr said...

Now let me get this straight; Sascha Baron Cohen and the studio has a duty to remind people that it's those redneck Southerners, Christians and orthodox types who are the proper target of ridicule, not flamboyant gays? Is that about right?

We wouldn't want to get caught ridiculing the wrong people now would we?

Beth said...

Before we begin, I must ask you to understand, I DON"T REALLY WANT YOU TO EAT THE IRISH BABIES! But go on, now. Enjoy. And be enlightened.

Chase said...

Beth - reminds me of the Shel Silverstein poem:

Someone ate the baby it's rather sad to say
Someone ate the baby so she won't be out to play
We'll never hear her whiny cry
or have to feel if she is dry
We'll never hear her asking, "Why, why, why?"
Someone ate the baby

Someone ate the baby it's absolutely clear
Someone ate the baby 'cause the baby isn't here
We'll give away her toys and clothes
We'll never have to wipe her nose
Dad says, "That's the way it goes."
Someone ate the baby

Someone ate the baby, what a frightful thing to eat
Someone ate the baby, though she wasn't very sweet
It was a heartless thing to do
The policemen haven't got a clue
I simply can't imagine who would go and (burp) eat the baby

Bissage said...

Would some kind of disclaimer really be so terrible?

They could model it after the certification provided by the American Humane Association.

“No lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered persons were harmed in the making of this motion picture.”

Who wouldn’t feel good about that?

Jason (the commenter) said...

When are the HRC going to have a disclaimer saying their main goal isn't to help homosexuals, but the Democratic party?

Marcia said...

Well played, Beth

gaywrites said...

Of course I can't really give my opinion until I see the movie (and I'm not sure I will). But my initial reaction is that I'm not convinced the intent of Bruno is to expose homophobia as HRC presumes. Even if Universal has said or were to say "generating awareness about homophobia" were even a secondary goal of the movie, from what I've seen from the previews, there's a chance this all becomes pretext for continuing to use gay stereotypes to make jokes.

I think a message of "exposing homophobia" is lost when the main character not only becomes a mere parody of any coherent representation of homosexuality, but also presents that persona in situations with people who are presumed by the audience to be homophobes anyway. When you build a character predicated on the behaviors of a very small group of people and then try to expose the biases of another very small group of people, the larger message of "homophobia" seems to be reduced to something that only really flamboyant or effeminate gay men experience, and reduced to something only practiced by people in the South or the very religious.

"Exposing homophobia" to me seems to be a serious enough endeavor that someone who actually cared about generating awareness would not risk misinterpretation by using satire or comedy.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

This is going to be a blockbuster (I predict at least a $40 million opening), and people will see it because they like to laugh at flamboyant ridiculous gays as well as homophobic religious nut jobs. I have no problem with this.

Smilin' Jack said...

This is going to be a blockbuster

I doubt it. I'm not going to see it, and my name is Legion.

Just out of curiosity, though, how flamboyant does a gay have to be before it's not homophobic to laugh at him? Does, say, Adam Lambert meet the test?

Pogo said...

I'm not going to go, because I might be laughing for the wrong reasons.

John said...

How is what Cohen is doing to homosexuals any different than what a minstral show does to black people? If a white guy made a movie where he went around in black face acting out every stereotype about black people, could he escape criticism by saying his point is to expose racism? I don't think so.

If I were a gay man, I would want to punch Cohen. He makes gays look like clowns and re-enforces every bad stereotype about them. I really don't see the humor in it.

John said...

I suppose Borat was supposed to show people's xenophobia. In reality, the people in the movie went out of their way to be nice to Cohen. All the movie really exposed is the fact that Cohen is an asshole. I suspect this movie will expose that a whole lot more than it exposes any homophobia.

Palladian said...

How can it be an expose of homophobia? The premise is to purposely, maliciously disrupt social norms and standards of behavior and decency and film the results for profit. If you slap someone in the face and they give you a beating is it because you're gay (or black or foreign or whatever) or is it retaliation in anger over being slapped in the face?

Ann Althouse said...

I've seen all the Bruno episodes on Cohen's HBO show, and I think he's exposing political correctness and anti-Semitism as much as attitudes about homosexuality. People indulge Bruno (as they did Borat), and he says and does outrageous things that they should object to. It's funny to see how much they go along with. They indulge him because he's a foreigner and he's doing a TV show, and they think they are doing one thing when it's really something else. They want to look good on TV, and they think maybe this is how Europeans and/or gay guys think and talk. Next thing you know, they are going along with positive statements about Nazis and so forth. It's fascinating.

John said...

"They want to look good on TV, and they think maybe this is how Europeans and/or gay guys think and talk. Next thing you know, they are going along with positive statements about Nazis and so forth. It's fascinating."

Fascinating is one way putting it. Exploitive and gross would be another. Let me ask you Ann: what should the people in his skits do? If they are polite, they wind up agreeing with or implicitly condoning really outragous things. But if thye confront Cohen they run the risk of looking like jerks or worse racist. I don't see how they can do anything and not come off looking bad. Indeed, that is Cohen's game: to put people in impossible situations. I don't think it is fascinating at all. Cohen is just loathsome.

Palladian said...

"Next thing you know, they are going along with positive statements about Nazis and so forth. It's fascinating."

For how long?

Palladian said...

"This is going to be a blockbuster (I predict at least a $40 million opening), and people will see it because they like to laugh at flamboyant ridiculous gays"

Hence your popularity here. Sweetie.

Smilin' Jack said...

It's funny to see how much they go along with...It's fascinating.

It only seems fascinating until you realize how much funnier it would be to see them beat the crap out of him. Then it only seems disappointing.

John said...

"It only seems fascinating until you realize how much funnier it would be to see them beat the crap out of him. Then it only seems disappointing."


I would love to see some big redneck grab him, beat the crap out of him and then stick his head in a toilet repeatedly saying, "now son we don't act like that around here, you understand?". Or a group of leater glad biker gays beating the shit of of him for giving gays a bad name.

knox said...

It only seems fascinating until you realize how much funnier it would be to see them beat the crap out of him.

...but not as funny as seeing David Letterman get the crap beat out of him. I might pay to see that.

L. E. Lee said...

The problem with this kind of humor is that it gets dull real fast. The comedian that is substituting shtick for comedy needs to keep upping the ante in order to keep the audience's attention. At some point it is just old hat. Cohen is getting pretty close.

L. E. Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

"At some point it is just old hat. Cohen is getting pretty close."

He's going to have to start shooting people.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

A tree hasn't fallen in the woods unless it's told you so.

Methadras said...

Isn't it just awesome of moronic leftists to tell want to tell the viewing audience of how they should think, feel, respond, and even behave when they see a movie like this? Hello. Ima Borat!!