December 4, 2017

"I'd like to read what Althouse has to say about this year, of all years, Hollywood preparing to celebrate 'Call Me By Your Name' about a 24-year old man and a 17 year old teenage boy."

Writes MayBee (in the comments to the post about James Levine).

In my pre-Meade days, I saw a lot of the end-of-the-year Oscar-bait movies, so I don't know much about things after 2008, but in December 2008, I wrote:
I'm seeing all the well-reviewed year-end movies, and there's an awful lot of wrong-age sex. "Doubt" is about a priest accused of molesting children. "Benjamin Button," with its backwards aging character, had scenes of an old man in love with a young girl and an old woman in love with a toddler. "The Reader" had a 36-year-old woman seducing a 15-year-old boy. "Milk" had a man in his 40s pursuing relationships with much younger (and more fragile) men. "Slumdog Millionaire" shows a young teenage girl being sold for sex. I say that Hollywood is delivering pedophiliac titillation with the deniability of artistic pretension.

39 comments:

tim maguire said...

Like most guys, I suppose, I hardly notice these things, but my wife has ruined many a perfectly good movie by ranting about the old man hooking up with the young woman. She's loving Netflix these days because of the number of Netflix originals that let middle aged women have romantic story lines.

n.n said...

First, it was women and boys. Now, it's men and boys. They have been working relentlessly to close the age gap, but they are outside the evolutionary envelope. I wonder how many people think it's a good idea to rush adolescence.

Lewis Wetzel said...

I am surprised Althouse hasn't commented on the way Hollywood butchered Benjamin Buttons. The short story made an entirely different point than the film.

traditionalguy said...

Just re-Gerrymander the age of maturity back to to 14 for criminal culpability and for sexual consent jailbait boundary. There. I fixed it.

AReasonableMan said...

I say folks are buying pedophiliac titillation, with the deniability of artistic pretension.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

traditionalguy said...

There. I fixed it.

Wouldn't help. They're artists, they must transgress ( at least according to their definition of art. ) It doesn't matter where you set the line, they will cross it. Crossing it is not an unfortunate happenstance, it is the entire point.

Levi Starks said...

They’re walking the edge of a razor.
They are our moral compass.
Enjoy.

Ann Althouse said...

"I am surprised Althouse hasn't commented on the way Hollywood butchered Benjamin Buttons. The short story made an entirely different point than the film."

1. It's "Benjamin Button."

2. Did you look up the old post about the movie? Why would you be "surprised" that I wasn't going into detail now about a movie I saw almost 10 years ago?

Ann Althouse said...

Here's the old post about "Benjamin Button."

December 29, 2008

I saw the movie "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," about a man who is born old and grows younger.

Afterwards I read the F. Scott Fitzgerald story with the same title, and it seemed to me that we ourselves are living backwards, because the old story is crisp and unsentimental, and the new movie long, slow-moving, and nearly all soft edges. We younger ones are older.

Or, no. We like to think of ourselves as younger than the people who lived years ago, but we are the ones who live in an older culture. Even though F. Scott Fitzgerald would be terribly old -- 112 -- if he were still alive, he lived in a younger culture. So it's not backwards at all for us to be the ones who've gone all soft and sentimental.

Sentimental things that are in the movie but not in the story [spoiler alert]: baby Benjamin's mother dies in childbirth, his father is horrified by his old-man baby and abandons him on a doorstep, he's brought up by a kindly black woman, his love interest is named Daisy, he earnestly loves her all his life, she's a ballet dancer, she dances in the moonlight, she suffers a crippling injury, we see her as an old woman reminiscing and dying, there are churches full of histrionic black people, the Button family actually makes buttons, Benjamin sails the seas, Benjamin goes to Russia and to Paris, there's lightning, there's a hurricane, Benjamin carries his father down to the waterside to watch the sunrise, various characters philosophize about the transiency of life and the need to accept death, etc. etc.

Big Mike said...

Best movie of the year (so far) is "Wind River."

Sebastian said...

"I say that Hollywood is delivering pedophiliac titillation with the deniability of artistic pretension." Good on you to start The Reckoning early. What other forms of transgression, what other transvaluations of traditional values, now demand such a Reckoning?

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken B said...

More interesting is what she will say about Andrew Sullivan will say about it.

Yancey Ward said...

Althouse wrote:

"In my pre-Meade days, I saw a lot of the end-of-the-year Oscar-bait movies"

So, what is it these days- all monster truck shows? Just kidding. How has Meade changed your movie going?

Annie C said...

Yancey Ward said...
Althouse wrote:

"In my pre-Meade days, I saw a lot of the end-of-the-year Oscar-bait movies"

"So, what is it these days- all monster truck shows? Just kidding. How has Meade changed your movie going?"

Now that's an interesting question. Those of us who have followed Althouse pre and post Meade have, I'm sure, noticed some differences, but what are they?

SDaly said...

OT -

What does everyone think the Royal Family will do when it comes out that a certain royal fiancée used to be a high-priced call girl?

William said...

I can see who the market is for this movie, but why would anyone else want to see it?

rehajm said...

I always assumed Hollywood was trying to normalize.

William said...

Rant to follow: Get Out is getting a lot of Oscar buzz. The movie presents white people as cartoonishly evil. Really evil, the way Germans and Japanese used to be presented. In WWII movies. They say it's a satire. Maybe, but it's more a satire of black misperceptions of white people than the other way around........Also, The Big Sick gets mentioned. It's the story of a Muslim comedian's romance of a white American. It's an ok movie. The families of both the comedian and his girl friend are presented in a sympathetic light. Well and good. There is one drunken frat boy in the audience who gives the comedian a hard time because of his religion. Also well and good, but why is it impossible to show a Muslim in an unsympathetic light. Muslim societies produce far bigger assholes than drunken frat boys, but it would be impossible for a filmmaker to present them on screen.

bagoh20 said...

Next up: we get to self-identify as any age we want. Presto change-o, no more pedophiles. Besides if you accept reincarnation, we are all old enough for anything.

bagoh20 said...

Wait a minute. If we can self-identify as any age, then we can all be victims of pedophilia. Ahhhh, sweet victimhood at last. I shall milk you like a fat cow.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rockport Conservative said...

I have not watched movies for many years. So call me set in my ways. I determined years ago that I did not want to support the lifestyles of the so called rich and famous, or the view of life they promoted and portrayed. Call me conservative, call me an old fuddy duddy, but I think recent events have proved me right. I quit watching the sitcoms on TV about 1997 when I started watching House Hunters and that type show. Now I seldom watch it. While I have friends who are gay I do not really agree to gay marriage. Partnerships are fine but I find now HGTV seems to be promoting the married gay lifestyle. It turns out I really am an old, grumpy, countries going to hell in a handbasket, conservative. So be it.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

gay marriage. Partnerships

Transgender marriage is one thing. However, political congruence ("=") is another Pro-Choice solution. A consistent resolution would have been unions for all: couples, couplets, and whatever. Instead, the social liberals created yet another moral hazard through selectivity and avoidance. No Judgment, indeed. And, Too Many Labels.

Static Ping said...

Hollywood seems focused on two kinds of movies these days:

1. Oscar bait that has no audience.
2. General audience films that no one wants to watch because they are not very good.

And so we get same-sex borderline pedophilia as a serious Oscar candidate.

This all signifies a dying industry. It does not have to die. Cinema still produces great products from time to time. However, Hollywood is so corrupt at this point on so many levels, that the normal solution to this situation would be to burn it all down and see if anything grows back.

John said...

Bringing a high price call girl into the royal family can only improve it.

I view crack whoredom as more respectable than being a British royal.

Why would any American agree to marry into that family?

John Henry

MadisonMan said...

I am interested in the Oscars this year only as to how the winners address the Elephant in the Room that is Harassment.

My guess is they'll all ignore it, except for its relationship, if any, to Trump.

Phil 3:14 said...

I saw "The Florida Project" and I loved it. My wife hated it.

As for the sexual message, the movie does a good job addressing sexual desire/perversion without being explicit.

Willem Defoe is great in the movie (and the only recognizable actor)

MayBee said...

Thanks, Althouse!
I don't disagree with you at all.

I read this Slate review about the age gap. Slate. They seem to sidestep any controversy by saying this is about real love, and not just a sexual attraction on the part of the older person. Also, because the younger person is coming to terms with his sexuality, that makes it less offensive.
Which is to me just excuse-making.

MayBee said...

MadMan- hahaha exactly.

Sigivald said...

I'm gonna repeat that "possibly statutory rape, or maybe just completely legal" is not the same as "pedophilia".

The latter term does not meant "wanting to b@ng people under 18", never has, shouldn't be used for that - because it cheapens the awfulness of actual pedophilia.

("24 year old wants to b@ng 17 year old" wouldn't be illegal even if consumated, in most states, since the more common age of consent is 16.

And it's certainly, definitionally, not pedophilia unless there's something horribly wrong with the 17 year old such that they're still pre-pubescent.)

Static Ping said...

Sigivald, I agree that in the technical sense that what the film displays is not pedophilia and, in all probability, not even illegal if it were real. That said, the entertainment industry likes to play this sort of game. If you read about some of the more "interesting" forms of Japanese entertainment, there will be stories with a couple of teenagers in love. The girl will be repeated described as 18, except she looks like she's 12 with the exception of the massive breasts. The guy will be so generic that he can be pretty much any age you want him to be: 15, 27, 40, whatever. "All characters are 18 or older." Yeah, sure they are. The screenplay says they are 24 and 17? The first edition was probably more than 44 and 15 or 57 and 11.

The film sounds like an erotic fantasy for older homosexuals who like to pick up teenagers for romps and then discard them. Hollywood has plenty of those among the wide variety of other perverts that run the place.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

17 and 24? That's not illegal, not even anything to be ashamed of. In my case it was 17 and 21. So is my husband of thirteen years now a pedophile, because I wasn't 18? I don't believe that, and I do not believe the people saying so believe that either.

MayBee said...

MDT- I don't think its pedophilia, but the age of consent is 18 in:
Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin

So in Hollywood, the 24 year old seducer could end up on the Sex Offender Registry for the rest of his life.

I don't think a movie with an older male and 17 year old female would get awarded this year. Do you?

Ann Althouse said...

“Now that's an interesting question. Those of us who have followed Althouse pre and post Meade have, I'm sure, noticed some differences, but what are they?”

I’m interested. What have you noticed?

steve knoche said...

Next year it will be a relationship between a 50 year old man an a 9 year old and within a few years from that it will be consensual sex between 4 year olds and the local Nambla chapter.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, I can tell you what I've noticed.

You seem to get out more. My impression is that there are more pictures taken and posted of outdoors scenes. Possibly I'm wrong, because I only discovered you early in 2008. But I think Meade gets you out of the house and doing more adventurous things.

I think you always strove to be fair and balanced, but prior to Meade your view of the non-liberal side was more of a strawman created within the triple echo chamber of a very left-of-center law school faculty (note that you were regarded as the token conservative merely for giving conservative views a fair hearing), which was inside the echo chamber of a very left-of-center college campus, which was inside the echo chamber of Madison. So what you thought the conservative position was could sometimes be a strawman based on what your very left-of-center milieu thinks the conservatives think. With the coming of Meade you seem to have a better picture of what the conservative position is.

Note that I'm not saying that you have moved to the right. In fact I suspect that many, probably a majority, of your posts take a conservative position only to force people to think about an issue that otherwise seems open and shut from a left-of-center perspective. But I think you do have a better handle on what the conservative position on a controversial issue really is and prior to Meade you had no in-house sounding board to find it.

James said...

I have been thinking about this lately. The sexbot business is a growth industry. There should be no legal ramifications from having sex with an android. They are not a living thing. Personally, I think its not natural, but that's never stopped anybody. However, some SJW will try to extend "human rights" to a non-living automaton. We've already seen Saudi Arabia give citizenship to a robot (Saudi Arabia! WTF?) Now, here's my question: What will happen when they create underage robots for that special perversion?Androids that look like 8 year olds. Given the absurdity of the law in the West, how do you think this will go? I mean, sexbots is going to make large stacks, so there's that. People are already beyond self-righteous now. What will this trigger in the stupid?