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The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood 
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
You can get any movie made. We're not talking about making movies. We're talking about Hollywood making movies--in other words, corporate-financed movies.

Green Zone, incidentally, is the perfect example of the kind of movie I'm talking about. Anti-war subject matter delivered in a package that couldn't be more pro-war if it tried.

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Sat May 25, 2013 12:49 am
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Ken wrote:
You can get any movie made. We're not talking about making movies. We're talking about Hollywood making movies--in other words, corporate-financed movies.

Green Zone, incidentally, is the perfect example of the kind of movie I'm talking about. Anti-war subject matter delivered in a package that couldn't be more pro-war if it tried.

How exactly was that film pro-war? :? I remember going on the threads for IMDB and a lot of people were calling it "liberal propaganda" so it hardly seemed "right-wing" to me.


Sat May 25, 2013 12:55 am
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
It sells war to the audience as an attractive, exciting lifestyle and an effective method of problem-solving. It's a 100% glamorous depiction of The Good Guy going in and shooting up The Bad Guys for the good of his country. It justifies the fighting and suggests the double-standard that fighting is only wrong if you're on the wrong side. Regardless of the pretext, that is a pro-war narrative. Period.

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Sat May 25, 2013 3:45 am
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Ken wrote:
It sells war to the audience as an attractive, exciting lifestyle and an effective method of problem-solving. It's a 100% glamorous depiction of The Good Guy going in and shooting up The Bad Guys for the good of his country. It justifies the fighting and suggests the double-standard that fighting is only wrong if you're on the wrong side. Regardless of the pretext, that is a pro-war narrative. Period.

Sounds like you saw a totally different film then I did.


Sat May 25, 2013 4:11 am
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Ken wrote:
And as long as I'm cleaning up on mini-topics, I don't cotton much to the theory of Hollywood left-wing bias. Yeah, we might have leftist movie stars, screenwriters, etc.--but the real players are some of the richest corporate heavyweights on Earth, and it shows. It shows in the white-washed casting. It shows in the aggressive cowboy/militaristic portrayal of physical conflict. It shows in the heteronormative view of interpersonal relationships. Earlier, I half-jokingly characterized big Hollywood productions as movies that talk like a liberal and blow shit up like a conservative. It might be more accurate to characterize them as right-wing movies that occasionally show up in left-wing clothing. The ideas preached on the surface might be leftist, but the underlying, more subversive side of it sells us a lifestyle very much in keeping with a conservative view of America.


You and I are in complete agreement. This is something I've considered writing about for my master's thesis. Working title: A Cinema of Conformity. How did Hollywood, once a place that took on daring, controversial topics and make good movies to boot, become so whitewashed, homogenized, and well...boring?

There should be a clapping emoticon for posts such as this. I could not agree more.

Everything about mainstream Hollywood seems so fake nowadays. Even when someone makes an edgy joke at the Academy Awards, it comes across as watered-down. Most contemporary film-makers are incapable of making a movie that truly questions the political and corporate status quo of modern-day America. Take Star Trek Into Darkness, a movie which I liked. I remember there being some discussion on the forums about the film's condemnation of drone strikes, extrajudicial killings, and preemptive wars. I noticed some of these themes while watching the movie, but I felt as if they ultimately took a backseat to the big action set-pieces that largely drove the movie forward. Throw in the fact that J.J. Abrams is a prime example of a mainstream Hollywood "liberal", and Star Trek XII is just another space opera that just so happens to touch on current-day political issues.

I would love to see Episode VII include a more diverse cast, but I doubt that it will happen. It should, however.

V for Vendetta is an excellent example of a movie that manages to think outside the box, but I would have liked to see it go even further. That said, it's still one of the more ambitious comic-book films in recent years.


Sat May 25, 2013 11:37 am
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Ken wrote:
You can get any movie made. We're not talking about making movies. We're talking about Hollywood making movies--in other words, corporate-financed movies.

Green Zone, incidentally, is the perfect example of the kind of movie I'm talking about. Anti-war subject matter delivered in a package that couldn't be more pro-war if it tried.


The same charges have been leveled at Black Hawk Down

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Sun May 26, 2013 8:11 am
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Vexer wrote:
Ken wrote:
It sells war to the audience as an attractive, exciting lifestyle and an effective method of problem-solving. It's a 100% glamorous depiction of The Good Guy going in and shooting up The Bad Guys for the good of his country. It justifies the fighting and suggests the double-standard that fighting is only wrong if you're on the wrong side. Regardless of the pretext, that is a pro-war narrative. Period.

Sounds like you saw a totally different film then I did.

You're not looking at the film hard enough. Sure, on the surface it might star Matt Damon, noted liberal bigwig, but in reality, it's just as much a film that romanticizes war.

Even when Hollywood attempts to make a serious "anti-war" film, it ends up looking pro-war.


Sun May 26, 2013 11:26 am
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Sean wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Ken wrote:
It sells war to the audience as an attractive, exciting lifestyle and an effective method of problem-solving. It's a 100% glamorous depiction of The Good Guy going in and shooting up The Bad Guys for the good of his country. It justifies the fighting and suggests the double-standard that fighting is only wrong if you're on the wrong side. Regardless of the pretext, that is a pro-war narrative. Period.

Sounds like you saw a totally different film then I did.

You're not looking at the film hard enough. Sure, on the surface it might star Matt Damon, noted liberal bigwig, but in reality, it's just as much a film that romanticizes war.

Even when Hollywood attempts to make a serious "anti-war" film, it ends up looking pro-war.

How do you know it's me who's wrong? ;) Maybe you and Ken are the one who aren't looking hard enough.


Sun May 26, 2013 12:31 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Vexer wrote:
How do you know it's me who's wrong? ;) Maybe you and Ken are the one who aren't looking hard enough.

How is that even possible? Both of us are looking beyond what the film appears to be on the surface.


Sun May 26, 2013 1:06 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Sean wrote:
Vexer wrote:
How do you know it's me who's wrong? ;) Maybe you and Ken are the one who aren't looking hard enough.

How is that even possible? Both of us are looking beyond what the film appears to be on the surface.

Well the film appears to be anti-war to me on the surface, I don't see how anyone could possibly interpret it as pro-war.


Sun May 26, 2013 1:25 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
In the case of Green Zone, it never explicitly takes the position that the Iraq invasion was wrong, only that the U.S. government's claims of WMD were wrong. Those are two different things. However, it should also be noted that critics on the right have called it anti-war and anti-American, and that praisers on the left have also called it anti-war. Green Zone touched nerves on both sides.

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Sun May 26, 2013 4:15 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
In the case of Green Zone, it never explicitly takes the position that the Iraq invasion was wrong, only that the U.S. government's claims of WMD were wrong. Those are two different things. However, it should also be noted that critics on the right have called it anti-war and anti-American, and that praisers on the left have also called it anti-war. Green Zone touched nerves on both sides.

Well said.
How about Lions For Lambs or Redacted? Would anyone call those films "pro-war"?


Sun May 26, 2013 6:13 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Anyone here seen Funny Games? Now there's a movie with an interesting message. That movie takes Hollywood's dominant ideology of "violent action as entertainment" and drops it on its head. The home invasion scenario in the movie could easily happen in real life. There are opportunities where good can triumph over evil, but each one is quickly shut down and the bad guys win.

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Sun May 26, 2013 7:20 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
KWRoss wrote:
Anyone here seen Funny Games? Now there's a movie with an interesting message. That movie takes Hollywood's dominant ideology of "violent action as entertainment" and drops it on its head. The home invasion scenario in the movie could easily happen in real life. There are opportunities where good can triumph over evil, but each one is quickly shut down and the bad guys win.


I fucking love Funny Games and frankly don't understand how anyone who has watched a lot of movies doesn't.

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Sun May 26, 2013 7:21 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Vexer wrote:
Well the film appears to be anti-war to me on the surface, I don't see how anyone could possibly interpret it as pro-war.

Movies can say one thing with their words and say quite another with their style--and at the end of the day, style is going to win almost every time, because film is basically a medium of the senses. That which gets your blood pumping or pulls at your heartstrings is going to override that which speaks to your higher cognitive faculties.

This is a difficult concept to just explain, but Jim Emerson takes a pretty good shot at it with this article and a handful of examples.

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Sun May 26, 2013 7:26 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
JamesKunz wrote:
KWRoss wrote:
Anyone here seen Funny Games? Now there's a movie with an interesting message. That movie takes Hollywood's dominant ideology of "violent action as entertainment" and drops it on its head. The home invasion scenario in the movie could easily happen in real life. There are opportunities where good can triumph over evil, but each one is quickly shut down and the bad guys win.


I fucking love Funny Games and frankly don't understand how anyone who has watched a lot of movies doesn't.

I thought it was incredibly stupid, the whole "fast-forward" scene was a total cheat not to mention extremely manipulative in the worst way and completely derailed whatever "message" the film was trying to send, plus the acting was just terrible from everyone Naomi Watts looked like she was downright embarassed to be in the film. There was nothing "realistic" about that film. The Strangers was more realistic in that regard, I didn't like that film either, but at least it didn't try and cheat.


Sun May 26, 2013 7:51 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
KWRoss wrote:
I'm with you, especially the bit about whitewashed casting. For the record, I'm Caucasian, but I do wish there wasn't that mentality in Hollywood where if there's more than one black person in a movie, it automatically becomes a "Black Movie," suitable only for black audiences.

This article from cracked.com, which was written two years ago but still feels very accurate, goes deeper than I can.
http://www.cracked.com/article_19549_5-old-timey-prejudices-that-still-show-up-in-every-movie.html


Part of the problem is that this isn't something that exists in the heads of studio honchos and beancounters--it's not just a "mentality in Hollywood". My then-girlfriend and I saw both The Preacher's Wife and Ali during their theatrical run, and in both cases, we were the only white people in the audience. And the male leads in those films were 2 of the black stars that do usually draw in white audiences.


Mon May 27, 2013 3:11 am
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
dps wrote:
KWRoss wrote:
I'm with you, especially the bit about whitewashed casting. For the record, I'm Caucasian, but I do wish there wasn't that mentality in Hollywood where if there's more than one black person in a movie, it automatically becomes a "Black Movie," suitable only for black audiences.

This article from cracked.com, which was written two years ago but still feels very accurate, goes deeper than I can.
http://www.cracked.com/article_19549_5-old-timey-prejudices-that-still-show-up-in-every-movie.html


Part of the problem is that this isn't something that exists in the heads of studio honchos and beancounters--it's not just a "mentality in Hollywood". My then-girlfriend and I saw both The Preacher's Wife and Ali during their theatrical run, and in both cases, we were the only white people in the audience. And the male leads in those films were 2 of the black stars that do usually draw in white audiences.

There's also the tendency for some studios to release films with a predominantly black cast on a Wednesday(dubbed "ghetto Wednesday" by some) instead of a Friday like normal.


Mon May 27, 2013 3:20 am
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Vexer wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
KWRoss wrote:
Anyone here seen Funny Games? Now there's a movie with an interesting message. That movie takes Hollywood's dominant ideology of "violent action as entertainment" and drops it on its head. The home invasion scenario in the movie could easily happen in real life. There are opportunities where good can triumph over evil, but each one is quickly shut down and the bad guys win.


I fucking love Funny Games and frankly don't understand how anyone who has watched a lot of movies doesn't.

I thought it was incredibly stupid, the whole "fast-forward" scene was a total cheat not to mention extremely manipulative in the worst way and completely derailed whatever "message" the film was trying to send, plus the acting was just terrible from everyone Naomi Watts looked like she was downright embarassed to be in the film. There was nothing "realistic" about that film. The Strangers was more realistic in that regard, I didn't like that film either, but at least it didn't try and cheat.


If you think the rewind (not fast-forward) scene was a "cheat," you don't understand the film.
If you think the rewind scene derailed the message, you don't understand the film.
If you think complaining the movie was "manipulative" makes sense, you don't understand the film.
If you think the movie was attempting to be "realistic," you don't understand the film.

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Mon May 27, 2013 10:45 am
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
So because I don't like a film automatically means I don't understand it? Okaaaaaaayyyyyyyy then :?

Here's Jim Emerson's review of it, you gonna tell me and all the other critics who gave the film rotten reviews "didn't understand" it? :lol:

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/funny-games-2008

So Hanecke is expecting people to shut off the film before it ends, otherwise they haven't "learned their lesson" or something like that, I think he's woefully misguided if he actually believes that. I sure wish i'd turned off that piece of shit film 10 minutes in.


Mon May 27, 2013 12:43 pm
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