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The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood 
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
For the most part I agree. You don't usually see ideological liberals depicted as such any more than conservatives. But it is my feeling (no facts to substantiate) that characters with lifestyles more associated with conservative behavior like clergy or business professionals are often set up that way to highlight some hypocritical behavior that is treated with vile rather than as a character flaw. Those people are only doing what they do to gain some sort of controlling power over others. Rarely will they be depicted as fighting for something good or helping the poor - something most religious organizations focus on. But instead of receiving food, education, activities for children, etc., from a religious organization like most of those I'm familiar with, I think you'll more likely see an unwed mother being shunned by intolerant group unwilling to accept sinners of a certain kind among them in the movies.

If the character is not given an ideological bent, but shows empathy to the downtrodden, any flaws they have are just the flaws attributed to being human, but they are basically good people unless they are later revealed to be a wolf in sheepskin. Meanwhile, it is assumed that all business people except the hero fighting the system are all on board with polluting the environment or sending jobs to another country and generally damaging other people's lives if there is profit to be made. Or that all religious types are intolerant and unsympathetic except the hero fighting the system. Liberals are good people with human flaws, conservatives are bad people with the rare exception of the enlightened one that tries to fight against the common bad.


Fri May 31, 2013 9:07 am
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
A good example of what CasualDad is talking about is the RomCom staple of the uptight, driven businessman who crosses paths with the free-spirited young bohemian girl who opens his eyes up to "life" and "all that is important to being alive" when they fall in love. A tried and true formaula that pops up again and again. To be sure many times both parties need to change in these cinematic situations, but usually it is the "conservative" party whose circumstances change more than the "liberal" one. Because, you know, you can't be happy and fall in love AND be a successful businessperson.

Ken wrote:
It's rare to see religion itself depicted from a skeptical or hostile point of view.


Any Dan Brown novel adaptation notwithstanding. :D


Fri May 31, 2013 10:03 am
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
I was thinking more along the lines of The Last Temptation of Christ, which gives some really tough love to the holy text and the figures within, whereas (I'm going by hearsay on this one*) Dan Brown posits a fantastical, self-consciously fictional conspiracy within the church power structure but otherwise leaves the religion itself and its devout practitioners relatively unscathed.

(*In this case, I'm mainly going by the quality of the backlash. Judging from the limp one Dan Brown got compared to Mel Gibson or Martin Scorsese, I have to assume he hasn't made transgressions of any kind of substance against the major religions or their followers.)

As for the businessman and the bohemian girl, that's actually kind of what I'm getting at. I'm willing to bet that the the film doesn't delve seriously into the man's business acumen, his history in building his business, etc.--his conservativeness. And I'll also bet that the film also neglects the same for the woman's free-spirited ways--her liberalness. Conservativeness and liberalness aren't taken seriously--they're applied to the characters like sets of clothing, but when the clothes come off, they're probably still a relatively traditional couple. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

The romcom genre tends to treat life's problems as though they can be solved by a good ol' fashioned boy-girl, racially acceptable romantic relationship. The guy's probably still a businessman, but now he's a businessman who wears a Pink Floyd tie and does the Charleston on weekends. Paradoxically, I think that such film would be more liberal by rejecting the bohemian girl and leaving the businessman not necessarily unchanged, but not wrapped up in such a cutesy middle-American vision of romance. The message becomes "It's okay to be a late-young/early-middle-aged white guy with money who not only doesn't cotton to the romance, but actively rejects what it represents." Not bad.

It might sound like I'm taking a shot at conservatism. I don't think I am. I'm just trying to describe a certain strain of conservatism--the kind that caters to people whose rejection of liberal ideas has less to do with intellectual objections and more to do with traditional values. I believe that's what informs the bulk of mainstream moviemaking. I don't think it's the result of a pernicious political agenda, so much as a result of trying to offend as few people as possible, both at home in flyover country and in nations where liberal ideas aren't treated with nearly as much tolerance.

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Fri May 31, 2013 2:31 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Vexer wrote:
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Vexer wrote:
No, YOU don't get it! :roll: :evil: I understand what the film was aiming for perfectly well, I just don't think it suceeded very well, just cause I don't like it DOES NOT I repeat DOES NOT mean I don't "get it" if you can't understand that, then I don't know what to tell you.


Kunzie has a point. You're trying to have it both ways. In one breath you say you understand the film, and the next you criticize it for being unrealistic. Realism is not the goal of the film. Like I said, understanding a film and liking it don't have to go hand in hand.

I wasn't trying to have it "both ways", due to my AS i'm not always so good at articulating my thoughts(i'm not nearly as elequent of a speaker as say Ken) on things. So i'm sorry for any confusion I may have caused. May I suggest starting a seperate thread for Funny Games if anyone wishes to discuss it further?


You should trademark the "DOES NOT I repeat DOES NOT" bit. I've seen it used in many threads and it's right on point. Every notable movie ever made, whether great or terrible, has a few contrary voices out there. JB might literally be the only person I know who dislikes Michael Mann's Heat.

I actually think you're pretty good at articulating your thoughts on movies. I know many people with tastes like yours and they can't offer any insight whatsoever as to why they like the movies they do. And then there's others who apparently judge superhero movies, Harry Potter, Star Trek, etc. solely based on how accurate they are to the source material. Seriously guys, it's a fictional movie, not a documentary.

And since I originally brought up Funny Games, I'll finish it with this: the movie is at 52% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 139 reviews. As I said earlier, while I appreciated it, it's not a movie that appeals to everyone. Not even close. So disliking it for any reason is okay by me.

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Fri May 31, 2013 11:44 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
KWRoss-Thanks, I appreciate it.

JB's not alone on Heat though, while I don't actively dislike the film, I do admittedly find it to be rather overrated and WAAAAAAAYYYYYY too damn long for it's own good, I believe that film could've been better with a LOT of trimming(at least 45 minutes worth, the first thing I would get rid of would be that pointless serial killer subplot). Honestly I nearly fell asleep at several points during the film.


Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:49 am
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
KWRoss wrote:

And since I originally brought up Funny Games, I'll finish it with this: the movie is at 52% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 139 reviews. As I said earlier, while I appreciated it, it's not a movie that appeals to everyone. Not even close. So disliking it for any reason is okay by me.


So you'd be okay if someone disliked the movie because it didn't feature enough aliens?

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Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:06 am
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
JamesKunz wrote:
KWRoss wrote:

And since I originally brought up Funny Games, I'll finish it with this: the movie is at 52% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 139 reviews. As I said earlier, while I appreciated it, it's not a movie that appeals to everyone. Not even close. So disliking it for any reason is okay by me.


So you'd be okay if someone disliked the movie because it didn't feature enough aliens?

Aliens would've made more sense then anything else in that film :lol:


Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:59 am
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Vexer wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
KWRoss wrote:

And since I originally brought up Funny Games, I'll finish it with this: the movie is at 52% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 139 reviews. As I said earlier, while I appreciated it, it's not a movie that appeals to everyone. Not even close. So disliking it for any reason is okay by me.


So you'd be okay if someone disliked the movie because it didn't feature enough aliens?

Aliens would've made more sense then anything else in that film :lol:


And to think you get angry when I accuse you of not getting the film...

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Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:53 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Well you started it :lol: chill man, I was just joking about that last part.


Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:07 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
I think that we've gotten a bit off-topic here, so...

When it comes to politics, what else do we find irritating about contemporary Hollywood? I personally find Political Correctness particularly disturbing. Siskel and Ebert warned against it when they were on the air, and now it has come to dominate everything about the entertainment industry.


Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:52 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Sean wrote:
I think that we've gotten a bit off-topic here, so...

When it comes to politics, what else do we find irritating about contemporary Hollywood? I personally find Political Correctness particularly disturbing. Siskel and Ebert warned against it when they were on the air, and now it has come to dominate everything about the entertainment industry.


Oh for the days when a movie like Blazing Saddles could be made by a major studio. Now I feel dirty just owning the Blu-Ray


Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:09 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
"Of course you'll have the good taste not to mention that I spoke to you."


Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:05 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
The '70s was a glorious time in cinema that shall never be again. For many reasons.

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Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:16 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Ken wrote:
The '70s was a glorious time in cinema that shall never be again. For many reasons.


You know, the 90s came damn close

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Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:53 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
That's an interesting decade. The '60s and '70s were this infusion of subject matter that they didn't really make movies about before, plus a drastic expansion of what you could do in a movie stylistically.

Then the '90s comes along with a leap forward of its own that I'm not sure I fully understand yet. Is it that the big moneymakers were using stylistic choices that would have been considered downright arty in the '60s/'70s? That movies started drawing upon pop culture itself for a more referential style of storytelling? That filmmakers who started out in much shorter formats--i.e. commercials and music videos--brought their uneasy relationship with the rules of continuity filmmaking into the world of blockbuster movies?

Weird decade.

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Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:05 pm
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
Ken wrote:
The real facts on Al Gore's home, or how I learned to stop worrying and love looking into questionable news reports instead of just accepting them and parroting them like so many annoying Facebook memes.

On the subject of Obama, I wouldn't say he's the same as Bush. That seems a bit reductive. In some ways, he's a lot better. In some ways, he's a lot worse. He has to be recognized for the stride he took on gays in the military. Recall that just two presidents ago, we had a Democrat who signed off on "don't ask, don't tell"--and that was sold to us as the progressive move. And while it was a bit jaundiced, he at least bothered to acknowledge that there are religious non-believers in America without qualifying that they should have less rights, are less patriotic, or whatever. On the other side of the coin, his military style is very bloodthirsty, he doesn't give two squirts of doodoo juice about climate change, and he's just as much in the back pocket of the plutocracy as any president. Sean is definitely right on one count: the real American left doesn't have meaningful representation in either of the two major parties.

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.

Michael Moore is at his best when he's being a puckish comedian--e.g. the Awful Truth segment when he had people redeeming their cell phones and wallets for replacements that were painted bright orange. But when he puts on his journalism hat, he's just as much of a clown as any of the Fox News talk show geeks. He doesn't have the rhetorical ability of a real documentarian, so he resorts to trickery that insults the intelligence of his audience.

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I think here you just summed up all the problems with political discourse today.

Gays in the Army is a fringe issue. it's a fringe on a fringe. The US economy has a biblical debt, and massive deficit, a massive trade deficit, and you're running unaffordable wars all over the world.

I wish gay people all the best in whatever they do and they shouldn't face discrimination. But it's a sad and dumbed down state of affairs when the president has to get involved in such issues.

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Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:09 am
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
NotHughGrant wrote:
Ken wrote:
The real facts on Al Gore's home, or how I learned to stop worrying and love looking into questionable news reports instead of just accepting them and parroting them like so many annoying Facebook memes.

On the subject of Obama, I wouldn't say he's the same as Bush. That seems a bit reductive. In some ways, he's a lot better. In some ways, he's a lot worse. He has to be recognized for the stride he took on gays in the military. Recall that just two presidents ago, we had a Democrat who signed off on "don't ask, don't tell"--and that was sold to us as the progressive move. And while it was a bit jaundiced, he at least bothered to acknowledge that there are religious non-believers in America without qualifying that they should have less rights, are less patriotic, or whatever. On the other side of the coin, his military style is very bloodthirsty, he doesn't give two squirts of doodoo juice about climate change, and he's just as much in the back pocket of the plutocracy as any president. Sean is definitely right on one count: the real American left doesn't have meaningful representation in either of the two major parties.

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.

Michael Moore is at his best when he's being a puckish comedian--e.g. the Awful Truth segment when he had people redeeming their cell phones and wallets for replacements that were painted bright orange. But when he puts on his journalism hat, he's just as much of a clown as any of the Fox News talk show geeks. He doesn't have the rhetorical ability of a real documentarian, so he resorts to trickery that insults the intelligence of his audience.

---

The odor of today's unpopular opinions: the public bathroom that Larry Craig was caught in.



I think here you just summed up all the problems with political discourse today.

Gays in the Army is a fringe issue. it's a fringe on a fringe. The US economy has a biblical debt, and massive deficit, a massive trade deficit, and you're running unaffordable wars all over the world.

I wish gay people all the best in whatever they do and they shouldn't face discrimination. But it's a sad and dumbed down state of affairs when the president has to get involved in such issues.

Well it's certianly a "fringe" issue for gay people, and Is trongly disagree that it's "sad" that the president got involved, I think it's about damn time we have a president who isn't afraid to say that gay people deserve the same rights as everyone else.


Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:46 pm
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
NotHughGrant: I agree with you entirely.

Vexer: Really? Even if he just happens to take a stand right around election season, and then does nothing else to back his word?

Marriage should not be a government issue. It should be settled by private individuals and their families.


Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:47 pm
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
Sean wrote:
NotHughGrant: I agree with you entirely.

Vexer: Really? Even if he just happens to take a stand right around election season, and then does nothing else to back his word?

Marriage should not be a government issue. It should be settled by private individuals and their families.

I agree that it shouldn't be a government issue, but nevertheless I still appreciate it.


Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:16 pm
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
NotHughGrant wrote:
I wish gay people all the best in whatever they do and they shouldn't face discrimination. But it's a sad and dumbed down state of affairs when the president has to get involved in such issues.

What? Sorry, I was too busy reading about that weird hairstyle Amanda Bynes wore at her hearing.

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Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:19 pm
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