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Entertainment Politics

24 Jan

spotlights rightThere seems to be no end to the public strife over several hot topics which have spilled over into Entertainment. Here are some of them in no specific order of priority. Just listing theses topics is enough to bring forth emotional reaction.

Rape

Bill Cosby has received tremendous public scrutiny of late, based on several women claiming sexual assault over past decades. The number of women presenting public accusations against Bill Cosby have increased. This has placed Mr. Cosby in the middle of a controversial firestorm of public opinion. All vestiges of assumed innocence before proven guilty have been tossed aside like yesterdays chewing gum. It seems the adulation and public support for his long & varied career, and philanthropy have vanished. It’s also the worst case of Internet vigilantism since the Zimmerman court trial with almost as much discourse.

Gun Control

Hollywood has made billions featuring antagonists and protagonists with weapons of all types in various entertainment. Thousands of movies and Television programs have featured small firearms, dating back to when the medium began. Now, in his third movie of the series Taken, Liam Neeson has come forward and has spoken out about the prolific distribution of firearms, primarily taking aim at the U.S. Interestingly, he uses the latest Paris France murders by terrorists in connection with his angry outburst against firearms; another country and an entirely different situation to his opinion of U.S. conditions. The reaction by the manufacturer, Para Ordinance, who loaned firearms to add authenticity to this latest movie, suggested people boycott the film after his speech. It does seem disingenuous to declare disgust against all firearms and yet earn an incredible salary as an actor featuring significant violence through the use of firearms. Some have leveled criticism toward a recently released film, American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper and directed by Clint Eastwood. I suggest you follow this link to James Curnow’s excellent blog on this movie and controversy.

Racism

Hollywood has often been in the forefront of advancing a belief or a cause, yet for many, the lack of awards and nominations has led to recent criticisms. Veteran actor Samuel Jackson has said, Hollywood, by and large, still avoids dealing with modern-day racism. “The popularity of  ”12 Years A Slave” is an example of a movie that distracts viewers from the racism that still exists today.” he went on to say, “America is much more willing to acknowledge what happened in the past.” The recent Sony Pictures email revelations among studio executives suggest there still is a need to progress past stereotype and assumptions. Gender and racial bias may exist in Hollywood, but if an actor puts butts in seats, generally speaking, they will be in a movie. That is often the reason you see big name actors in film roles which may not suit them well. 

Change

Since the 1990’s, Asia has become a huge market for American studios. Many of the Marvel blockbusters have included content which lends itself well toward international distribution. American studios have developed an inventory of popular films for streaming, distribution, and sales designed for Europe as well. How this will impact the reputation of Hollywood towards color / gender barriers, are yet to be realized. anglo-american-pictures-banner-b.jpg

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One response to “Entertainment Politics

  1. Chris Barfoot

    25/01/2015 at 18:06

    Regarding TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE

    The director- Steve McQueen (not to be confused with the dearly departed same-named genius iconic actor of the 20th Century) brings us a terrible tale of kidnap and slavery set against the balmy backdrop of yesteryear’s cotton plantations which formed the vista of North America’s ‘Deep South’.

    There are many such movies depicting the cruel sadistic lascivious nature of the God-fearing slave-owner… but this is the latest Hollywood offering (of the genre) and thankfully with a twist or two.

    Based upon the real-life experiences of the author ‘Solomon Northup’ (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black American living in the North, Twelve Years a Slave is exactly what it says on the can… Solomon is abducted (as was the terrible trend) and along with others- transported from upstate New York to the Southern States where his identity was denied him and his liberty repressed, separated from his family for more than a decade- they believing him to be dead!

    Brad Pitt portrays Canadian traveling oddjobber ‘Bass’, an unlikely character, an educated man and good Samaritan, an abolitionist. Reluctantly I didn’t really believe his performance, I expected more from Pitt but found him to be two-dimensional, possibly because he was also one of the producers and lost his concentration, remember the raw bestial anti-humanity revealed as ‘Early Grayce’ in Kalifornia and the delightfully dark undead ‘Louis de Pointe du Lac’ in Interview With The Vampire? His performance here was wholly underwhelming.

    HISTORICALLY: Slavery is as old as humanity itself. The Greeks and Romans indeed most races or civilizations enslaved their enemies as a spoil of war, the reward for victory. Human beings were bought and sold as commodities. In England and America a person could even take out a mortgage to acquire one. Today, such ludicrous activities are of course illegal… but that doesn’t stop the practice. Human trafficking as it is newly tagged- knows no colour, creed or culture, only profit.

    IN CONCLUSION: ‘Twelve Years a Slave’ evokes a sense of horror, embarrassment and guilt (malaise). One becomes wound-up with a desire to see ‘right’ done and to bring those dastardly profiteers to meet with a befitting grisly end- but this tale isn’t about vengeance, it’s a moment in time, a very human story, it offers the bitter truth, just one of many events that scar modern America’s moral geography but with good direction and some wonderful debut performances.

    The edit likes to ‘hang the bag out’ though… a little too self-indulgent, poignant moments are over executed with lingering nothingness, as though the remit was just to make the movie longer.

    This is not a flick with many surprises but one does engage with the uncomfortable narrative, become empathically involved with the main protagonists. You may find it like trudging through syrup at times, slow-moving in parts, confusing with some elements unresolved, but this is because the scriptwriters have tried to remain true to the book author’s autobiographical experiences and perspective.

    Real-life is rarely black and white (if you’ll pardon the pun). I would say to you to look upon this work as a valuable historical account, a movie-styled documentary concerning the lives of ‘real people’ an important account of actual factual events. Must see.

     
 
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