Movies and Politics

With summer approaching, let’s look at some developments surrounding a few new movies. First is the dopiness surrounding “Revenge of the Sith”. It appears that a story originated out of the Cannes Snob Festival that indicated that some anti-Bush dialogue and symbolism may have been intentionally placed by George Lucas in his film. Lucas claims that his inspirations are more historically based, including Nixon, but he doesn’t dismiss talk of modern day comparisons. This has resulted in suggestions that some late-stage dialogue changes could have been possible. It’s his film and his conceptual vision, so he can obviously do as he wishes. As long as his intentional parallels don’t take away from the internal logic and flow of the movie itself, which would cheapen the movie experience and betray his long-time loyal fans, then I really don’t care. Let all the Bush-haters snicker in their popcorn with their perceived insider knowledge. However, all these preening self-important Hollywood blowhards really amaze me with their screeds about the gathering fascist storm. Lucas tries to impress everyone with his world history knowledge as he suggests possible past analogies, but he forgets his US history and discounts the strength of the American people and the ever-changing pendulum swings of power between parties. When there have been dark chapters, such as McCartheyism and Japanese internment, not to mention a Civil War, the resiliency of our democracy and its people has proven itself well over time. So while a number of alarmists (i.e. Democrats) insist we are in such a stark period now, and believe we are on a direct course to dictatorship, let me go on record and say that if Iraq’s democratic makeover should falter, and and troop levels remain over 100,000, and the economy stalls or slips back at all, then please make a note to explain to me how the cowed and mindless masses ended up electing a Democrat in 2008 (there may even be one elected regardless!).

Then there is this story about Jane Fonda’s latest repercussions from her Hanoi Jane days. This is on top of getting a faceful of tobacco juice from a Vietnam Vet during a recent book signing. In that case, the anger is understandable, but the action is quite juvenile. In regard to the article, the movie owner has every right to decide what he will or won’t show in his theatres. And given that his businesses are near Fort Knox, he likely has compelling business reasons to not offend his primary customer base. Those who really want to see that insipid (yet popular) film can go to the neighboring county or watch it on DVD in the near future (so please spare me the censorship speeches). However, it seems to me that the publicity generated by such bans just gives the movie more juice and actually helps its sales, when it would otherwise have died a quick death once Bush Wars and other big Memorial Weekend movies rush in. Plus, its not like you’re crippling Fonda herself. Its not her production company or her finances being sunk into the film. It’s not like her career will be stalled. She pretty much has gotten her money from the film already (apart from any piece of the box office, which she doesn’t likely have the “pull” to get anyway), and will get more in DVD sales.

Regardless of political overtones, let’s hope for a worthwhile collection of summer movie diversions this year!

5 Responses to “Movies and Politics”

  1. Sinister Says:

    Just so you know, the episodes 1-3 were written pretty much before return of the jedi came out in theaters. Which, if I’m not mistaken came out before GW took the white house. It was implemented in the basic history of the star wars role-playing game.

    P.S. Its a movie.

    If our political system is a wheel of cheese, and corruption is the pocket of gas in that cheese, I would recommend not cutting, it may collapse.

  2. Rise Against Says:

    I actually saw more similarities of Bush in the movie Dumb and Dumber.

  3. ethan-p Says:


    I like you comment that “it’s a movie”.

    I remember talking to a Christian friend who objected to Star Wars Ep. I’s immaculate conception. My response was that it’s a fictional story, which uses what we already know or perceive to create a credible fantasy world. If the Lucas was trying to create a ficticous folklore, why not base it on existing folklore? Wouldn’t that add to the credibility? It’s not like Lucas was trying to pass this off as history. Did anyone object to Lucas parallels between the Empire and the Nazi regime?

    Personally, I wouldn’t watch that movie again because it sucked. I don’t judge it politicaly.

    However, in this light, if Lucas altered the screenplay to be relevant to current events, who gives a shit? Everyone’s got their take on the current events, and everyone will spin their own story (even in the No-Spin Zone). Isn’t this common sense, or are we, as Americans, too insecure to accept differing opinions and agree to disagree?

    Why do entertainers have to share political ideology with their viewers? When I watch Northern Exposure reruns, I don’t shut the TV off when Maggie O’Conell is on screen because Janine Turner publicly supports Bush. I will also still watch Mel Gibson flicks, even though I disagree with his views (I still like to make fun of him, however).

    So why do these assholes refuse to watch people’s movies who don’t share their political views? (Specifically, I’m referring to these assholes.)

    I guess that there are quite a few folks who have confused “patriotism” with nationalism. These are people who feel that since we are “at war”, we need to support every decision that our leadership has made. Anything else is tantamount to treason.

    Mind you, we haven’t formally declared war on anyone, and if we want to consider the “war on terrorism” a proper war, then I suppose that we’ve been at war for decades — with the war on drugs and the war on poverty. If this is the case, we will always be at war, and any dissent will always be treasonous.

    In the hypothetical situation where John Kerry were our president, would these assholes tow the line behind everything that Kerry did? In that case, would voting against the incumbant be considered treasonous too?

    Anyhow, I’ll have to kill my ramblings here, because my lunch break is over…

  4. ymatt Says:

    An off comment, but discounting concern that our government is swinging too far in one direction because history has shown it will likely swing back is a little naive I think. I’d argue that the primary reason our country has proven resilient is *because* people worry and moan about the way things are going rather than shrugging and deferring to whoever is in power. I’m very suspicious of anyone suggesting that others with opposing viewpoints should just pipe down.

    That said, Lucas is a total blowhard.

  5. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    I gotta agree with ymatt, I’m a huge believer in pendulum theory, but I think its because of the exertions of the citizens of the Republic, not “just because” or due some intrinsic natural law like gravity.

    Lucas killed his trillogy, too fascinated with computer effects and not enough on the characters who have been too throwaway in general. In general I can see how you could make something about The Emperor = Bush, but couldn’t you say The Emperor = Any other leader who does something bad as well? I’ll only be upset if halway though the movie the screen says ‘Bush is teh gay.’ for 15 minutes or something.

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