October 21, 2009

Hiding in Plain Sight

From my Wednesday Taki's Magazine column:

Everybody complains about how dumbed-down movies have gotten. Here, for example, are representative quotes from A.O. Scott of the New York Times in “Spoon-Fed Cinema” bemoaning the state of cinema c. 2009: “infantile,” “male immaturity,” and “a program of mass infantilization.”

Yet, nobody ever seems to mention one obvious change in audience composition over the decades that has exacerbated blockbusteritis. And only one renegade filmmaker has used this trend in demographics to be able to afford to make innovative movies; but nobody wants to talk about him, either.

Read it there and comment about it here.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

55 comments:

Mark said...

Where do you start? Asian-Americans were 26% more likely to have seen The Passion two weeks after release than European-Americans? Wow. Counterintuitive.

I suspect one reason Hispanics go to movies more than any other group is low impulse control (can't just wait to pay $1 at Redbox); wanting to get out of their cramped, dirty living conditions; and the fact that, unlike whites, who can afford nice home theatre set-ups, or blacks, who can't afford them but buy them anyway, Hispanics simply don't have them.

Whites also have a longer list of potential activities for a night on the town.

Half Sigma said...

What has happened with movies is that all of the intellectual stuff has moved to cable television. Stuff like Mad Men (which is adored by the SWPL crowd).

That movie theatres are no longer an effective distribution method for high-brow stuff has nothing to do with immigration.

Anonymous said...

Roberto Orci is another prominent Mexican-American in Hollywood (writer and producer). Star Trek, Transformers, The Proposal (producer only), Fringe...

Anonymous said...

As Robert De Niro once noted in a actual film (through a character), "people go to the movies to be titillated".


Well, a young person can get titillated for free until his eyes pop out via the internet these days. He can view tons of free footage of Meagan Fox or whichever femme fatal du jour on YouTube or DailyMotion for nothing. He can view excellent still photos of the same quarry via tabloid sites like WWTDD or Perezhilton. A young male can see several reruns of MMA fights via YouTube. He can watch many classic movies for nothing via YouTube, and many critically-acclaimed television series on Hulu. He can visit free porn "tube" sites and view Britney Spearsesque-looking porn starlets doing performing every act in the Kama Sutra with multiple men (and women) for absolutely free.

How can Hollywood really compete with that in an era of such low taste?

Redbox alone has undoubtably done more to hurt the movie business at the "gate" as much as anything. Waiting just a few months after a movie's release to go to a vending machine convieniently located outside a McDonalds makes it so easy to pick up "dinner and a movie" for a family very cheaply.


With our demographic changes, I would not look for a revival of tasteful cinema in the first half of this century. SWPLS simply aren't making enough copies of themselves to watch a flood of art-movies, even if they are good ones. There are a few latino and black art-film buffs, but there aren't -that- many of them. Surely not enough to comprise a big jump in market demand. So we are left with Farrell brothers-body-fluid-disposable entertainment. I dont consume it, but apparently enough "others" do.



Personal Note: Its very dispiriting to me to have to admit that if "The Third Man", one of my very favorite movies of all-time, came out this weekend, and was marketed as a "new" movie and was critically as well-reviewed as it deserved to be, that it would still lose out to tacky-disposable entertainment featuring fast cars blowing up and breast implants.

Kevin K said...

How dare you forget "The Fast and Furious : Tokyo Drift"? It was actually pretty good for the suicidal car racing genre.

Jason said...

Anonymous, "The Third Man" (also my favorite movie) is so good that today they take a handful of lines from it to form the premise of a whole movie. ("The Box".) That's how starved Hollywood is for ideas.

Anonymous said...

Dumb people like dumb stuff, regardless of race. When I was a preschooler in the 60's I knew an incredibly dimwitted Jewish kid with a potty mouth, whose parents bought him all the latest gimmicky toys As-Seen-on-TV. Like Horrible Hamilton and Johnny Lighting. Kids knew: there was just something about the aesthetic of certain toys, which made it clear they were being marketed to hyperactive tards.

Hispanics overwhelmingly fall into this category. At the movies, their minds go into sleeper mode anytime two actors start having a meaningful conversation. Clearly, Hollywood has mastered the NAM aesthetic, which consists of dumb slapstick, car chases, women with big jubblies being sassy, things blowing up -- and anything else that would keep Terry Schiavo's eyelids from drooping.

Steve is writng about what is commonly referred to as a coarsening of the culture. It's happening on all levels, not just in the cinema.

Whiskey said...

Steve --

Your article has a lot of problems. Women were only part (not the dominant part) of movie-going, and TV competition not crime "driving them off the streets" killed male and female movie attendance. You could see the equivalent of a high-budget serial every week for free. Lots of them, in fact. Next, the Scorsese era of arty movies like Raging Bull (or Midnight Cowboy) may have been plenty edgy but lacked box office appeal. It was straight-ahead adventure stories like Star Wars and Raiders that actually made money. Not say, Coppola's excellent but downbeat "the Conversation."

Moreover, only a small portion of the revenue stream for studios comes from box office receipts. See here. About 17.9% according to Epstein in 2003. In fact, the studios are in serious trouble because DVD revenues are down 25% prompting schemes like Disney's Keychest. Piracy makes foreign revenues a joke with Eli Roth's loathesome movies selling on the streets of Mexico City for 25 cents -- Fox and one other studio have shut down their Korean and Spanish Language DVD production.

No, the reason for Beverly Hills Chihuahua or movies based on the Monopoly Game or Viewmaster is MERCHANDISING and tie-ins. Together, they promise like Lucas did with toys and video games a revenue stream as big or bigger than DVDs.

Let's review: box office attendance seems to be slipping long term, particularly historically, and there is a ceiling on ticket prices exhbitors can charge. Piracy in foreign markets and at home (Denzel Washington's "American Gangster" was sold in the streets of LA for $4 a copy a week before it opened in the US) while cross-over movies that appeal to young/old, male/female are very rare. TV rights are down, both pay and free, as is other people's money and Wall Street financing. So merchandising and fast food tie ins are the way to replace dying revenue streams. Heck Redbox alone threatens Hollywood with $1 rentals.

A. Nonny said...

"there are remarkably few Spanish-language films that play even in Los Angeles"

Does Sailer mean only films written in Spanish for Hispanophones, or does this also include English-language movies with Spanish dubbing/subtitles?

How many U.S. theaters show films dubbed or subtitled in Spanish?

Google "película" on the U.S. site. Up come the English-language sites for the movies The Simpsons, the Da Vinci Code, Sex and the City and Watchmen.

Anonymous said...

Where do you start? Asian-Americans were 26% more likely to have seen The Passion two weeks after release than European-Americans? Wow. Counterintuitive.

You're forgetting that Filipinos are Asian-Americans.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I don't buy this. Hollywood has been making stupid and stupefying movies because of Hispanics? Movies are marketed globally nowadays. But, yes, Hispanics and Latins everywhere like their Hollywood blockbusters- just like Europeans do. Many Latins like art cinema though. Just look at Latin-American Cinema. Not Hollyood productions by Mexicans (of Spanish descent).

The true reason for the dismal state of cinema- if you want find a consumer to blame and not the producer- then it's white teenagers. Remember the stars who filled theaters in a not so distant past? Harrison Ford, Gene Hackman, Pacino, De Niro, Gary Oldman, Chrisopher Walken. Today, if you're over 20 (or look over 20) you have no chance of being cast for anything. All movies are geared toward teenagers. Who are the action heroes of today: not big strong guys anymore but teen anorexic girls, who can kill a 300lb pound guy with a punch, btw. And Mexican/Hispanic teenagers (or adults for that matter) don't figure prominently in any cast. I'm not sure it's due to lack of talent. Rather hispanics aren't all that willing to submit to surgeries, facial construction, and life-threatening diets in order to fit the Hollywood profile: chiseled skeletical face (both men and women), unnaturally thin, bleached blonde, surgically enhanced, etc.

But the move to include the teenage audience was necessary at a time when teens' only role in movies were as kids annoying their parents. But of course Hollywood has taken that to the extreme by killing all "mature" and serious movies.

Sure, teenagedom has gone darker in recent years, but Hollywood hasn't paid a lot of attention to that yet. The opportunity is there, but with the exception of Fast and Furious franchise, few movies cater to the future huge and increasing untapped market...

Ray said...

Hispanics are keeping the movie theaters alive which is a good thing imo. I'm sure Hollywood could survive with DVD and internet sales, but there is nothing like the big screen. Another institution that Hispanics may be keeping alive is the circus. My wife and I attended a traveling circus last week and discovered that most of the workers and many in the crowd were Hispanic. I wonder if Hispanics are just more social than Anglos these days and have not yet succumbed to the "Bowling Alone" lifestyle. Life in small Mexican towns has remains highly social with festivals and such in a way that Americans towns once were. Illegal immigration is bad for the USA, but it is not all bad.

Steve Sailer said...

That was a point I made in my review of Under the Same Moon: American town planning, where there's no there there, is lousy for Hispanics who want a zocalo to stroll about in.

Eric said...

Variety reports that particular favorites with the Hispanic audience include The Mummy series, Transformers, the Jackie Chan-Jet Li fantasy actioner The Forbidden Kingdom, The Incredible Hulk, and, yes, Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

This might also be a language thing. Until the economy crashed we were getting a million or so barely literate Mexicans every single year. So what kind of movie do you see if you don't have a good enough grasp of the language to appreciate subtle wit? Movies that rely primarily on visual effects - gunfights, car chases, superheros, and sex.

P Coderch said...

It is amazing that everything that is wrong with the World, from too much cow manure to nuclear proliferation, Mr.Sailer somehow finds a way to blame Latin American immigrants for it. He really hates them, and that't fine: no one is obliged to like anything or anyone. But trying to find angles to blame pretty much everything on Latin American immigration - the increase in crime to Latins adopting black cultural norms, the decline in military literacy rates before the military started to select based on test scores, the mortagage crises and now the decline in film quality - something I find callous and dishonest. The great paradox is that Latins need the American economy badly, but the American economy needs Latins even more badly. The bottom line is that Americans simply cannot have the stadard of living they have now without Latins. You remove all Latins from the U.S and you will save some money on police and public medical care, but on the other hand the entire U.S economy regresses to a GNP of around 4 trillion dollars from it's present 12 trillion. Make your choice...

A Latin American (not in the US) said...

"Many Latins like art cinema though. Just look at Latin-American Cinema."

The problem is that Latin American cinema only exists because the government pays for it. It does not fund itself, nor does anyone actually go see "their country's" movies. Latin American cinema is consumed exclusively by Latin America's version of SWPLs, and paid with the money of all citizens. Hard to think of more useless ways to waste the limited resources of poor nations.

Not to say that there aren't occasional exceptions like Brazil's "Elite Squad", which proved to be an enormous blockbuster... because it actually paid for itself in the free market.

Mercer said...

"crime drove women off the streets after 1965, leaving younger males as the prime ticket buyers."

Most of the movie theaters I know of are in shopping centers. The majority of stores in these shopping centers cater to female customers.

Steve Sailer said...

But movie theatres weren't in shopping malls in 1965. They were on the main commercial streets.

Thrasymachus said...

Hey- Apocalypto is a great freakin' action movie. It hardly even needs dialogue.

agnostic said...

Steve only said that the greater level of dumbness these days reflects the greater dumbness in tastes among the audience due to more Hispanics in the audience. He didn't say that if there were no Hispanics in the audience, only Eric Rohmer (or whoever) would be showing.

These changes happen at the margin.

The idea that teenagers are to blame, either on the acting side or the audience side, is a total joke. Young people -- 15 to 24 -- peaked as a percent of the population in the early 1980s.

We just assume that actors were older back then, but guess again. Just two examples: Phoebe Cates is 18 in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Jennifer Beals is 19 in Flashdance.

Movie culture has gotten stupider as the audiences have gotten older, so the age effect can't be very strong.

Anonymous said...

@ P Coderch:
"Latins" are solely responsible for two thirds of the GNP of the US? That's completely laughable.
"Make your choice." Dude, get off your high horse. Mestizos are a net drain on our economy, even more than they are a drain on their own, which is why their countries are failures. Your moral preening can never change that. We need them more than they need us? Well, was our economy in better shape before tens of millions from Latin America arrived here, or after?

David said...

This is all good news. Yay the Hispanic audience. Go Mel.

The people who ignore him and would prefer to make Battling Tops: The Movie probably weren't going to make great movies anyway, so no harm is done.

What Ray said might be right. If so: also good news.

I am all for action, including comic book movies (my favorite).

Action movies are not squeezing out message movies, which are still being made, regardless of losses. It's just that the messages are so harshly lefty that if there was no action there'd be nothing to see. Who wants to live on a diet of defeatist and U.S. atrocity propaganda movies, spiced up with whatever George Clooney wants to lecture us about this time?

Truth said...

"Yet, nobody ever seems to mention one obvious change in audience composition over the decades that has exacerbated blockbusteritis. And only one renegade filmmaker has used this trend in demographics to be able to afford to make innovative movies;"

Alright I give up, Michael Moore or Tyler Perry?

Andrea said...

"I suspect one reason Hispanics go to movies more than any other group is low impulse control (can't just wait to pay $1 at Redbox); wanting to get out of their cramped, dirty living conditions; and the fact that, unlike whites, who can afford nice home theatre set-ups, or blacks, who can't afford them but buy them anyway, Hispanics simply don't have them."


There's some truth to this. I live in a town that has far more whites than Hispanics, but parks are used largely by Hispanic families. Whites have homes and backyards whereas many Hispanics live in apartments. So, the only way for them to enjoy BBQ on the grass is in public parks.

Reg Cæsar said...

Let's put two and dos together:

1) Hispanics (and maybe teenagers) dominate box office sales.

2) Box office is actually a small and shrinking part of the revenue of successful films. (Though still important as a seed or snowball.)

So the whole population is supporting stupid cinema, but only Hispanics and teenagers do so in public. What might these two have in common? Lack of shame, perhaps!

Now put dos and two together again:

1) Hispanics vote at rates significantly lower than the US average, and have little political effect.

2) Hispanics buy movie tickets at rates significantly higher than the US average, and have an outsized cultural effect.

Can anybody spell A-N-T-O-N-I-O G-R-A-M-S-C-I?

Capture the culture!

P Coderch said...

@Anonymous

The U.S is almost completely a service economy. With the exception of defense and computers, you have no production left. None. The Latinos are the ones who serve at the restaurants, are the maids at the hotel, the guys who mow the grass, who fix television sets, work as auto mechanic repairmen, etc. They are the ones who pick your crops for you, repesent an awful lot of taxi drivers, moview ushers, etc, etc. Without Latinos, the American GDP drops to one third of what it is today. That is, if all Latinos were expelled from the U.S. And yes, they are a drain to American Society in that they cause crime and use a disproportional amount of the resources destined for health care, etc. However, what they cost to American Society is neglegible compared to what they give in profits. It's a very simple equation: without Latinos, the basic cost of labor would skyrocket and that means much less profits, which means economic depression. The U.S is like a heroin addict for Latnos: it knows it will kill it in the long hall, but it can't stop taking them.

Tom Regan said...

Idiocracy indeed.

"There was a time when reading wasn't just for fags. And neither was writing. People wrote books and movies. Movies with stories, that made you care about whose ass it was and why it was farting."

Why would any white male go to see a film in which his demographic must - by the laws of Hollywood's now hysterical leftism - be portrayed in an unflattering light?

Could you imagine the studios of today making a film in which a character like Dirty Harry - a proudly intolerant advocate of summary justice who harbors violent disrespect for anyone of 'progressive' bent - being treated in a sympathetic or even heroic style? Forget it. So far has Hollywood lurched to the left - even from its longstanding liberal traditions - that in the course of just one generation it would be unthinkable to make a film with the same values that spawned a series of hits in the 1970s.

The irony is that the one growing demographic who would revel in that kind of machismo would be Hispanic males, but the language barrier (and other factors besides) make anything with a semblance of narrative complexity out of bounds. Boobs and bombs.

Peter A said...

Good point about how the Mexican elite never emigrate to America. Mexico is a beautiful country, endowed with natural resources, mountains, breathtaking beaches and jungles. It has a great climate and great agricultural potential. All Mexico needs to do is export 60 million or so of its lowest common denominator to the US and life in Mexico will be fantastic. Maybe I'll go buy my house in San Miguel de Allende now, before Mexico closes the border.

David said...

Evil Neocon said

> Women were only part (not the dominant part) of movie-going <

Au contraire. Hitchcock often said they were indeed the dominant part: according to the Master of Suspense, the ladies decided what the family saw, and even pronounced the final judgment on its value. Things have changed since then.

Max said...

I was at a drive-in theater when Lord of the Rings, one of the 3 can't recall which, was playing. A brand new JAGUAR pulled in with 3 young male Mexicans, wearing heavy gold jewelry etc.

They had their feet sticking out of the windows. After about 12 minutes of the movie they took off, came back, watched another 10 minutes then left for good.

Maybe the $PLC was right, it was a racist film after all.

Question for Steve: Will USA become Mexico or more like Brazil? I think Mexico sadly. At least Brazil has more exciting criminals, and some vibrancy to use NBC's favorite term for diversity.

american fez said...

You can imagine the studio pitch for Battling Tops: "So, I see it kinda as a Fight Club meets Toy Story with Wall-E style dialogue ...."

jody said...

i disagree pretty much totally with steve's idea here. especially with the idea that cinema is at some kind of all-time low. no it's not. it's never been better.

what is different today from the past is the finance and production of movies. so that now it is possible to get almost any film made and into wide release. there's no way on earth something like watchmen or district 9 would have been made even 10 years ago. mel gibson would have been totally out of major film production if he had his jewish blowup a couple decades ago. now, film is so global that he can go do his movies with numerous other groups and can totally ignore hollywood producers.

30 years ago, probably the literal majority, over 50%, of the films going into wide release today, could not even be made. there are 2 to 3 new films in wide release every week. the creativity output now, the amount of people who can have their ideas put on film, is MUCH higher today than in "the good old days" of the 60s and 70s. films in the 60s and 70s SUCKED on average. they were even technically bad - simple stuff like the sound was not synchronized very tightly.

not only has there been almost a complete relaxation in the allowed subject matter, so that a comic book movie gets a 200 million dollar budget (probably a higher figure than the combined budgets of every movie in wide release in 1980), but improved computer effects alone allow any silly low brow script that involves talking animals to be turned into a 90 minute film that MAKES MONEY. which is the only point of making wide release films. then you have a company like pixar, which did not even exist "in the good old days" which makes family movies using computers that BLOW AWAY the great majority of G rated family movies that came out "in the good old days". they are well written, intelligent, with interesting character design.

even 10 years ago there were NO, ZERO, planned trilogies. three 100 million dollar films set up ahead of time on a 2 year schedule. now, that's not only common, but normal. planned sequels are almost standard due to the vastly improved financial situation of the film industry.

sorry, but i hate, HATE, the rather predictable "things were better in the good old days" angle on most subjects. usually they weren't. sports weren't better in the 80s, and neither were films.

Anonymous said...

David:
I am all for action, including comic book movies (my favorite).

How do you feel about X-Men?
Isn't that a "U.S. atrocity propaganda" movie, with its condemnation of straight normal Christian society?

Anonymous said...

Coderch-

It's true that if we expelled all the illegals, a few people would have to do without their maids and gardeners. Two-thirds of our economy, though? That's either a delusional fantasy or a bald-faced lie. If illegals are such a boon to the economy, why is California's economy in complete shambles? The invasion is a huge net drain. It benefits a few, who pass on the costs to the rest.

Udolpho.com said...

do the people whining about Steve's article even know any Mexican Americans? they are super lowbrow, and yes they love stereotypes about themselves and everyone else

Eric said...

With the exception of defense and computers, you have no production left.

The actual manufacturing for electronics, including computers, takes place in China. Even the CPUs are manufactured in Indonesia or the Philippines. Nowadays US manufacturing is pretty much defense and commercial airliners. And, I guess, what's left of the car industry.

muffy said...

The reminds me of a survey (which I unfortunately can't find right now) of Americans' favorite movies broken down by gender and race. Black and White men and women listed typical American classics are their favorites, e.g. "Casablanca" and "Gone with the Wind." Fairly predictable; nothing hugely shocking. However, the favorite of Hispanics? "The Notebook."

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this is off topic or not, but my pet peeve is children's movies. My 7 year old son would love to see a reasonably realistic kids' movie about an American boy who, with others, rescues his kidnapped aunt, or finds long-lost treasure. But Hollywood seems resolutely determined not to make movies like that. Instead we get kids' movies with trash talking animals, histrionic self-indulgent displays that are portrayed as attractive, and a general encouragement of childishness. I suppose we can't blame that on the Hispanics, but it's a strange phenomenon.

John

Anonymous said...

Your seven year old son can always watch Disney movies from the 50s and 60s.

Svigor said...

(Denzel Washington's "American Gangster" was sold in the streets of LA for $4 a copy a week before it opened in the US)

I was just telling a friend today this is the biggest nail in the coffin of everyone vulnerable to piracy: pirates offer A BETTER PRODUCT, for free. In your example it's beating the official release, but ease of access is the big one. Registration, dropped downloads, advertising, DRM, serials, encryption, etc., etc., etc.; security measures generally make a product less appealing to paying customers. Torrents are a TECHNICALLY SUPERIOR distribution method ATM.

Also, Pirated content serves as a great way to preview a product. Really, why would anyone want to buy something they can't return, sight unseen, when they can preview it first for free?

I wouldn't want to be in these guys' position; convincing the public that copyright violation is theft is a losing battle. Maybe if they'd spent a nanosecond trying to build good will in the public's mind things would be different, but that ship sailed a long time ago.

The Latinos are the ones who serve at the restaurants, are the maids at the hotel, the guys who mow the grass, who fix television sets, work as auto mechanic repairmen, etc. They are the ones who pick your crops for you, repesent an awful lot of taxi drivers, moview ushers, etc, etc.

Maybe where you live. Which is...?

Seriously, do you really think everyone in the service industry, all throughout America, is Mexican? Because when I go to restaurants, movie theaters, or the mechanic, I see mostly whites, some blacks, and very few Mexicans. Even lawn maintenance here is pretty white, though Mexicans do have a large share, maybe even the majority. I don't know who picks the crops, but I'd pay 10 cents more for a head of lettuce if it meant deporting the Mexicans.

And I've never had a television set repaired, ever. We throw that stuff out in this country.

It's a very simple equation: without Latinos, the basic cost of labor would skyrocket and that means much less profits, which means economic depression.

Yeah, it would suck if labor were more in demand, and thus more profitable. I can think of no hell worse than rising wages and low unemployment rates.

Svigor said...

Jody has a good point, moviemaking has gotten a lot better over the last few decades. The other guy had a point too, it's all so far left (or just plain nihilist/degenerate) that most of it isn't tolerable.

I watched Red Dawn recently, first time since I was a kid. Holy cow, totally politically incorrect by our standards. All white cast, COMMIE INVASION (!!!), teenage guerrilla resistance, just war, dead heroes, rites of passage, rural role models...

It went right into my top ten list of political movies for the masses (in no particular order, Black Hawk Down, The Running Man, Demolition Man, Idiocracy, The Searchers, The Lord of the Rings; it's still in flux so suggestions are welcome. Now that I think about it Cheaper By The Dozen might be a good addition). There's a scene in the beginning where the kids are stocking up on goods to get them through a long stint in the wilderness; listen to it without watching, it's clearly intended to be educational. The only thing they left out that I could think of at the moment was iodine. The rest of the movie is like a Reader's Digest condensed manual for teen insurgents, particularly the lesson about betrayal and moral authority wrapped up into one scene (as Steve has pointed out here more than once). I also liked how the politician was useless at best and treacherous at worst. In the right hands this movie would make for a spectacular remake.

Svigor said...

Oh, more good stuff about Red Dawn the quarterback jock is the natural leader, in fact they make a point of it. Not at all surprised to see Milius (and Poledouris) attached to this one.

Which reminds me, Starship Troopers is on that list, too. Paraphrasing, Verhoeven said in the commentary that he "wanted to show that fascism could be multicultural, too." Hahaha, most un-PC director's comment I've ever heard.

David said...

"Red Dawn" updated so the invaders are brawling Third-Worlders inserted by federal diktat in the heartland (superhighway style) and the kids wise up as town becomes Black Hawk Downsville and the lead girl is raped, or Daddy is shot by a Hmung...plenty of insurgency info...kids vs. tanks...the villain is a scheming preacher who is not what he seems...Now gimme $2 mil and you'll have it by Christmas 2011. Or, if you can make it, the idea is gratis to you. Merlin Miller, are you paying attention?

David said...

Anonymous asked...

How do you feel about X-Men?

I like them. All three. The great music makes up for a lot.

Anonymous asked...

Isn't that a "U.S. atrocity propaganda" movie, with its condemnation of straight normal Christian society?

Yes there are messages and I don't like them all. But these movies are still better than any plausible alternative.

What would you recommend except for the big-fun movies we have? The people who knock them sometimes seem to wish that instead of being headed for Spider-Man 4 we were up to Ordinary People VII: Thoroughly Tedious People.

What would be a better use of my entertainment dollar than the new Batman movies or the Spider-Man series? The Cider House Rules? Same stars!

I do not want Hollywood's morally perverse lecturing. I'm willing to put up with some of it, in the context of movies that are great entertainment overall.

We should think ourselves darn lucky to have movies like Iron Man, to watch without gritted teeth. So thanks again for the audience that helps these good, fun movies to thrive commercially.

David said...

When the "finest people" and the leading artistic spirits are depraved, like Roman Polanski and his supporters, and determined to import their morality into their movies, how can good work be done except through making movies where the surface and technique are more important than any deeper layers of meaning?

RKU said...

Some pretty funny details slipped through...

When he's blogging, Steve endlessly goes on and on about how allegedly noisy, obnoxious, rude, violent, and dangerous Latino immigrants tend to be...

But when it comes to actual real-life, he and his wife always drive over to a very heavily Latino immigrant part of LA to see movies in order to save a couple of dollars and avoid crowding. When Steve was growing up in LA, I'm really, really sure that he used to go down and similarly do his shopping in Watts to also save money.

This whole thing reminds me of Michael Huffington when he was running for the Senate. He gave endless speeches denouncing Latino immigrants, and sponsored Congressional legislation to make it a felony to transport an illegal immigrant across lines.

But when he flew in his private jet to DC to vote on the bill, he naturally took along his illegal Latino nanny, whom he and his wife trusted with the fate of their children.

There's often a pretty huge gap between "ideological rhetoric" and obvious reality.

Truth said...

"Oh, more good stuff about Red Dawn the quarterback jock is the natural leader,"

You weren't a quarterback jock, so why would you consider that "good stuff?"

That's a little like you going to a movie where the black guy is the natural leader, isn't it?

P Coderch said...

@Svigor

You missed the point completely. If labor costs rose due to the Latinos being expelled from the U.S, wages wouldn't go up; rather, businesses would bankrupt as they couldn't afford to pay the much higher wages that result from labor supply being so dramatcally reduced. Unemployment would skyrocket, and the goods and services would become so expensive that the Americans left with jobs couldn't afford them.

Dallas said...

There's a remake of Red Dawn coming out next year, with China replacing the Soviet Union as the invaders.

There's a site following the production of the movie.

The site has some photos of some of the set props, including the propaganda posters the Chinese use and put up in the US following their invasion. Ironically, the messages on the propaganda posters are so matter-of-fact, straightforward, direct, and true, that it's almost comical. Things like, "Your freedom has been a lie. Liberation is here." "Deceitful leaders. Greedy corporations. This is not a democracy." And a picture of a red hammer smashing the capitol building with the words "Defeating Your Enemy." A picture of a TV and computers with the word "Lies" on the screen (presumably signifying the media) and under it "Now there is truth."

Anonymous said...

To the Red Dawn discussion...

I saw that movie when I was eight, and saw no reason to dislike it. And I still don't dislike it, but I have to point out that the entire basis for the movies is complete drivel. It was based on an actual assessment of real weaknesses in our national defense capabilities. But the assessments of the Russian/Cuban strength was WAY over-blown. Not only that, it is highly unlikely that a series of bad wheat harvests would have compelled the Russians to launch such a bold plan against the most powerful nation in the world (not when they're starving and have virtually no experience in launching such a large campaign. That's called suicide, not a great chance for success, as was the case in the movie).

My point is that while Red Dawn was a well-made and well-acted movie, it was also a stupid movie in that one had to really stretch the imagination to accept that it could happen at all. It was complete fiction, and bad fiction at that, even though seemingly every attempt to remain based in fact was made. Of course, I didn't think this was when I saw it when I was eight, and maybe that's why I don't think of it as a total waste of time. IF someone were to remake it, only using China, as someone pointed out... I wouldn't even bother because that's just beyond any reasonable sanity!

That said, are the dumb Mexicans (bearing in mind that I'm seperating them from the smart ones) dumbing down the movies?

To answer that question, I look to something else: Wrestling!

Since I was eight when I saw Red Dawn, naturally I was in my pre-teens when the WWE (then WWF) was in it's golden age. And I saw that golden age come and go like that (snaps fingers). It just turned into complete garbage in the early 90's, and as far as I'm concerned it stayed there, where it remains today. Mexican wrestling was always worse than anything the WWE puts out today.

So if the article is true, and Mexican immigrants are in fact trashing what remains of quality, then it's only a factor, not THE factor. But... Are things really so bad, or is it a case where there is simply more trash? I think so. Over the years, past a certain point, I didn't even bother to see if there was anything good. I just assumed that because of all the things not good, there wasn't anything good to be had. But I was wrong. I missed some good movies in that boycott phase of mine. And I still do because seperating the wheat from the chaff has gotten to be a time-consuming ordeal and I don't have the time these days. (So I guess, then, being short of wheat, I'll have to invade the United States...Wish me luck! :-)

Svigor said...

Truth, you going to explain why you oppose self-determination and free association for white folks (and apparently, everyone else) one of these days?

When you man up, our conversation can move on.

You missed the point completely. If labor costs rose due to the Latinos being expelled from the U.S, wages wouldn't go up; rather, businesses would bankrupt as they couldn't afford to pay the much higher wages that result from labor supply being so dramatcally reduced. Unemployment would skyrocket, and the goods and services would become so expensive that the Americans left with jobs couldn't afford them.

There are more moving parts to your scenario than "supply and demand." Ergo, yours is more speculative. Anyone have the corrected numbers for pre-1965 wages? Anyone want to bet on the trend they'll show?

As I said, I'll pay 10 cents more for a head of lettuce, which according to some is pretty much what we'd pay to remove the illegals from the agricultural sector.

That's without even addressing the privatization of profits and socialization of costs.

But in the end, I'm willing to have a lower material standard of living (MY GOD, HOW DID WE GET ALONG ALL THOSE YEARS WITHOUT MEXICANS?) in return for survival.

Svigor said...

What would you recommend except for the big-fun movies we have? The people who knock them sometimes seem to wish that instead of being headed for Spider-Man 4 we were up to Ordinary People VII: Thoroughly Tedious People.

I had this conversation with a friend recently too. Movies about normal people are a waste of time. For one, they aren't normal, they're Kulturkampf-normal, and second, I'm surrounded by normal people and the real world every day; I don't need to pay Hollywood to serve them up to me.

Exceptions include stuff like Katyn. Excellent film about the real world, and eminently worth watching.

David said...

Svigor said...

"Movies about normal people are a waste of time. For one, they aren't normal, they're Kulturkampf-normal..."

That's all the argument I need.

Svigor said...

"Exceptions include stuff like Katyn.

Thanks for the tip.

Anonymous said...

There's something to be said for action/superhero/sci-fi movies with non-stop violence and black and white morality. (I mean impossibly good heroes and impossibly evil villains, not anything to do with race.)

I love them. I love to see the good guys win, and the black hearted SOBs die by the thousands. You don't get that in "Throughly Tedious People".

(That's another thing about PC ... it denies the existence of personal evil. Only groups, only certain groups are evil. PCers are more intent of punishing "hate" than on punishing thug who knifed granny in the back for the $5.01 in her purse.)

Middletown Girl said...

I must say though, if Chinese invade Detroit and set up some shops, things might improve.