Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Hooray for Hollywood!

I've commented before (here, here, here, and here) about the fact that Hollywood advances a value system antithetical to the values most Americans hold. This New York Times article (with hyperlinks omitted) about a movie opening tomorrow confirms me in my belief that Hollywood is pushing a less than wholesome agenda:

If Quentin Tarantino's 'Reservoir Dogs' and 'Pulp Fiction' shocked audiences with up-close gore, and his 'Kill Bill' movies racked up record numbers of spurting arteries and flying body parts, his pal Robert Rodriguez's 'Sin City,' which opens in 3,300 theaters nationwide tomorrow, may set a new mark for its stomach-churning versatility. Try this for range: cannibalism, castration, decapitation, dismemberment, electrocution, hanging, massacres, pedophilia, slashings and lots and lots of torture.
Nice to know that our American teenagers will have a new movie to see this coming weekend. What's funny is that, because this movie will have an art house, cutting edge cachet, the same people who decry the violence of our times, the wars the conservatives fight, the guns the conservatives allow people to carry, etc., will be applauding this movie for its faithfulness to the original noir comic strip, for its technical mastery, yada, yada, yada. Indeed, speaking of the teenagers seeing it, the director proudly points out that he had no problem with the rating process:
Mr. Rodriguez said that the Motion Picture Association of America had not asked for a single change before giving "Sin City" an "R" rating. "They're usually the most squeamish, but they got the stylization, they got the abstractness of it and it was obviously not a realistic movie."
The important thing to remember in this bloodfest is that it is actually a romance, and that's what the viewers need to take away:
[T]he gore in every scene is secondary to the romantic underpinnings of the three plots. "If all there was was the violence of the comic book, nobody would be making this movie including me," he said by telephone Wednesday. "What transcends it is these are three lugs who happen to be in love with these women in very different ways - the knights in dirty armor. Bruce Willis is the protector, Clive Owen is fighting for the honor of the women of the streets and Mickey Rourke was framed. It's about the lengths they will go for redemption and revenge. That's the core of it, and that's what Robert and Frank got, and that's what every film noir piece has. And people love that."
Even the NY Times columnist writing about this movie recognizes the disingenuous irony in that statement:
Of course, not every film noir piece shows the heads of five prostitutes mounted on a wall, or a dog eating the legs of a still-live boy, or a man ripping out the genitals of another man, or - but never mind.
People may sneer at the bland stuff that Hollywood used to produce but I'll take "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" or even a Francis the Talking Mule, or a Bonzo the Chimp movie, any day. UPDATE: Much to my amusement, one day after posting the above, I was speaking to a dear, liberal friend who is tremendously excited about Sin City. When I commented about the disgusting, really degrading, violence, he said that wasn't a problem. The film clips he's seen are "so artistic." He's too dear a person for me to have commented that I don't think art sanitizes violence.