Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Movies and an agenda

Movies used to be about entertaining and, say what you will about the old studio system, it did know how to entertain. Yeah, every so often the studios threw in a few "important" films (religious movies, or social commentary, such as the ponderous but well-meaning Gentleman's Agreement, but keeping audiences happy was always Goal No. 1. Audiences have no doubted noticed that this goal has changed, and nowhere is it more obvious than at the Oscars (a show I stopped watching more than a decade ago). Ben Shapiro takes us on a quick survey of the agenda behind most Oscar nominations in the last decade. It's an agenda that is almost certainly inconsistent with most American's social and religious and political beliefs. (In addition, I've seen many of these movies, and I would not describe them as entertaining.) Here's just a sample of what Shapiro talks about:

With great films scarce and politically mainstream Academy voters even scarcer, 2000 featured the victory of repulsive anti-suburbia and pro-homosexuality hit piece "American Beauty." Of course, it beat out a film lionizing an abortionist ("The Cider House Rules") and another attacking the tobacco industry ("The Insider"). Most disturbingly, the Academy handed Hilary Swank a Best Actress Oscar for playing a transgendered biological girl murdered by a bunch of hicks. And 2002 was the year of the African-American honorary Oscars, when Denzel Washington took home Best Actor for his decent if overrated performance in "Training Day" and Halle Berry took home Best Actress for her highly touted simulated orgasms in "Monster's Ball." In 2003, homosexual agenda films like "The Hours," "Frida" and "Far From Heaven" grabbed the largest share of nominations. In 2004, Hollywood couldn't hold off "Lord of the Rings" any longer, but Charlize Theron, playing an ugly lesbian serial killer in "Monster," won Best Actress. And last year, the Best Picture was forgettable pro-euthanasia film "Million Dollar Baby."
The need for an agenda as a yardstick of quality struck me forcibly yesterday when I was discussing Iraq war documentaries with a liberal friend. We had both recently seen Gunner Palace, a documentary by an embedded cameraman about a group of American soldiers quartered in one of Uday's old palaces. The movie, of course, has a slight anti-War gloss (the point being that the war didn't end in the first month), but is basically sympathetic to these young men, who are shown as hardworking, brave, multi-faceted, compassionate to the Iraqi citizens around them, and committed to what they do. I liked it; my friend hated it. What my friend thinks is the best Iraq war show ever is Off to War, a Discovery/Times production about an Arkansas National Guard unit headng of to war. What he loves about this show is that the guys are shown as ignorant hicks, grossly unprepared for the experience, and unsupported by the American military. Therefore, in his view, it's better than Gunner Palace. Keep in mind, it's not better because of better film quality, better editorial decisions, better directions, or anything. It's better because it supports all of the stereotypes my friend cherishes about our armed forces, about their conduct in war, and about the war itself. Talking to Technorati: , , ,