It's a good and informative article, and dropped in some names as future Hollywood conservatives to look out for. I am frustrated by Hollywood, but I get weary of some of the criticism as well. It's one thing to get onto Hollywood's case for a definite anti-American message, or for putting too much sex in PG and PG-13 movies, it's another thing to suggest that the only good movies are ones that have perfect noble heroes and a heavy handed moral message. Film is just another form of storytelling, and if you suggest that the only good stories are moralistic homilies, you've chopped off about 75% of World Literature. Goodbye Shakespeare, the Iliad, Anne Karenina, Kurosawa, and the very artform of the tragedy. There is plenty of room in storytelling to deal w/ "what if?" scenarios, philosophy, and difficult so called "gray area" conflicts. Heck, that is the *point* of storytelling.
I get the feeling that if some conservatives had their way, Citizen Kane and the Godfather would be deemed inappropriate for the average American citizen's viewing, because they don't have the right "message". It's one thing to criticize agenda driven films like the Cider House Rules or this Good Night Good Luck nonsense--I'm all for that--it's another to lambast any film that depicts the obvious flaws in human nature and/or it doesn't take an obvious moral stance. Although I'm glad films like "Because of Winn Dixie" exist for young families, I'd go crazy if those were the ONLY types of films out there. Too many conservatives jump the gun down any film's throat that presents a unresolved moral conflict. The big (recent) example of this is Million Dollar Baby, which most bashers didn't even watch, but it was made by one of the few Republicans in the system (Eastwood), and he himself denied any agenda. It wasn't pro-euthenasia, any more than Anne Karenina was pro-suicide or the Iliad was pro-anger. It becomes a "boy who cries wolf" scenario, when critics just decry *anything* that doesn't follow the methodical preaching of a "Left Behind" "novel", and the more serious criticism of blatant brainwashing ala Barback Mountain become muted shouts. Fiction is fiction, it's free to speculate and challenge, to play w/ the rules and act as catharsis. Ethics, philosophy and religion is there to guide us how to live--not stories.
Anna Karenina wasn't pro-suicide. It was anti-train.
I admire his choice in Smith & Wesson .45 Magnums but he is not a paragon of personal morality as attested by his long-time live in, Sondra Locke, who complained bitterly and publicly, when Clint traded her in for a new model live-in, of the multiple abortions she was pressed by Eastwood to undergo as a condition of their "relationship." Eastwood's Republicanism was a matter of libertarian resentment of coastal commies interfering in Carmel with his plans for the Hog's Breath Inn.
I am familiar with Kuosawa, Shakespeare (within limits) and Homer but I confess to having difficulty seeing the comparison. As I understand it, the Million Dollar Baby is a female prize fighter conveniently done away with when, gravely injured in the ring, she is no longer a promising mealticket. Whatever tears and flapdoodle may have been added to comfort those who need a pragmatism over morality fix, Million Dollar Baby sounds like a waste of time and money and received Academy awards accordingly from the cultureCong of Hollywood. Thanks, but no thanks.
The Godfather triklogy is great. I hope they make another while Andy Garcia is young enough. I (and mu children) could have enjoyed the movie more without Sonny Corleone and Lucy Mancini aggressively conceiving Vincent Mancini against a door at the Corleone manse on Connie's wedding day, without the scene in the second movie of the addled senatir sitting on the cathouse bed with the prostitute he has massacred and without Kay's murder in utero of her and Michael's second son because "All this must come to an end!!!!!!!", among other scenes.
We did not need the nude-breasted prostitute sitting oin the jockey's bed scene to "enhance" an otherwise great kids' movie like Seabiscuit. It had nothing whatever to do with the plot. Was it the mandatory minimum adult nudity quota for the movie or merely an assault on kids wanting to see a movie with a moral message about horses, races and underdog triumph?
Suffice it to say that the evaporation of the profits that subsidize this tripe will be the only real threat to your enjoyment of "morally complex" movies about "unresolved issues" of human depravity. Take heart. There are decades of similar tripe on DVD and VCR from the accumulated body of Hollyweird corruption. If I do not wish to patronize this stuff, if an increasing number (including now aging boomers) of former theatergoers are saying "Enough is more than enough," what is the alternative? Taxing us to subsidize the "art" which we have come to despise?????
Why frequent such bilge as Million Dollar Baby???? What unresolved moral conflicts? Suicide is wrong. Euthanasia is wrong. I don't think much of the morality, if any, of female boxing exhibitions catering to a certain prurient interest in our neo-pagans of Hollywood and in the theater seats. Speculation ought not to replace reason.
Parables were a literary art form by which Jesus Christ instructed his listeners and readers as to how they ought to live. Parables are, well, stories. Do you think that J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis were simply speculating, challenging, playing with the rules, and providing catharsis? I don't think so and neither did they, if you are familiar with their lives.
Heavy handed moral messages???? From Hollywierd???? How about heavy-handed antimoral attitudes????
To say nothing of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, so utterly successful, so totally despised by the usual gang of Hollyweird suspects. Good for Mel who understands morality and, however imperfectly, practices it, even in his art, as Eastwood does not.
Clint Eastwood: great actor, director, producer, but an horrendously flawed human being.