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Thursday, April 27, 2006 - 10:18amSanction this postReply
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I am sure you will get a lot of responses along the lines of "Oh, but it is just entertainment" or "you didn't understand the symbolism" and other such crap, but you are dead on.  There are a couple of movies I recently looked at (but have not watched) that gave me similar thoughts.

"Hoot" a so-called family movie about how kids "save" these owls from an evil developer, of course.  Or, how they abrogate the property rights of others by imposing their own values using force.

so-called "independent" movies are utterly vile, in many cases, for example:

anything by Larry Clark, for example "Kids" and "Ken Park" which are bordering on porn, but the real problem is not that but the utterly nihilistic philosophy.

"Dear Wendy" - look at this piece of shit, it is about pacifist teenagers, who get guns, then protect an old lady who guns down an officer, and they all end up dead.  Just look at some of the IMDB comments on this!  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0342272/


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Thursday, April 27, 2006 - 4:48pmSanction this postReply
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I saw the movie version of Chicago when it was first released and laughed from beginning to end. That's because it's a musical comedy . It's about people acting irrationally. You're supposed to laugh at them and the irrational situations portrayed. There are no role models here.


Sheesh! Haven't you ever laughed at the Three Stooges? Or Seinfeld? The latter show in particular had no role models. Who would have wanted any of the Seinfeld characters as friends? They were funny as hell, though, for the very reason that they were lacking in ethics.


BTW, I also saw Chicago on Broadway a couple of years ago. The movie version was much better and also much funnier.

If you want to name a morally bankrupt movie, my choice for top award would go to American Beauty. Now that's a movie worth condemning (well written, well directed, well acted--but morally contemptible.)

(Edited by Bob Palin on 4/27, 5:09pm)


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Friday, April 28, 2006 - 7:31amSanction this postReply
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Hi Kurt, thanks for your reply.  I sent this out in a few other places and I certainly did receive a lot of the Ďlighten upí type responses (though I am surprised to see them show up on this forum in the response following yours)  I should have emphasized more how these kinds of dubious and harmful philosophical ideas can get dribbled into our media under the guise of sarcastic comedies and satire.  The line is not really clear between a satirical comedy and the denigrating the value of human life and justice through mockery.

 

I saw the preview for Hoot and had the same reaction, rolling my eyes and getting a serious scowl.  Kids I did see and it was certainly a terrible depressing nihilistic movie.  I think I will pass on ever seeing any of Larry Clarks films.

 

Bob, Itís one thing for people to act irrationally in a comedy so we can laugh at them, but it is entirely another, in my opinion, for them to mock human life and justice.  As I said, would you have found it funny it had been psychopathic pedophiles singing about raping and murdering a young girl, why is it funny when it is women joking about murdering their husbands?  Sorry, I donít think there is ever anything funny about murder.  If you make a work of art without any point, story, moral, or role model, then why are you making it at all?  To glorify human faults?  To laugh at the disgusting and terrible things people do?  What so we can laugh at them when we do them?  Obviously we just disagree on how harmful these things are. 

 

I donít laugh at jokes whose punch line is pain and suffering of other people.  I did not find Seinfeld funny because they were lacking in ethics, I found their commentaries about aspects of life amusing, such as focusing on the weirdness of some inane and common things.  If anything, their lack of ethics was a turn off for that show. 

Michael


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Friday, April 28, 2006 - 7:31amSanction this postReply
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I have to say I'm with Mr. Palin on this one.  You wouldn't go to burger king expecting haut cuisine, and looking for an uplifting, didactic experience from a Broadway musical is sort of the same thing.


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Friday, April 28, 2006 - 8:15amSanction this postReply
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Michael,

 

I think you are quite right in condemning "Chicago." Humor is a terrible weapon because when it is used concerning ethics and events of such utter importance like murder, the judiciary system, and execution it can only eat at their significance. Toohey used humor to laugh at all things good, important, and sacred because he realized the nature of humor when applied to these subjects: laugh and its all ok. Humor leads directly to apathy. Also you were spot on with noticing the discrepancy between killing men and killing gays, women, etc. Either way it's killing. The writer may have been trying to accomplish a sort of criticism, but the nature of such humor sent it the other way.

But, there are some interesting aspects of the play/movie worth considering. One of the most famous songs is about "givin' them the old razz-m-tazzle" to get off the hook. Contemptible, but at the same time a worthy satire of American justice. Trial by the media often ends up this way. At the end the two murderesses have gotten off the hook themselves after giving "the old razz-m-tazzle" and they are seen dancing and frolicking on stage, pretending to murder and having the crowd, at least in the movie, laugh uproariously. It seemed to me that the movie was subtly tuning the criticism on the audience. As if to say "look, you are laughing and sympathizing with these two murderers. You think it is ok too, even though you thought it was terrible that the Hungarian girl was hung." And the statement "That's America" is proved to be true by the audience's reaction.

Once again, though, such a criticism is lost by the nature of the humor. Instead of an outcry against such occurrences in our society the movie/play turns into an excuse.


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Friday, April 28, 2006 - 2:37pmSanction this postReply
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Michael and Mitchell,

Okay, no "Murder Mystery Weekend" for you two! :-)


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Friday, April 28, 2006 - 6:41pmSanction this postReply
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     It's a satirically-metaphorical play on how the present 'system' in 1st-world civilization (not just America, or '1930's-America') IS. It's a musical as well, with very fitting (to it's view) lyrics.

     It's as 'cynical' as all get-out; not about 'what can be', but about 'what is'. --- I see it as a 'wake-up' call...but lacking a clear 'WAKE-UP' bell in it. Really, that's the only flaw in it. In its own way, it's a bit too subtle.

     Who's NOT 'cynical' re how the political-/police-/court-/legal-system/PR-'spin'-meisters (lawyers AND pundits) have been working? Richard Gere's 'tap-dancing' sums up how the justice system usually works (anyone hear of "O.J"?) in spite of those Serpico's out there. There just ain't enough of them to change much.

     Then, of course, there's us voters for law-makers; not enough of us, either --- But, that's another, different 'musical.' It'd be cynical also, of course; what other attitude would fit since the late 1800's?

     The musical has absolutely NO 'spin' to a better way of life or institutions-improvement (Unless one's ready for multi-story Broadway musical-sequels?).

     It's a 'complaint' about the way we ARE: complacent with seeing 'news' as mere dramatic-entertainment. "Who's the 'underdog-appearing' star NOW?" ---  I'm just surprised that it didn't include some dance/song about we-asked-for-what-we've-complacently-allowed (can one say Twin-Towers?)

     It's a very honest presentation of seeing (even if in terms of  a '30's-prism hindsight...which still applies today) "...the chickens coming home to roost."

     Think about America's policies (not to be confused with its orientation) over the last...pick your number...years, local-govt and fed-govt-wise. --- "He had it comin'; he had it comin'...."

LLAP
J:D


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