Monday, 5 November 2007

Bad films, bad art ... and empty theatres

On the left hand (ie., Robert Fisk praising the film 'Rendition' in the not-s0-'Independent')...
So is truth stranger than fiction? Or is Hollywood waking up – after 'Syriana' and 'Munich' – to the gross injustices of the Middle East and the shameless and illegal policies of the US in the region?
And on the other hand (ie., Christian Toto in 'The Washington Times') ...
It doesn't matter how many Oscar winners are in front of or behind the camera — audiences are proving to be conscientious objectors when it comes to this fall's surge of antiwar and anti-Bush films.

Both 'In the Valley of Elah' and, more recently, 'Rendition' drew minuscule crowds upon their release, which doesn't bode well for the ongoing stream of films critical of the Iraq war and the Bush administration's wider war on terror....
Perhaps it's what happens when didactic propaganda overtakes art and entertainment: bad films, bad art and empty theatres. As Ayn Rand says about art (to which at least some films still aspire),
since every art work has a theme, it will necessarily convey some conclusion, some "message," to its audience. But that influence and that "message" are only secondary consequences. Art is not the means to any didactic end. This is the difference between a work of art and a morality play or a propaganda poster. The greater a work of art, the more profoundly universal its theme. Art is not the means of literal transcription. This is the difference between a work of art and a news story or a photograph.
UPDATE: Novelist Ed Cline blogs on Hollywood's Jihad Against America.


  1. 'Munich' merely showed the human dramas behind the necessary targeted assasinations, how does this show that Hollywood is waking up 'to the gross injustices of the Middle East and the shameless and illegal policies of the US in the region'? Aint seen Syriana yet and I don't think it was that popular.

  2. Robert Winefield5 Nov 2007, 12:14:00

    Frankly, I think that Holliwierd has forgotten why people go to movies.

    One major reason is they want a night out with their partner. And I don't know about you, but a story about rape, death and why America sucks isn't really the sort of thing you want to see when you're on a date. Especially if you are from the Mid-West and know a number of people how have served or are serving in that same military.

    These movies will probably be more popular in DVD form overseas & in Leftie strong-holds like California and New York. That's about it.

    I don't suppose it's occurred to these actors/directors that they have to 'sell' their movies to people. Their audience is not a captive one, especially when you can rent a classic DVD for a buck (compared to $10 a seat for the cinema) from the drive-thru lane at the fast-food store.

  3. Robert Winefield5 Nov 2007, 12:16:00

    And I find it particularly ironic that the movie that set Tom Cruise's career into the stratosphere was the flag-waving, pro-military 'Top Gun.'

    He hasn't learnt anything from that, now has he?

  4. that's because the motherfucker's 'not of this earth'! dun dun dunn!

  5. Syriana was terrible, Munich less so but still a bad film. Rendition will probably be as bad.

    But I have one question, can libertarians support a policy of rendition?
    What do they have to say about stories like a Syrian-born Canadian citizen who was tortured in Syria? when he was completely innocent and the charges weren't even very reliable in the first place?


    Canadian citizen,

  6. What is strange is that people seem to be turning off this so called "anti-war propaganda", yet seem to be quite enjoying the pro-war propaganda that is FOX News. People like to be shown that their own country is wonderful and never does anything wrong. An accurate film based on the invasion of Iraq would not paint such a picture of the United States, hence the low turn out for these films.


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