September 29, 2012

Art that actually shocks

The New York Times has been running a long self-congratulatory series of essays, tied to the upcoming 100th anniversary of Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps, called "Shock Value" about art that shocks in which various culture mavens talk about how they got over their bourgeois hangups to appreciate this or that now approved movie or painting. 

But what about unapproved movies? 

In this century, objectively speaking, the most shocking movies to the Establishment, as measured in efforts to kill them, were likely The Passion of the Christ and Idiocracy. (Consider how the studios and media marketed Borat v. tried to drown Idiocracy like a kitten.) 

But, honorable mention should be made of a 2009 movie that was so gut-punch shocking that almost nobody noticed it, the plot was so far outside the realm of acceptable thought: Disgrace, an adaptation of the 1999 novel that won J.M. Coetzee the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2002, and caused him to flee South Africa for safety in Australia after the ruling African National Congress objected to his Nobel. John Malkovich played a South African professor who is powerless to prevent his lesbian daughter from being gang-raped and then incorporated as a junior wife into a black peasant family. 

155 comments:

x said...

if it can be classified as art, savitri devi's "lightning and the sun". that's probably the most offensive book ever written.

Anonymous said...

A version that featured Liam Neeson as the professor and had him blow away the rapists in the third act would have been pilloried by critics and made 400 million dollars worldwide. I mean, Taken was almost the same plot, but with Albanians instead of black South Africans.

And District 9 managed to say some pretty startlingly un P.C. things about post apartheid South Africa and be a critically acclaimed hit.

JustAClown said...

sailer wrote: the plot was so far outside the realm of acceptable thought

============

I agree that there many things that are outside the realm of acceptable thought. Here are some ideas that are also outside the realm of acceptable thought: 1) being against mass immigration, against affirmative action and race spoils, while at the same time being for universal healthcare, for progressive taxation, being against constant warfare, for strong unions and workers rights.

As americans, this combination of thoughts is forbidden.

DaveinHackensack said...

"In this century, objectively speaking, the most shocking movies to the Establishment, as measured in efforts to kill them, were likely The Passion of the Christ and Idiocracy."

I think The Innocence of Muslims (the full version of which may not even exist, for all we know), trumps both in disturbing the establishment. As for alleged efforts to kill the two movies you mention, Passion, despite the controversy, was objectively well-made and ended up being a blockbuster. Idiocracy, though it had a few brilliant touches, and a message that deserved wider attention, was sort of a direct-to-video quality movie. Not Judge's best work, by a long shot. And not anywhere near as funny as Borat, however douchey that movie was.

DYork said...

Former Heavyweight boxing champion Corrie Sanders murdered in South Africa.

Sanders was shot in the arm and stomach as he tried to shield his teenage daughter during the robbery.

Anonymous said...

Steve, don't you think that 'newly liberated blacks' deserve some revenge for being shackled for so long?

Anonymous said...

That film is on amazon prime. Wish I hadn't read all your spoilers now.

cecilhenry said...

In order for art to actually shock, it has to be done without the intent to shock and garner attention.

It has to be done because the artist wants to convey a truth unequivocally.

"Camp of the Saints" would be a great book to turn into a movie.

Respail has great characters and a haunting narrative.

Anonymous said...

I presume there is no mention of Birth of a Nation.

Nanonymous said...

Re: Disgrace.

I remember that it was one of your readers who pointed out that it the ending of the movie, probably, is that he kills his pregnant daughter. "Like a dog", as being repeated several times throughout the movie. Watching it again, I could only agree. Truly shocking.

Anonymous said...

But...
Stravinsky was a great artist, which is why the shock was culturally significant.

But who really thinks Passion or Disgrace is a great film?

Of course, 'shock' has been branded into schlock with movies like Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
We have approved shock favored by the elites. But when someone like Lars Von Trier shocks them in an unapproved way, there is hell to pay.

But what is the value of approved shock?

Anonymous said...

Instead of shock to the system, we have shock of the system.

João de Deus said...

In this century, objectively speaking, the most shocking movies to the Establishment, as measured in efforts to kill them, were likely The Passion of the Christ and Idiocracy.

This is why I love your blog Steve, God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Peyton Place shocked people once but no one remembers it because it was a bad book.

sunbeam said...

Hmmm maybe a little off topic on my part.

But I can think of only two movies that have ever shocked me.

Robocop - I think the most violent movie I've ever seen.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - It frightened me and made me sick. It seemed totally plausible to me in a way that most movies don't.

Maybe I live in crazy land, but that movie fit my world view of what to be scared of more than most.

pat said...

Of course the lid is being kept on the situation in South Africa and I expect it will continue to be kept on if only because of all the attention being paid to the "art" about Islam. These continuing incidents are sucking all the oxygen out of the art censorship balloon.

The YouTube video "The Innocence of Muslims" isn't a real film but it's enough for it's creator to get himself arrested and have a bounty put on his head by terrorists. Not just "Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight" terrorists like the Black Panthers who threatened George Zimmerman, but real well funded Muslims.

He is likely to end up murdered, and if so expect our President to applaud.

Albertosaurus

Steve Sailer said...

The Boer refugee director of "District 9" gave dozens of interviews explaining what his movie was actually about, but only Andrew O'Hehir of Salon was smart enough to hear what the man was saying and be disturbed by it.

In general, the finest artists are much less ideologically uniform than the vast stratum of professional culturati beneath them, for whom art and politics form a seamless blend of status markers reassuring them that while they may not have as much money as some people, they are better than them.

Anonymous said...

The Passion of Christ was punch in the guts for the Establishment.

pat said...

BTW the real Le Sacre is hardly ever seen anymore. It's a ballet after all. For three generations now everyone only knows the Disney film and dinosaurs. And of course that's obsolete now. It wasn't the Deccan Traps it was the iridium anomaly at Gubbio.

Another source of art shock used to be Rap Music. But lately even the most savage, cruel and mindlessly obscene lyrics (there is no actual music in Rap) is now accepted and tolerated.

It's like how post-OJ we now accept that black men are often savage monsters. So they appropriately listen to music fit only for savages.

Albertosaurus

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

"Steve, don't you think that 'newly liberated blacks' deserve some revenge for being shackled for so long? "

1) every black there is there because the british brought them in to work the diamond mines(after slaughtering 1/4th to 1/2 of the boer population to get those mines), or because they chose to flee to the last bastion of white privilege of their own free will in post-colonial africa.

2) If there is anyone that should never use violence, it is the poor dumb black bastards in Africa. They are terrible at it.

Steve Sailer said...

" Idiocracy, though it had a few brilliant touches, and a message that deserved wider attention, was sort of a direct-to-video quality movie."

A large fraction of famous comedies are haphazardly made: Does "Caddyshack" remind anybody of a David Lean movie? It's the brilliant touches that count with comedies, of which Idiocracy had enough to survive its own studio's attempt to destroy it as much as was feasible within the contract.

Anonymous said...

Imagine if GG Allin wrote songs about the inequality of the races.

Anonymous said...

Any evidence that it was the non-PC theme that killed Idiocracy? Or do movie studios decline to publicize films all the time?

Dennis Dale said...

I'm sure Lar von Trier's Antichrist short-circuited a few right-thinking brains. It's got to really hurt that it's a masterpiece.

Critics like to use the word "transgressive" but tney have no interest in the transgressive as such--it's just another who, whom assault.

Anonymous said...

"Any evidence that it was the non-PC theme that killed Idiocracy? Or do movie studios decline to publicize films all the time?" - It is pretty PC, but merely touching on these issues is toxic, everyone can read between the lines on blatantly displayed ideas like "dumb people are having too many children, smart people are having too few".

Jason said...

Most of the films on this list are good nominees for genuinely shocking shock-fare, especially "Irreversible." http://movies.popcrunch.com/the-15-most-disturbing-movies-ever-made/

But a lot aren't shocking politically per se, but then again, neither is "Passion," I would argue. I see Passion as closer to the "Cannibal Holocaust" side of the pointless-shock spectrum.

DaveinHackensack said...

" Does "Caddyshack" remind anybody of a David Lean movie?"

That line might be funnier than any line in Idiocracy (perhaps with the exception of Luke Wilson's objection to going to Starbucks). Caddyshack, in contrast, has a whole bunch of funny lines people still repeat 30 years later.

Jeffery said...

I think Idiocracy had a much more threatening message than Passion. Eugenics/dysgenics is about something real. I agree with whoever said the quality isn't as high as one would desire, but the message overall was great. Actually, just the opening scene gets the message across.

DaveinHackensack said...

Bonfire of the Vanities could have been shocking, had the movie been made competently and faithful to the book.

Gilbert Ratchet said...

"The Passion of Christ was punch in the guts for the Establishment."

Wut?

Surely it was of a piece with Serrano's Piss Christ and that statue of the Virgin covered with elephant dung - something thought-provoking for the culturati, and as a bonus offensive to ordinary religious folks, whom the Establishment looks down on anyway. Defending Passion of the Christ was what one did, like defending Mapplethorpe and (to a lesser extent) Rushdie.

How about finding a movie that was _really_ upsetting to the Establishment?

Anonymous said...

I see Passion as closer to the "Cannibal Holocaust" side of the pointless-shock spectrum.

Passion "controversy" comes from the fact that is a Traditional Catholic view of Jesus Christ last moments, no "judeo-christian" bs.

With the Pharisees as the responsible for Christ execution even if as the Roman who killed him.

Also the movie was released right in the middle of the Iraq war...

stari_momak said...

"Caddyshack, in contrast"

Dude, you write all faggy...

Anonymous said...

If Tolstoy is right about art (he isn't) then nothing touches the Passion for cinematic power. It got a person to confess to a freaking murder. "Spring"'s effect was that a bunch of gendarmes had to dress up and watch ballet for a week.

Steve Sailer said...

Physical presence is a big deal in a career. Bosses are a lot more heartless toward somebody who isn't around much. If you are a staffer, be at headquarters. A remote site is okay if you are a line manager in a job where your performance can be measured.

Anonymous said...

Katyn as well..

What's funny is that our elite, the NYT etc champion THEMSELVES as 'tolerant' and open minded.

The Passion had nothing that is not in the Gospels... ...once you understand THAT and the reaction of the scots-irish to it, you will understand why even a Christmas tree in a public square makes them uneasy.

Podsnap said...

The first episode of 'Seven Periods With Mr Gormsby' rates pretty high on the non-PC shockmeter.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umT0qvxzmHw&feature=related

Anonymous said...

"Steve, don't you think that 'newly liberated blacks' deserve some revenge for being shackled for so long?"

Blacks acted that way before being shackled and do so again post-shacklement. It's not revenge but reversion. Reversionaries run wild.

Anonymous said...

"I presume there is no mention of Birth of a Nation."

Controversial but not shocking when released. Even the president praised it.

keithlevenberg said...

Reminds me of this Onion classic.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/noncontroversial-christ-painting-under-fire-from-a,308/

Anonymous said...

"The Passion of Christ was punch in the guts for the Establishment."

and then gibbie was punch drunk for himself. what an idiot.

btw, idiocracy was not shocking. it played it safe and was ultimately a copout.

Anonymous said...

The most shockingly dumb thing was National Review's top 20 conservative films.

Anonymous said...

don't you think that 'newly liberated blacks' deserve some revenge for being shackled for so long?

No. Men of intemperate minds can never be free. Their passions forge their fetters.

And what's with the quote marks around 'newly liberated blacks'? You don't appear to be quoting anyone.

Darwin's Sh*tlist said...

Re: Disgrace.

I haven't seen it yet, but after I read your review, I found Roger Ebert's for comparison. I've always found Ebert's reviews to be exceedingly well done and he's a standard-issue 60's-style white liberal in an interracial marriage.

He seems to have struggled a bit with the film. To his credit, he's fairly up-front about this, but you can see the gut-punch part at work.

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090923/REVIEWS/909239997

Anonymous said...

at least people watch movies.


banksy is the only painter who matters. every other contemporary artist shows his work to about 100 people: 50 critics and 50 hedge fund billionaires who want to be in on the joke.


banksy is known by smart, cool people who can't afford $75m jasper johns paintings and don't care what matthew barney is doing.

Anonymous said...

There is:

1. Shocking just to shock(piss christ)

2. shocking because it's true but against conventional truisms(william shockley)

3. shocking because it's boldly new(stravinsky)

4. shocking because it unleashes new sensations: rock n roll

-------

there is also fun pleasant shock(Jaws)

and negative upsetting shock(texas chainsaw)

-------

straw dogs and clockwork orange were shocking in their day.

Anonymous said...

http://www.nationalreview.com/nrd/article/?q=YWQ4MDlhMWRkZDQ5YmViMDM1Yzc0MTE3ZTllY2E3MGM=


joke called modern conservtism

Anonymous said...

11. The Lord of the Rings (2001, 2002, 2003): Author J. R. R. Tolkien was deeply conservative, so it’s no surprise that the trilogy of movies based on his masterwork is as well. Largely filmed before 9/11, they seemed perfectly pitched for the post-9/11 world. The debates over what to do about Sauron and Saruman echoed our own disputes over the Iraq War. (Think of Wormtongue as Keith Olbermann.) When Frodo sighs, “I wish none of this had happened,” Gandalf’s response speaks to us, too: “So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

Anonymous said...

7. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006): Based on the life of self-made millionaire Chris Gardner (Will Smith), this film provides the perfect antidote to Wall Street and other Hollywood diatribes depicting the world of finance as filled with nothing but greed. After his wife leaves him, Gardner can barely pay the rent. He accepts an unpaid internship at a San Francisco brokerage, with the promise of a real job if he outperforms the other interns and passes his exams. Gardner never succumbs to self-pity, even when he and his young son take refuge in a homeless shelter. They’re black, but there’s no racial undertone or subtext. Gardner is just an incredibly hard-working, ambitious, and smart man who wants to do better for himself and his son.

– Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity.

-------

My head hurts.

Anonymous said...

5. 300 (2007): During the Bush years, Hollywood neglected the heroism of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan — but it did release this action film about martial honor, unflinching courage, and the oft-ignored truth that freedom isn’t free. Beneath a layer of egregious non-history — including goblin-like creatures that belong in a fantasy epic — is a stylized story about the ancient battle of Thermopylae and the Spartan defense of the West’s fledgling institutions. It contrasts a small band of Spartans, motivated by their convictions and a commitment to the law, with a Persian horde that is driven forward by whips. In the words recorded by the real-life Herodotus: “Law is their master, which they fear more than your men[, Xerxes,] fear you.”

– Michael Poliakoff, a classicist, is vice president for academic affairs at the University of Colorado.

--------

Shoot me! Neocon war porn.

PA said...

"btw, idiocracy was not shocking. it played it safe and was ultimately a copout."

Agreed. The dysgenic future was very redneck, with just a tiny bit of black and hispanic.

Steve Sailer said...

Thanks for the Ebert review. You can also see why I simply ignored the No Spoilers orthodoxy in my review. Ebert was deeply affected emotionally by "Disgrace" but he can hide behind No Spoilers to stay out of trouble. I doubt if 2% of his readers could figure out what the movie was about from his review.

Anonymous said...

"Neocon war porn."
exactly - scots irish push for attacking IRan, even going as far as to depict the Persians as black !?

Anonymous said...

banksy is the only painter who matters.
I am a representational painter in NYC - there is a a whole below the surface movement here of realist painting - much of it on par, at least technically - with the 19th century academy - the problem is the empty heads of realist painters themselves; thus trying to pain 'Ayn Randian' or pseudo neoclassical art

Long winded way to say there are artist outside Damein hirst, etc... just like there are discussions like steve's blog outside the NPR set.

Anonymous said...

"The Passion of the Christ"

who was last seen beating and shooting down neo-nazis to save an asian man down on his luck.
There was a twist at the end though, the neo-nazi leader being too strong for our hero, but thankfully the heroic woman of color was there to save the day just as he was mumbling something about 'when they rise up' or something.

Anonymous said...

Traditional Catholic view of Jesus Christ last moments,
don't mean to inflame Prod-Rome wars especially on the eve of the largest orangeman march in years... but its not the 'traditional catholic view' it is what all Christians (Prod, Rome, Orthodox) see as the real view.

Anonymous said...

disgrace: death of a nation.

Anonymous said...

My wife's a Social Worker and she laughed out loud at that movie. She already lives in that world. A shambolic movie about a shambolic future. I don't know anyone outside this sphere who has seen it. It's not that good but has some funny lines and scenes.

Anonymous said...

in the realms of the senses

fnn said...

if it can be classified as art, savitri devi's "lightning and the sun". that's probably the most offensive book ever written.

Why wouldn't it be classified as art, assuming you're not being disingenuous ?

Anonymous said...

Just A Clown said

" agree that there many things that are outside the realm of acceptable thought. Here are some ideas that are also outside the realm of acceptable thought: 1) being against mass immigration, against affirmative action and race spoils, while at the same time being for universal healthcare, for progressive taxation, being against constant warfare, for strong unions and workers rights.

As americans, this combination of thoughts is forbidden."

Yes, good and valid point. I wonder why that is.

Yes I suspect it would be too much like having Whites look out for their own interests for some people ... err the Scoth-Irish... to feel comfortable with it.

fnn said...

"I presume there is no mention of Birth of a Nation."

Controversial but not shocking when released. Even the president praised it.


Wait a second, there were a lot of protests against it, it was banned in some cities.

Cail Corishev said...

I don't know if the elites were shocked so much by the content of Passion -- you'd have to actually watch it for that to happen -- as by the fact that they told people not to watch it, that if you did you might be some kind of Nazi (I even had to sit through a Catholic priest explaining how it was anti-Semitic and the Jews weren't reeeeeally responsible) yet millions of people still flocked to see (from the elite perspective) a bloodbath with subtitles. It was a reminder that they don't quite control all the people all of the time. Once in a while the masses do their own thing, and that has to be shocking to the elites.

On paper, Idiocracy should have been funny. Beavis and Butthead were funny. The premise was funny. I wanted it to be funny. Yet I sat through the thing and maybe chuckled twice. The only really non-PC thing in the movie was the black president, and I think he got one of the chuckles. I've seen interviews with Mike Judge that were funnier than that movie. I'm not sure if it was the acting, writing, or what, but I've seen fewer bigger disappointments.

Anonymous said...

" DaveinHackensack said...
Bonfire of the Vanities could have been shocking, had the movie been made competently and faithful to the book."

Good point, but what director had or has the clout to get it filmed in a way that was true to the book without getting in a lot of PC trouble or having the courage to withstand the PC tumult?

Maybe Mel Gibson who can self-finance (just about) and apparently doesn't care about the critics if he feels strongly about a project like he did the Passion.

I suppose Mike Judge would be the only other one I can think of who might do something as daring.

Anonymous said...

"Physical presence is a big deal in a career. Bosses are a lot more heartless toward somebody who isn't around much. If you are a staffer, be at headquarters. A remote site is okay if you are a line manager in a job where your performance can be measured."

At my company the layoffs aren't done by your manager. They are done by HR with a formula as far as I can tell. They try to take out the personal as much as possible. Now this is one of the largest companies in the US.

Anonymous said...

"Agreed. The dysgenic future was very redneck, with just a tiny bit of black and hispanic."

True, but it isn't hard to join the dots and do your own coloring in.

Gilbert P.

Anonymous said...

"I agree that there many things that are outside the realm of acceptable thought. Here are some ideas that are also outside the realm of acceptable thought: 1) being against mass immigration, against affirmative action and race spoils, while at the same time being for universal healthcare, for progressive taxation, being against constant warfare, for strong unions and workers rights.

As Americans, this combination of thoughts is forbidden"

I agree. We need something that is a countervailing force to corporations. Unions didn't allow companies to walk all over people anymore.

I wouldn't mind the old Sweden before immigration and multiculturalism.

In the US we have little security and our freedoms have been taken away in terms of the ability to associate with whom we want.

Also,didn't big business give rise to big govt?

Then the govt started to tell people who they had to associate with.

Community in America has been destroyed while at the same time we are more at the mercy of global forces so we feel less secure.

We are isolated at work and at home.

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't anyone made a film adaptation of A Bend in the River? V.S. Naipaul was very frank about the Africans, foreign merchants, and Europeans without coming off as racist or PC. All of the characters are very interesting too.

Anonymous said...

Unions didn't allow companies to walk all over people anymore.
sorry darling union bosses are just as corrupt as any goverment offical - all Unsios (capital U) are pro immigration - how could they possibly be if they were REALLY protecting workers?

Difference Maker said...

"Steve, don't you think that 'newly liberated blacks' deserve some revenge for being shackled for so long?"

Blacks acted that way before being shackled and do so again post-shacklement. It's not revenge but reversion. Reversionaries run wild.


I think it was a joke. But regardless, they'll be getting no revenge at my expense. How absurd. Let the limp wristed liberals take that route.

Britain even uplifted them - slavery had been banned in the Empire since 1834

Auntie Analogue said...

Nothing shocks, as we live now in Huxleian instant-gratification of every desire.

Nowadays nothing shocks, yet much "offends." Grasp that nettle and, as in other words Voltaire illuminated, you grasp who rules whom.

sunbeam said...

I vaguely know about the history,

But unless you are going full retard, why would you stay in South Africa now?

Screw history, it's changed. Your peronal history could have been very different if you had grown up in any other country. Just run. Three, Four hundred years of history is pretty lightweight to throw away a life on.

Hell, they shit that out on any given episode of Britain's Got Talent.

Bail the fuck out and go on to greener pastures.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
Unions didn't allow companies to walk all over people anymore.
sorry darling union bosses are just as corrupt as any goverment offical - all Unsios (capital U) are pro immigration - how could they possibly be if they were REALLY protecting workers?

Yes, but in some instances you have to look and see who the union bosses are and read between the lines ... It's the old who whom...

Also in other instances I suppose if they want to remain allied with the multi-cult they have to pay at least lip service to it.

Of course, most union workers and rank and file (except for the public unions like the teachers unions) are against immigration and why wouldn't they be?

And what's with the "darling"?

Are you chanelling Zsa Zsa Gabor?

pjsmoov said...

FYI and off topic:

I've been meaning to post this simply out of a bizarre need to be intellectually honest on the internet. Both you and Rod have influenced the way I view certain issues. After your post over at Rod Dreher, I left the following:


BTW, Rod and Steve:
I often comment on Frum’s blog, a site inhabited by self-described tolerant, genial, moderate, well-meaning, civil, and open-minded progressives (all of whom hate me and call me names). I often cut and paste info from both of your sites and include links, but I’m sure I’ve posted without proper attribution what are undoubtedly unoriginal thoughts of mine. Apologies to the both of your for my unintentional plagiarism. It’s bound to happen on occasion. (I sometimes suspect that Frum is guilty of this as well, or he’s simply afraid to link to Sailer.)

Mr. Anon said...

"Sunbeam said...

Hmmm maybe a little off topic on my part. But I can think of only two movies that have ever shocked me.
Robocop - I think the most violent movie I've ever seen."

I agree. I only saw it on video a couple of years after it came out, and still found it to be shocking in its violence, perhaps the most shockingly violent movie made since "The Wild Bunch". It was a very 80s movie too, in its tone and sentiment. I think it set the tone for the splatter-movie trend of the 90s. One of the other most shocking movies I've ever seen was by the same director, Paul Verhoeven - "Soldier of Orange", about the dutch underground in WWII. One of the most depressing films I've ever seen.

FredR said...

The book Disgrace was very unpleasant, but what sticks with me are those scenes where Lurie sits in a garden, composing his operetta on a banjo or something. Did that make it into the movie?

Mr. Anon said...

"DaveinHackensack said...

""Does "Caddyshack" remind anybody of a David Lean movie?""

That line might be funnier than any line in Idiocracy (perhaps with the exception of Luke Wilson's objection to going to Starbucks). Caddyshack, in contrast, has a whole bunch of funny lines people still repeat 30 years later."

What? "So I've got that going for me?" The funniest character in the movie was Ted Knight's. Bill Murray was misused. And Chevy Chase is incapable of playing anything other than himself, i.e., a snarky douchebag. The only way he could be funny is if he were to spontaneously combust.

I found "Idiocracy" to be a much funnier movie by far. As others have pointed out, a lot was left unsaid, but one can connect the dots. I suspect the main reason it was squelched however was it's almost slanderous (and hilarious and often apt) attacks on big chains like Starbucks, Costco, and Carl's Jr. Carl's Jr., in particular, deserved to be skewered for the vulgar and agressively stupid ad-campaign they had going at the time (F**k You! I'm Eating!).

Mr. Anon said...

I don't know if it counts as shocking, but one of the most deeply unsettling movies I've ever seen was "Vertigo" - a main-stream Hollywood movie that suggested that what men think of as love might actually be nothing more than sexual obsession. Hitchcock, of course, was a deeply screwed-up guy.

Anonymous said...

"Hollywood movie that suggested that what men think of as love might actually be nothing more than sexual obsession"

eh?

Ex Submarine Officer said...

Nobody is going to mention "In The Company Of Men" as a deeply disturbing movie?

Anonymous said...

Lots of comments here regarding whether "Idiocracy" is funny or not. Well sure, there are funny bits in it but thats not really what its about is it? Mike Judge works in the medium of comedy, to help the pill go down, but the message isnt funnyat all.

I suppose its the problem with subversion. If its done cleverly enough to get past the cultural gatekeepers/thought police then its over the heads of most of the audience.

"They Live" is a subversive movie but discuss it with anyone who has seen it and ask if they think there is a message there - many of them will think its about greedy Republicans or worse you are claiming a load of aliens are running the world.

"Eyes Wide Shut" is subversive too, the alienation of an outsider, a privileged one, lost in a world that looks familiar but isnt one that is safe for him. Most people wouldnt pick that up at all.

Anonymous said...

Caddyshack is a horrible movie. Used to think it was funny, now it looks like a naked exercise in who, whom power over the movies.

Glaivester said...

"Agreed. The dysgenic future was very redneck, with just a tiny bit of black and hispanic."

Well, the racial issues of the present were hinted at - "Upgrayedd. He spells it U-p-g-r-a-y-e-d-d, with two D's for a double dose of pimpin'."

And let's not forget that several hundred (or thousand?) people were named "Upgrayedd" in the future.

Anonymous said...

In this century, objectively speaking, the most shocking movies to the Establishment, as measured in efforts to kill them, were likely The Passion of the Christ and Idiocracy.

One confronts our rulers and the other our future...

sunbeam said...

Mr Anon said:

"I don't know if it counts as shocking, but one of the most deeply unsettling movies I've ever seen was "Vertigo" - a main-stream Hollywood movie that suggested that what men think of as love might actually be nothing more than sexual obsession. Hitchcock, of course, was a deeply screwed-up guy."

You do realize that if you take the tenets of HBD at face value even, you have to stare issues like this straight in the face?

You sound kind of like a brit. Tell me, did you ever read the Iliad? I want to refer to the scene where the Trojan woman laments the fact that the Greeks are going to throw all the male Trojan children from the Tower she is in?

It's all about the genes, buddy.

Of course HBD is one very minor part of the story as far as I am concerned. If true, so what? I still have the same concerns I had before learning of this concept.

Anonymous said...

Will be interesting to see what happens in South Africa when Nelson Mandela dies.

Lugash said...

On paper, Idiocracy should have been funny. Beavis and Butthead were funny.

Beavis and Butthead show was funny. It was also shocking and subversive. The theme was that without positive influence from society(family, schools, business) the kid's won't be alright. You end up with dullards who have zero redeeming qualities, other than they don't intentionally hurt people. I think this theme is closer to the truth across the class spectrum than people would like to admit.



Anonymous said...

J. M. Coetzee voted with his feet, big time. He moved to Adelaide, South Australia; possibly the whitest, WASPyest place in the world; famous for its mid-nineteenth century Lutheran migrants who founded the Barossa Valley wineries, and much detested by Sydney and Melbourne cosmopolitans for same.

Anonymous said...

"Agreed. The dysgenic future was very redneck, with just a tiny bit of black and hispanic."

Maybe I am imagining it, but I thought most of the people shown in the movie, particularly in crowd scenes in the arena and so on, were sort of mixed race, hispanic-looking. Not many blue-eyed blonds. I thought this had to be intentional. But I've never seen it mentioned anywhere.

Anonymous said...

You end up with dullards who have zero redeeming qualities, other than they don't intentionally hurt people

- it actually helped encourage that be imitation- kids imitate what they see on TV good or bad.

one constant theme on sitcoms is that it's coold to be stupid, ignorant and crude, while being smart, well mannered, etc is 'bad' even a show like "Cheers" re-enforced that theme

Steiner said...

There has been some mention of David Lean films, both Dr. Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia display elements that are contrary, even shocking, to the neocon worldview of contemporary cinema. In Zhivago, the destruction of Russian civilization by Bolshevism is much in evidence, a fact little mentioned today. In Lawrence, the film concludes with the cynical partition of Ottoman territory into Iraq and Syria at the behest of Britain and France, over the objections of their Arab allies. Nobody, but nobody, wants to make a movie today about that inconvenient truth.

sunbeam said...

A lot of movies referenced here I've never seen.

Funny I've spent some time looking some up on imdb.

It's amazing how little actually happens and how stupid the plot is when it is all laid out.

Anonymous said...

"Beavis and Butthead show was funny. It was also shocking and subversive."

So shocking and subversive it was on MTV.

Anonymous said...

"The theme was that without positive influence from society(family, schools, business) the kid's won't be alright."

That was not the point at all. For one thing, the teacher guy is pretty nice and helpful(even if a hippie). And lots of people in the community seem okay.

No, the point of B&B is twofold.
On the one hand, it seems to say B&B are idiot savants who, in a way, understand our culture better than most intelligent people. They are so immersed in the 'culture' that they make connections others miss. Pop culture is full of 'mavericks' and 'eccentrics', but notice that B & B catch similarities among 'artists'. So, they'll watch some 'maverick' in a music video acting like he's 'different' and say, 'boy george!!'. In other words, all these 'mavericks' are inter-referential copycats whose cult of 'different' is so bogus. They are part of the formula recycled over and over.

Also, B&B gives lie to the notion that pop culture is egalitarian. As B&B are about as low as anyone can get in terms of looks and social status, you'd think they'd fit right into pop cultural world of 'inclusion' and 'equality'. But no one finds them cool, no woman wants to have sex with them, and no one will have them as friends.
But the cult of pop culture is such that B&B keep thinking that they are part of the culture, that they're cool and will 'score'.

Popular culture is like 'popular kids' in high school. It has its own hierarchies. It may appeal to populism but populism has its own element of elitism: it's the fantasy of the unwashed to be like rich movie stars or rock stars.
In fact, most kids into 'cool culture' are not cool. They be fool. But popular culture gives them the feeling that they are cool too. But in fact, popular culture, like sports, only promotes a handful of people with the right look, style, sound, etc.

But B&B are endearing because they are too dumb to find out. They can see the bogus connections in music videos but cannot connect to their own bogus illusions. But this wasn't used as social criticism but a kind of laughing acceptance that stupidity can be fun too.
And in an odd way, B&B did become kind of cool. Though totally uncool, because their uncoolness was made funny and endearing, it sort of became absurdly cool.

Anonymous said...

"Hmmm maybe a little off topic on my part. But I can think of only two movies that have ever shocked me.
Robocop - I think the most violent movie I've ever seen."

More violent than DAWN OF THE DEAD?
That one marked me for life. It was rated 'no one under 17 admitted', virtually an X. But a second run theater in my neighborhood allowed admittance to kids if accompanied by an adult. My friend and I--we were 11--asked someone in line to pretend to be our guardian.
I've had dreams of zombie attacks ever since.

Anonymous said...

OT, but I'm sitting, sans Luke Wilson, at the counter of my local Starbucks, and a black kid at the table along the wall has a book called "Multiplication is for White People" by some supremely high yella lady named Lisa Delpit!

David said...

>Here are some ideas that are also outside the realm of acceptable thought: being against mass immigration, against affirmative action and race spoils, while at the same time being for universal healthcare, for progressive taxation, being against constant warfare, for strong unions and workers rights.<

Whites are so saturated in corporate propaganda that they see all those issues as disconnected.

They have bought the left/right thing.

As their numbers dwindle, here is what they say:

"Are you a paleo-anarcho-libertarian-hawk or a neodove-crunchy conlib?" "Neither, sir! I support a strong defense of our only ally in the Middle East, and I oppose unions!" "Well, my friend, I support modified affirmative action and Israel." "Then you are a libcon-traditional-anticrunchy?" "No, more like a Rothbardian Triassic-hawk." "If only the peasants would stop demanding that they be PAID so much for their work, and support Israel!" "Yes, comparative advantage, austerity, plus support for the only civilized country in the Middle East! A strong defense - a strong defense!" "Exactly, sir! Hard work, rightsized pay, high margins!" "High margins! If you have done nothing wrong, then what do you have to fear?" "Precisely! Israel!" "Hard work!" "Less pay!" "Get rid of these laws, deregulate!" "More money for finance and defense!" "Land of exceptionalism!" "Palin for President!" "Nation of immigrants!" "Terrorists are everywhere!" "I'm not a racist, I'm a capitalist!" "I confess myself to be a crusty-neo-lib-con-trad-anti-crunchycommie-realist." "We need to vote OUT that gay womanizing Muslim atheist communist Nazi who gives out free phones to the pregnant, and took money under the table for modified motorbikes in Mexico!" "Crossing the Jews is crossing God's plan!" "At least Romney MENTIONS God!" "By jingo, sir, that's correct, entirely correct!"

etc.

Old Fogey said...

I was amazed that Mike Nichols got away with Carnal Knowledge, a brilliant film that showed how lifting sexual constraints on men would affect women.

Most women still have not grasped the full import of what was unleashed by the sexual revolution. All the rules that had been placed by society on sexual behavior were designed to protect women and children - and women themselves fought to see them abrogated! Insane.

Anonymous said...

houellebecq, von trier come immediately to mind...

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Mike Judge, anyone seen the new episodes of Beavis and Butthead? It totally sucks now.

Mr. Anon said...

"sunbeam said...

""Mr Anon said:

I don't know if it counts as shocking, but one of the most deeply unsettling movies I've ever seen was "Vertigo" - a main-stream Hollywood movie that suggested that what men think of as love might actually be nothing more than sexual obsession. Hitchcock, of course, was a deeply screwed-up guy.""

You do realize that if you take the tenets of HBD at face value even, you have to stare issues like this straight in the face?"

Yes, I do realize that. As Steve is fond of quoting "Live not by lies", and all that. Thomas Jefferson said something in a similar vein. Still, proponents of HBD (and I count myself among them) need to realize that while it's not healthy to ignore what may simply be the facts of nature, neither is it healthy to give them undue regard.

One may recognize that we are essentially animals driven by biological urges no different than those which govern the beasts of the field, but actually living our lives according to that realization would result in the destruction of our civilization. Take God - or any kind of higher, incorporeal dimension to human life - out of human society, and the result is not very pretty. In fact it would look a lot like "Idiocracy", or stalinist Russia, or some combination of the two (or perhaps, it would look like what modern America is starting to look like).

"Live not by lies" is generally a good motto. But there may be some lies that one cannot live without.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

"They Live" is a subversive movie but discuss it with anyone who has seen it and ask if they think there is a message there - many of them will think its about greedy Republicans or worse you are claiming a load of aliens are running the world."

I had assumed that the message (and it pretty obviously has one) is that the rich, and yes, Republican, elite might as well be an alien race. And I think it was a comment on the Reagan era. It was a pretty typical Hollywood movie in that regard, as far as I can tell. Carpenter is probably a fairly typical left or left/libertarian entertainment industry guy. Searing indictments of greed and unearned privelege in American society never seem to get made when a democrat is in the white house. The rich seemed just as greedy when Bill Clinton was President as they did when Reagan was, but it didn't seem to be an interesting topic in the 90s.

Whiskey said...

Which Passion are we talking about? The one with the soundtrack by Peter Gabriel or the one made by Mel Gibson?

One of the most shocking and subversive movies is the now in theaters Dredd. Not the one with Stallone, the current one with Karl Urban.

Its stripped down, a basic cop movie, only set in the future. And the basic premise is that massive urbanism, squeezing a "diverse" group of people into a massive urban nightmare of a city with 800 million people largely housed in World Trade Center like high rise slums, requires a totally fascistic man who has the ultimate authority to judge anyone and everyone. Dirty Harry taken to the ultimate conclusion.

Dredd is a hero, sort of, because he lives for the law (and nothing else, he's barely human emotionally). But his society requires him to kill people on the spot if he thinks they've violated the law. The film just repeats, visually and plot-wise (Dredd has to take down a vicious and kill-crazy ex-prostitute running a massive drug ring in a high-rise slum) the theme that diversity + density = tyranny.

Shot ON LOCATION IN SOUTH AFRICA, the world is a giant slum ruled by gangs and ruthless judges who kill on the spot. It is also stunning beautiful and ugly, sometimes within the same scene. The soundtrack is masterful. Its not only the best 80's style action movie ever made, its so stunning you'll want to see it over and over again. [Disclaimer: I saw only the 2-d version, not the Thee D version.]

Anonymous said...

"Eyes Wide Shut" is subversive too, the alienation of an outsider, a privileged one, lost in a world that looks familiar but isnt one that is safe for him. Most people wouldnt pick that up at all.

I have the feeling that Stanley Kubrick wanted to tell something with "Eyes Wide Shut"...

Anonymous said...

"'Eyes Wide Shut' is subversive too, the alienation of an outsider, a privileged one, lost in a world that looks familiar but isnt one that is safe for him. Most people wouldnt pick that up at all."

No, it's more about the INSIDE world. Inside the human mind, and inside the halls of wealth.
The guy didn't really know what's really lurking in his wife's mind/heart, and as such, he didn't know himself either.
And though privileged, he's small fry compared to the super-privileged, to whom he's just a prostitute with a stethoscope.

Anonymous said...

Dredd is back? Another Holly-fascist movie.

Anonymous said...

Mike Judge Dredd.

Anonymous said...

"I had assumed that the message (and it pretty obviously has one) is that the rich, and yes, Republican, elite might as well be an alien race. And I think it was a comment on the Reagan era. It was a pretty typical Hollywood movie in that regard, as far as I can tell. Carpenter is probably a fairly typical left or left/libertarian entertainment industry guy."

THEY LIVE is Carpenter's atonement for ESCAPE FROM NY for which he was accused of 'racism'.

DaveinHackensack said...

It's definitely gotten harder to shock with violence. I recall seeing Starship Troopers in a theater in Manhattan when it came out and there were audible gasps in the audience when the first of the space marines got dismembered by the bugs. Can't imagine it getting the same reaction today.

In terms of visceral military violence, I don't think anyone's trumped the the D-Day landing scene in Saving Private Ryan yet.

Anonymous said...

"In Zhivago, the destruction of Russian civilization by Bolshevism is much in evidence, a fact little mentioned today."

No, it's not pro-communist but it's not anti-communist either. And there's no indication of destruction of Russian civilization. Destruction of the old order, yes, but the film indicates it might be necessary.
The movies seems to be saying change was necessary but some zealots took it too far.
Even so, Strolnikov is an impressive character, and Alec Guiness is awesome in the role of whoozitsky.

What I don't understand is the time framing. The way the movie ends, you'd think it's after WWII and the death of Stalin.

But the Zhivago story takes place in the early 20s, and that's when Lara got pregnant with Zhivago's child. And the girl looks to be in her late teens or early 20s in the movie. So, the movie has to be taking before or during WWII. So, why does Alec Guiness say 'back in those days' as if Stalin is dead?

DaveinHackensack said...

"Dude, you write all faggy..."

"F**k You! I'm Eating!"

Funny Idiocracy bits too. But another problem with Idiocracy is that its imagined future wasn't really consistent with its dysgenic premise. If everyone in the future were that unintelligent, there would be no electricity, running water, etc. Starbucks, Costco, Carl's Junior, etc. would cease to exist.

Anonymous said...

We are culturally shellshocked, and so nothing really shocks us.

But we can still be outraged, as when Imus said 'nappy headed hos'. On the other hand, it's okay for Howard Stern to crack jokes about victims of Chernobyl and using them as sex objects. Also okay for Silverman to love chinks.

But what's really funny is when contrasting signals get criss-crossed.
When Don Rickles cracked a joke about Obama not long ago, there was total silence.
One part of the liberal mind wanted to laugh with the funny Jew(and of course Jews are wonderful!) and consider itself edgy, daring, and politically correct. After all, liberals had laughed along with Rickles many times before.
But another side of the liberal mind was shocked by blasphemy against 'black jesus', 'racist' remark, and etc.
Thus, a moment of STUNNED SILENCE.
Liberal mind didn't know what to do.

Funny as hell. It's like the teddy bear in A.I. when the two boys order it 'come here, boy'. Teddy doesn't know what to do, so it just sit there in stunned paralysis.

It should be called 'being teddied'.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYbTKIe43GQ

Anonymous said...

For all our bashing of liberals, we talk more about liberals than about conservatives. Conservatives are boring. Liberals got entertainment, media, academia, and etc.

And liberals talk more about liberals than about conservatives. They find themselves more interesting since they hog all the intellectual, creative, and power stuff.

Svigor said...

Steve, don't you think that 'newly liberated blacks' deserve some revenge for being shackled for so long?

In Bizarro World, maybe. But an accountant auditing the books would conclude blacks of all stripes should be kissing white ass for the next 100k years.

nesbit said...

I don't think many people have read any fiction actually written by black Africans. I have--and it is surprising how honest and non-pc they are. Pretty funny too.
One book (it's been 20 yrs--can't remember the title) was set in Kenya and the plot ran around a struggle as to who would build the next high rise. One party argued that Africans were only good at building whorehouses, etc etc. The narrator concluded that if Africans could build a highrise on their own, it would be the biggest whorehouse in the whole world.
I remember he was also exasperated with all the children around. He thought women -- that the men were complaining about -- would be ok if they just didn't have children around ruining every moment. He was distinctly anti-over-reproduction in Africa.

Svigor said...

"'Eyes Wide Shut' is subversive too

Blade Runner is very subversive, though probably unintentionally so. The Searchers is a highly subversive flick, today.

Guns 'N Roses' One in a Million is just a straightforward ballad from a "small town white boy's" perspective, but America is so completely nuts that it plays as highly subversive and shocking (it's also very deceptively straightforward, but that could easily be a happy accident, like Blade Runner).

Demolition Man is great subversive fun, as is The Running Man.

One of the most shocking and subversive movies is the now in theaters Dredd. Not the one with Stallone, the current one with Karl Urban.

Its stripped down, a basic cop movie, only set in the future. And the basic premise is that massive urbanism, squeezing a "diverse" group of people into a massive urban nightmare of a city with 800 million people largely housed in World Trade Center like high rise slums, requires a totally fascistic man who has the ultimate authority to judge anyone and everyone. Dirty Harry taken to the ultimate conclusion.


You're describing Judge Dredd, whether it's the Stallone version, the Urban version, or the comic.

I had assumed that the message (and it pretty obviously has one) is that the rich, and yes, Republican, elite might as well be an alien race. And I think it was a comment on the Reagan era. It was a pretty typical Hollywood movie in that regard, as far as I can tell. Carpenter is probably a fairly typical left or left/libertarian entertainment industry guy.

Right. That's why the climactic scene is an assault on a TV station. Cuz TV stations are full of Republicans.

Maybe I am imagining it, but I thought most of the people shown in the movie, particularly in crowd scenes in the arena and so on, were sort of mixed race, hispanic-looking. Not many blue-eyed blonds. I thought this had to be intentional. But I've never seen it mentioned anywhere.

Yes, it's a whole planet of brown-ish people.

The Merchant of Venice is another now-subversive work; you can tell because producers are altering it to make it PC.

Critics like to use the word "transgressive" but tney have no interest in the transgressive as such--it's just another who, whom assault.

Yeah, they mean "transgressive against them."

300 is obviously pretty subversive, though along predictable fault lines (compromise, use ethnic nationalism to serve the passionate attachment). Which reminds me, Braveheart was pretty subversive.

Svigor said...

Another movie I find subversive is The Postman. Jewish writer Brin wrote it because he was tired of seeing "fun" post-apocalyptic stories. Boy, did Costner ever screw his vision over. It's the clearest case of PA porn I've ever seen. And except for the black kid, one of the most Nordic movies I've ever seen.

Svigor said...

My friends all love Idiocracy more than I do. They order the T-Shirts ("Brawndo, it's what plants crave") and quote it all the time ("Cuz Brawndo's got electrolytes," "Like outta the toilet?", "Lots of 'tards go on to lead kickass lives. My wife's 'tarded...she's a pilot now," etc.).

T knows it's funny - because Mike Judge has way more money and fame than he does.

Anonymous said...

tim burton's planet of apes


how they get away with that?

Anonymous said...

zardoz

total fascist movie

Anonymous said...

all in the family

Anonymous said...

"People I Know" starring Al Pacino.

Mr. Anon said...

"DaveinHackensack said...

But another problem with Idiocracy is that its imagined future wasn't really consistent with its dysgenic premise. If everyone in the future were that unintelligent, there would be no electricity, running water, etc. Starbucks, Costco, Carl's Junior, etc. would cease to exist."

Quite true, of course. People that stupid couldn't maintain a civilization at all, even one that functions poorly.

Harry Baldwin said...

Anonymous said..."Hmmm maybe a little off topic on my part. But I can think of only two movies that have ever shocked me.
Robocop - I think the most violent movie I've ever seen."


The most disturbing movie I've seen in recent years is "Hostel." Not only was it extremely violent and sadistic, but the premise was plausible: that the jaded ultra-rich from all over the world would pay a great deal for the opportunity to torture an attractive young person to death, and that there are governments that would be happy to provide the service. The movie made me contemplate the fact that there's a market for everything, the sicker the better. (The movie itself being an example of that.)

Anonymous said...

Is BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD about the reptilian part of the male brain?
Both Beavis and Butthead look like parts of the brain: the core reptilian part. Beavis especially looks like a lizard.

As reptilian brainoids, they can't think beyond the most basic instincts: food, stimuli/sensations, sex, etc.

I heard that as humans develop in the womb, they first look like fish, then amphibian, and then reptilian and etc. It's like Beavis and Butthead never developed beyond the repitilian-embryonic stage both physically and mentally.
They have no concept of 'higher' meaning or needs. Everything has to be connected to immediate gratification.

The odd thing is our society caters to immediate gratification but in a very grandiose and elaborate way. Our popular culture is raunchy and pornographic, and our food culture is 'bigass tacos'. And yet, Beavis and Butthead cannot score in this culture because it's also very cosmeticized and stylized. If animals just need basic food and sex, humans need great pleasure from sex and food, and so, pop culture creates grand idols of hipness, coolness, and booticiousness. Pop culture says, "here's a ho you wanna hump but she's not just a ho but a goddess."
If Beavis and Butthead were reptiles, they would get some reptile poon. But they are humans, and even though humans go for basic instincts of sex and food, they need the cultural wrapping of coolness, hipness, hotness, and etc. The basic stuff has to come in the shiny package of glitter. Pop culture thus appeals to the most basic instincts but in grand mythic way. So, a rock star is also supposed to be like a god. It gives people booty but in the form of beauty.

On the other hand, Beavis and Butthead are endearing because they are good kids. The funny thing is they are too stupid to be bad. Beavis sometimes pops pills but he doesn't really know what he's doing. IT might as well be candy; he gobbles that stuff like a dog wolfs down table scraps. Thus, they are innocent and 'clean' in their own way, and we want them to stay the way they are.
And their attention span is such that they'll never commit to any cause or lifestyle. They are like white trash forrest gump.
Even if they want to be bad, they really wouldn't know how. And bad kids wouldn't wanna hang with them.

Anonymous said...

Mike Judge and David Lynch. Two directors with some rightish tendencies.

Beavis is Eraserhead for dummies?

Anonymous said...

I highly doubt anyone was shocked by The Passion. Annoyed, yes. Feeling superior over the "jebus freaks", yes. Shocked, no.

Dr Van Nostrand said...


Passion "controversy" comes from the fact that is a Traditional Catholic view of Jesus Christ last moments, no "judeo-christian" bs."

Hilarious! Jesus ,the apostles ,Mary etc are all rightly identified as Jews and are soaked in the Judaic(no not Judeo Christian) culture .They spoke Aramaic(the lingua franca of the middle east due to the Babylonian influence that pervaded since 500 BC) and reserved Hebrew only for sacerdotal purposes.

With the Pharisees as the responsible for Christ execution even if as the Roman who killed him."

Er..which "judeo christian" movie which you are so fond of lambasting put the onus exclusively on the Romans?

You may be shocked SHOCKED to learn that Pontius Pilate was considered a very cruel and crucifixion happy governer who even alarmed the Roman authorities back home and he was summoned back from Judea!


Also the movie was released right in the middle of the Iraq war...

LOL,what did this have to do with the Iraq war?

Dr Van Nostrand said...

Blade Runner is very subversive, though probably unintentionally so. The Searchers is a highly subversive flick, today."

I havent seen The Searchers but as a Blade Runner fan who has the ultimate 5 DVD collection ,having listened to various interviews with David Peoples,Ridley Scott as well as commentators and fans,I state with great confidence that it was self consciously subversive.

PC in the early 80s wasnt as strong as it is today, less so with a British outsider to Hollywood like Ridley Scott,slightly OT but amongst his other non PC traits was utter loathing and contempt for unions which made him deeply unpopular amongs the crew.

There was open resentment and paranoia about the Japanese economic success and the Japanese "invasion" of the American market share.
Yamamoto ,Pearl Harbor and Bataan March metaphors were openly used even by Democrats to describe their over the growing power of Japanese conglomerates.


OTOH The mixed race and mixed language (combination of German,Spanish and Japanese) speaking Gaff is portrayed as an annoyance and at best a mild threat(he was angling for Deckards job).

The anti Japanese sentiment was overt but the portrayal of dygenics role in the dystopia was more implicit.






Right. That's why the climactic scene is an assault on a TV station. Cuz TV stations are full of Republicans."

I love John Carpenter however They Live is one of his weakest movies.That silly Reagan bashing got in the way of some really interesting ideas.John Carpenter strikes me of those muscular Democrat types that are now all but extinct.



"Maybe I am imagining it, but I thought most of the people shown in the movie, particularly in crowd scenes in the arena and so on, were sort of mixed race, hispanic-looking. Not many blue-eyed blonds. I thought this had to be intentional. But I've never seen it mentioned anywhere.

Yes, it's a whole planet of brown-ish people."

If They Live was his penance for Escape from New York then Escape from LA(released 9 years after They Live) was even worse in description of brown people!


The Merchant of Venice is another now-subversive work; you can tell because producers are altering it to make it PC."

I know your types may not consider anything objectionable in its depiction of a cruel money grubbing Jew but the civilized world disagree!



300 is obviously pretty subversive, though along predictable fault lines (compromise, use ethnic nationalism to serve the passionate attachment). Which reminds me, Braveheart was pretty subversive.

Though I loved 300 ,I couldnt believe it was made in this PC era! Such a full throated defense of Western civilazation and arms about Iranian despotism and it was released on the Iranian New Year(Novruz)...delicious!
On a less triumphal note ,this was released during the 2007 surge where the Bush,Gates and Petraeus ahem cabal had all but given Iraq to Iran on a silver platter for their "co operation" in reducing sectarian violence(not that hard when one side is the unambiguous winner)

How exactly was Braveheart subversive?It had been fashionable to anti Anglo and pro Celtic for a long time! A truly subversive work would have made Edward Longshanks as the resolute English hero as against those Scottish troublemakers!

Steve, don't you think that 'newly liberated blacks' deserve some revenge for being shackled for so long?

In Bizarro World, maybe. But an accountant auditing the books would conclude blacks of all stripes should be kissing white ass for the next 100k years."

If you are so interesting in auditing sins then you should add this little entry in the debit column of whitey-Transatlantic Slavery"
(Please note this occured for more than a 100 years)

Anonymous said...

"Most women still have not grasped the full import of what was unleashed by the sexual revolution. All the rules that had been placed by society on sexual behavior were designed to protect women and children - and women themselves fought to see them abrogated! Insane."

The next installment will be for children.
"You think children are children?"

"That one marked me for life. It was rated 'no one under 17 admitted"

Nobody thinks it's funny that adulthood confers such advantages in today's world like the above and alcohol consumption? Oh yeah, and the vote.

"while being smart, well mannered, etc is 'bad' even a show like "Cheers" re-enforced that theme "

The difference in the conversation between Danson and the female-lead in the first episode vs the later seasons is pacific-esque.

Children wise beyond their years keeping adults in line vs the other way round, diminishing the difference in virtual before the real?

PS:
Cheers and adultisation of children's, vive la internet!

Dr Van Nostrand said...

Which Passion are we talking about? The one with the soundtrack by Peter Gabriel or the one made by Mel Gibson?"

The "Peter Gabriel" one as you like to describe was caused Last Temptation of Christ and not Passion!
If you have to be snide, it helps to get the names right!

(spolier alert for Last Temptation)
Temptation had some controversy associated with Jesus having sex and spawning a family but really in the end , Judas compels him to repent and back he went on the cross ,stated IT is accomplished and fade to credits and yes Peter Gabriels wonderful soundgrack.

I see Temptation as failing at having its cake and eating it too,it wanted to be subversive to the Christian establishment but also wanted its good will.
All it earned was condemnation from prominent Christians, refusal of many distributors to screen the film(cant blame them too much,one lunatic in France set out to bomb one theater showing the film) and a ban by Blockbuster and Hollywood video.
I think SWPLs are the biggest fans of this enterprise, if that was the intention of Schrader and Scorsese then bravo! But somehow I doubt thats what Nikos Katzantzakis was aiming for!

Kylie said...

"Nobody is going to mention 'In The Company Of Men' as a deeply disturbing movie?"

I will. It's the most disturbing movie I've ever seen, left me feeling shaky for several days.

Lugash said...

That was not the point at all. For one thing, the teacher guy is pretty nice and helpful(even if a hippie). And lots of people in the community seem okay.

The hippie teacher was utterly ineffective at improving B&B. He didn't even grasp that B&B couldn't be improved, and ended up wasting enormous amount of time on them.

The pyscho gym teacher was as useless; the principal just tried to contain the damage and not break down.

Anonymous said...

OT, but I'm sitting, sans Luke Wilson, at the counter of my local Starbucks, and a black kid at the table along the wall has a book called "Multiplication is for White People" by some supremely high yella lady named Lisa Delpit!

Thought you were joking.

But no.

Multiplication is for White People

Lisa Delpit

Its all horribly true.

Dr Van Nostrand said...

Kylie said...
"Nobody is going to mention 'In The Company Of Men' as a deeply disturbing movie?"

I will. It's the most disturbing movie I've ever seen, left me feeling shaky for several days.

I dont blame you! I am a man and it made quite uncomfortable!

I doubt even if our self proclaimed alpha heartiste/roissy/chateau would approve of Aaron Eckharts character!

Anonymous said...

Not shocking, but a polish movie, Sexmission, that is kinda like idiocracy, only the two men wake into a women-only(feminists-only) world, described here

the real-life revisionismcontinues apace

Half Sigma said...

Steve, Idiocracy killed itself by being such a bad and unfunny movie.

Half Sigma said...

District 9 is my vote for most subversive movie, because of it's hidden HBD message:

My review of District 9

My follw-up post about District 9

Anonymous said...

"Steve, Idiocracy killed itself by being such a bad and unfunny movie."

It was no great shakes but far worse and unfunnier movies have been megahits. POLICE ACADEMY 1,2,3, etc.
And ANIMAL HOUSE wasn't so great either but it was a huge hit. I have a soft spot for STRIPES. That's the fact, jack.

The problem with IDIOCRACY was it was too crude for smart people and too clever for dumb people.

Anonymous said...

"I see Temptation as failing at having its cake and eating it too"

Main problem was it was badly made. A total mess.

Bill said...

The wikipedia bio of Delpit is hilarious. She gets a teaching degree, and starts teaching in a racially mixed school. The whites do way better than the blacks. She finds this depressing (I assume). She quits teaching to write books about teaching. Steve could have written the bio.

Cail Corishev said...

I rewatched Idiocracy last night, to see if maybe I didn't give it a fair chance the first time (and to see if it had a commentary, which it didn't). It was funnier than I remembered -- half-a-dozen laugh-out-loud moments and several chuckles -- but still not nearly as funny as it could have been. Maybe that was my problem the first time: the topic is such a mine of humor that it should be a side-splitter, so my expectations were very high. There's no reason it can't be subversive and funny at the same time.

Luke Wilson was pretty dull in it, so maybe a different actor would've made it funnier. But then he's supposed to be dull, so maybe not. A straight man like Dave Nelson could do a lot more with the part, but I'm not sure he'd be able to play dumb enough. After all, Wilson's character isn't supposed to be smart, or even average. He's supposed to be an 80 IQ in a land of 40s.

It didn't help that the funniest scene was in the first five minutes, with the military guy who went native in the ghetto to find a hooker for the experiment. "You see, a pimp's love is very different from that of a square..." I also thought they overused the narrator to make points that the story should have told.

On whether such a society could function: my impression was that there had probably been a dwindling number of cognitive elites who had created the technology for the idiots to use, like the hospital directory that had buttons to push like a fast-food register. Those elites had finally died out in the previous generation, and everything they built was falling apart or being drowned in Brawndo.

So I take back calling it a bad movie. It's okay, just not nearly as good as it could've been.

Anonymous said...

The rich seemed just as greedy when Bill Clinton was President as they did when Reagan was, but it didn't seem to be an interesting topic in the 90s.


The rich have never seemed as greedy as they are right now under Obama. But this latter-day Jesus has skin which cleanses all sins.

Anonymous said...

"Nobody is going to mention 'In The Company Of Men' as a deeply disturbing movie?"


I'd like to think you were disturbed by the routine "Men Are Scum!" portrayal of men in movies, but sadly I suspect that's not what disturbed you about it.

You know what would make for a genuinely controversial and subversive movie? One in which women are depicted as bad and men as good.

Anonymous said...

If you are so interesting in auditing sins then you should add this little entry in the debit column of whitey-Transatlantic Slavery"


Given that the people capturing and selling the slaves were black, why does that go into whitey's debit column?

Funcrusher said...

Though I loved 300 ,I couldnt believe it was made in this PC era! Such a full throated defense of Western civilazation and arms about Iranian despotism and it was released on the Iranian New Year(Novruz)...delicious!

-

Conservatives loved 300 because it reinforced myth of a culturally coherent Western Civilization with an unbroken lineage from the Ancient Greeks to Bush's idiotic foreign policies.

Supposedly the freedom and democracy loving Spartans defended "us" against Persian slavery and decadence. In reality Sparta was a military oligarchy with far more slaves than citizens.

300 is an excellent modern myth, but historically inaccurate and a terrible defense of Western Civilization. Worst of its crimes is simply being a poorly made film with hammy acting, muddled plot, lifeless CG sets, and ridiculous costumes.

Anonymous said...

"You know what would make for a genuinely controversial and subversive movie? One in which women are depicted as bad and men as good."

Check out Noir and Neo-Noir films.

For instance, from the 1980s the Neo-Noir The Last Seduction in which Linda Fioretino plays one very bad femme fatale who literally screws over two guys. Another
good one is "Body Heat."

Noir films which were popular in the 1940s and 1950s also have many have very bad ladies scamming, framing, and even murdering gullible guys.

Check out Double Indemnity with Barbara Stanwcyk, Orson Welles's Lady from Shanghai with Rita Hayworth, or The Killers with Ava Gardner to give you but three examples of women behaving very badly.

If you like ladies who are bad, ney wicked, Noir and Neo-Noir (which came later in time) are the generes that have tons of them.

unix said...

"
I'd like to think you were disturbed by the routine "Men Are Scum!" portrayal of men in movies, but sadly I suspect that's not what disturbed you about it.

You know what would make for a genuinely controversial and subversive movie? One in which women are depicted as bad and men as good."

It is my impression that men can dish it out, when it comes to portraying badies of the opposite gender, but they can't take it.
As someone points out, film noir has plenty of bad women as has drama in general through the ages. There has been no dearth. Yet when women tell such a story through their own eyes, it's "anti-male" propaganda. This is what literature in general has been for women all along.
"Company of Men" was written by a man. He knew what he talking about, considering a type of man. It happens in the real world. You'd laud a woman who wrote about bad women taking advantage of men; but you just can't imagine a man writing honestly from the other angle.
Interesting.

late to the comment said...

I know that I late to this comment section, but for posterity's sake, I will throw out there that Andrew Dice Clay (Silverstein) is the most main stream "artist" in recent memory whose use of p.c./racial shock got him more mileage than it took away from him. I can't remember exactly what he said, and the first page of results is of no help when searching "Andrew Dice Clay Racist Jokes" but I do remember him as being pretty hard hitting in that category. Sarah Silverman today also gets away with a little bit along these lines.

Dr Van Nostrand said...



Conservatives loved 300 because it reinforced myth of a culturally coherent Western Civilization with an unbroken lineage from the Ancient Greeks to Bush's idiotic foreign policies."

The most idiotic things about Bushs policies were attempting to turn Iraq and Afghanistan in model democracy and when that failed-hand them over to Iran!

Bush resembles less the Spartans than the descendent of barborous Northern Greek tribe who intended to Hellenize the entire Middle East a 100 years later.



Supposedly the freedom and democracy loving Spartans defended "us" against Persian slavery and decadence. In reality Sparta was a military oligarchy with far more slaves than citizens."

Of course-but you could say the same about the American colonists who fought the British for greater freedom even though the British would outlaw slavery before the Americans and honored the agreements with the Native tribes which the Jacksonians especially didnot.
Also infanticide of the sickly new borns wasnt glossed over either.



300 is an excellent modern myth, but historically inaccurate and a terrible defense of Western Civilization. Worst of its crimes is simply being a poorly made film with hammy acting, muddled plot, lifeless CG sets, and ridiculous costumes."

All that didnt bother me at all, because a realistic costume drama with static cameras ala BBC(which are wonderful in their right) is not what I expected.

It was based on a comic book and so it was appropriately over the top and commercial.

If it wasnt for the yes deeply flawed Spartans ,Western civilization may well have perished.

Dr Van Nostrand said...


Given that the people capturing and selling the slaves were black, why does that go into whitey's debit column?"

For sure, there is a special place in hell reserved for blacks kidnapping and selling their own.

But why does that make what whites did any less deplorable?

If wasnt for the New World discovered,founded and developed by whites-such an unprecedented transfer of peoples wouldnt have been needed.

Whites created a market for slavery on a large scale...Of course others had done before especially ancient Egyptians,Romans(oops they were white),Arabs in particular(funny Arabs do terrible things they arent really white but some stray Caucasoid but when they create a classical civilzation they suddenly become honorary whites!)

I know this crew here hates to hear anything positive about Judaism but anyway... Jews were forbidden from keeping foreign slaves and were compelled to treat whatever their (I assume fellow Hebrew) captives gently as a reminder of their bondage in Egypt.
Leviticus I believe!

Dr Van Nostrand said...

savitri devi's "lightning and the sun".

How I hate this Nazi bitch for appropriating Vedic culture.

I would prefer to call this paleo whore Sheisse Dumpkopf and piss on her grave

Anonymous said...

"If you like ladies who are bad, ney wicked, Noir and Neo-Noir (which came later in time) are the generes that have tons of them."

I should add that Noir and Neo-Noir also have plenty of movies of bad guys taking advantage of good girls too...

A common theme of Noir and Neo-Noir is human betrayal and so a recurring theme is Bad Girl meets Nice Guy or; alternatively, Bad Guy meets Nice Girl.

See, for example, the classic Mildred Pierce written by James L. Cain who also wrote the classic Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice, where a nice lady played by Joan Crawford gets mixed up with a bad guy who leads her to ruin (and also has an affair with her crazy daughter from a first marriage). There are many other examples of good girls with bad guys in the genere...

I think people like to hope that the good guys meet the good girls and live happily ever after while the bad guys meet the bad girls and stay away from the rest of us.

Unfortunately, every one knows that life always doesn't work out that way.

That'a why Noir and Neo-Noir is so delicious and rich ...it plays on the fears and uncertainties of life choices.

Anonymous said...

"I know this crew here hates to hear anything positive about Judaism but anyway... Jews were forbidden from keeping foreign slaves and were compelled to treat whatever their (I assume fellow Hebrew) captives gently as a reminder of their bondage in Egypt.
Leviticus I believe!"

Apparently, that prohibition did not stop them from owning foreign slaves or being extensivly involved in the slave trade during many parts of history otherwise you wouldn't have needed edicts from Roman emperors forbidding Jews from owning Chrisitan slaves..

See Jews and the slave trade - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jews_and_the_slave_trade

Also, apparently that prohibition hasn't stopped them from continuing these practies to this day in Israel.

See Amnesty International Condemns Israel for White Slave Trade
solargeneral.com/.../slavery/amnesty-international-condemns-israel-f...

You are a very silly person.

Dr Van Nostrand said...


Apparently, that prohibition did not stop them from owning foreign slaves or being extensivly involved in the slave trade during many parts of history otherwise you wouldn't have needed edicts from Roman emperors forbidding Jews from owning Chrisitan slaves..

See Jews and the slave trade - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jews_and_the_slave_trade

Also, apparently that prohibition hasn't stopped them from continuing these practies to this day in Israel.

See Amnesty International Condemns Israel for White Slave Trade
solargeneral.com/.../slavery/amnesty-international-condemns-israel-f...
"


Oh puh leez spare me the lame distractions!

I NEVER said that Jews werentinvolved in slave trading!

I merely stated that their legal code was very humane for that era.

Far more humane than anything the so called enlightened Greeks or Romans came up with.

As for the prohibition of Jews owning Christian slaves-that was merely not due to the fierce abolitionist instinct of the noble Roman Christian emperors vs the cruel ,greedy Jewish slaver LOL
but more due to the existing power equations
Hey what did this saintly Roman emperor of yours say about Christians owning Jewish slaves?


As for the "white slavery" thing-are you joking?
Europe has a fare more severe problem of "white slavery" than Israel not to mention U.S and Canada!

And Amnesty International?Seriously??

And IM the silly person?

Anonymous said...

DISGRACE is like THE SEARCHERS reversed.

White tribe loses to the 'savages' but the white man does kill the white girl who goes over to the other side.

In SEARCHERS, white tribe wins and the white guy spares Natalie Wood's life(though I'll bet whole bunch of people wanted her dead for her acting).