Recently Mel Brooks in an interview with Yahoo.com criticized political correctness in Hollywood. On the 40th anniversary of his movie “Blazing Saddles” Brooks said, “They can’t make that movie today because everybody’s so politically correct. You know, the NAACP would stop a great movie that would do such a great service to black people because of the N-word. You’ve got to really examine these things and see what’s right and what’s wrong. Politically correct is absolutely wrong. Because it inhibits the freedom of thought. I’m so lucky that they weren’t so strong then and that the people that let things happen on the screen weren’t so powerful then. I was very lucky.”
I caught all kinds of entertaining hell (Kos is especially perturbed) for my review of the new 40th Anniversary Bluray of “Blazing Saddles” and for a follow-up piece, both of which stated the obvious: That today’s Left has become a bunch of insufferable, joy-killing, censorious, fascist Church Ladies who would never allow “Blazing Saddles” to be made today and that they will someday try to have the film banned.
It looks as though Mr. Brooks agrees with my first point. That’s because Mel Brooks is a free-thinking liberal, not a freedom-stifling, controlling, free speech-hating leftist.
The difference between a liberal and a leftist is not the how they vote. Liberals don’t use phrases like “the debate is over,” “the science is settled,” “ban bossy” or “ban anything that might offend anyone who isn’t a white Christian male.” Fascist leftists do.
But things may be changing in Hollywood. The free thinking liberals in Hollywood may be making a comeback.
Sonny Bunch in a Washington Times column writes, “If it’s summer movie season, that means it’s time for me to make some counter intuitive claims about the blockbusters in our midst. Last year, I made the case that Star Trek: Into Darkness was accidentally a pro-drone-strike parable and that Matt Damon’s Elysium was actually an anti-Obamacare warning. Let’s get things going this year by suggesting that Godzilla, which looks like it will open to a big box office debut, is actually a message to humanity to chill out about global warming, everything’s going to be okay.”
Bunch notes, “As the film progresses, the intellectual center of the picture is revealed to be Dr. Ichiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe), who takes an almost zen-like approach to the MUTOs [mutants]. He believes that Godzilla, who he has been searching for his entire adult life, is not a threat to humanity but a part of Earth’s natural biosphere. The giant lizard exists to ‘restore balance.’ Serizawa also laments the ‘arrogance of man’ for thinking he can control nature; the good doctor believes that the only way to stop the rampaging MUTOs is to let Godzilla fight them and kill them, to let nature run its course. The leaders of men disagree, opting to try and gather all three of the giant creatures into the same area off America’s west coast, where they will be destroyed by a thermonuclear warhead. This plan backfires, leading to a nuke threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of San Franciscans.”
Others are not so sure that Godzilla is anti-global warming.
In his column “The New ‘Godzilla’ Is Science Fiction — and Climate Fiction“, Scott Blakeman writes:
A genre of film is emerging in the movie industry: climate fiction, or, “cli-fi” for short. It plays on fears and anxieties (and myths, quite frankly) about drastic climate change caused primarily by humans. The “Godzilla” remake that opens in theaters today should give people a sense of what cli-fi is all about: climate change hyperbole designed to make a buck at the box office.
A.O. Scott wrote a review of “Godzilla” for The New York Times explaining that in the film, the “focus of global anxiety has shifted from nuclear annihilation to climate change and related problems.” Scott notes that there’s a certain overtone throughout the movie that “we’ve made a big mess of things with our missiles and our power plants, but Godzilla is nature’s way of restoring balance.”
Great. Cli-fi is a purveyor of climate change propaganda. However, the sweet irony in the cinematic genre of cli-fi is that the name reveals an underlying truth: The sensationalism surrounding climate change is simply fiction.
I recently watched Elysium and took away the impression that it was about the elites (e.g. Congress, unions and those with money) having access to first rate medical care while the masses suffered. There are two ways to view this, one as a populist film, the other as a film against the growing centralization of power over the lives of the masses via government programs like Obamacare.
I guess cinematic beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
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