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Conservative Messaging in Film


Mac_the_Nice

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The Barbarian Invasions . . .

 

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/barbarian_invasions/?search=barbarian%20invasions

 

A French/Canadian director, Denys Arcand

 

The style: stratospherically intellectual.

 

The content: in the days surrounding 9/11, the grand patriarch of a family is dying of cancer:

 

I find that this director has a former film of equally high rating from RT . . .

 

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/le-declin-de-lempire-americain/?search=The%20Decline%20of%20the%20American%20Empire

 

What do you think? Am I reading a hidden content into it that's not there, or do you also detect a presence of anti-liberal grousing in the dialog?

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The "anti liberal" grousing could be the make up of the character, and not neccesarily the attitude of the writer or director (or if one is both).

 

I've sometimes written poetry or songs that are expressions of a different POV than my own.

 

 

Sepiatone

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What does TIA mean by the way?

 

- Cheers, the global village idiot

In MY case, TIA means "Transient Iscemic Attack( or Anomaly)"  Or, what MY doctor simplifies as---"A WARNING stroke"!

 

 

Sepiatone

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Does just the word "conservative" now automatically qualify as political?

Thanks for saying that. Conservative can also relate to finances (as in being frugal), or even energy conservation.

 

If the OP did mean it politically, the topic could just as easily be switched to say 'Liberal messaging in film.' 

 

In my opinion, a better title for this thread would simply be Messaging in film (without any chance of a political discussion occurring)...because films do contain messages, many different kinds of messages about people and the way they live.

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Thanks for saying that. Conservative can also relate to finances (as in being frugal), or even energy conservation.

 

If the OP did mean it politically, the topic could just as easily be switched to say 'Liberal messaging in film.' 

 

In my opinion, a better title for this thread would simply be Messaging in film (without any chance of a political discussion occurring)...because films do contain messages, many different kinds of messages about people and the way they live.

 

Very good points.   I would hope this group could discuss how film is used for messaging without any one side feeling the need to defend a particular POV or attack someone else's.    But maybe that is a foolish POV to have.

 

Anyhow take the movie Victim.   This is clearly a film with a message.   In fact the title conveys the core of the message;  that the people being blackmailed were the victims.     Near the end when the blackmailer is busted he calls out the lead character in a mocking way by calling him a victim.    I found this to be a powerful message.   

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Very good points.   I would hope this group could discuss how film is used for messaging without any one side feeling the need to defend a particular POV or attack someone else's.    But maybe that is a foolish POV to have.

 

Anyhow take the movie Victim.   This is clearly a film with a message.   In fact the title conveys the core of the message;  that the people being blackmailed were the victims.     Near the end when the blackmailer is busted he calls out the lead character in a mocking way by calling him a victim.    I found this to be a powerful message.   

Excellent post, james. I like how you found additional meaning in the title, the movie's various scenes, and its overall theme. I do think the message in VICTIM, though, is political inasmuch as the filmmakers are trying to get a law against homosexuals struck down. The story has been constructed with that purpose in mind.

 

But the film does have other, non-political messages-- like about how women were supposed to support their husbands, how the legal process in Britain is usually carried out, and how people in some circles were supposed to shy away from controversial issues.

 

This said, it occurs to me the film has to be about an attorney, no one else. About a man whose life is wrapped up in the law, to ironically be an accomplice to the victimization caused by a certain law. If he had been in any other profession, the impact would not be as great. And the message not as clear.

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Can we keep politics off the board?

 

TIA

Well sure!  Any other topics you'd care to leave outside the door with the galoshes, the wet umbrella?  How about any discussion of the "Uncle Scrooge" figure in Donald Duck cartoons, along with the faintly disguised extreme right-wing figures of Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam?  Should we not regard introduction of any such subjects to be extremely harmful to an atmosphere and ambiance here of peaceful coexistence?  And why should only political subjects be pooh-poohed? Or i.e., why should only they be deigned pooh-poohable? What about those terribly annoying posts when somebody wants to talk about typical diseases of the house-cat? I'll make a deal: I won't post here anything about the true subtextual content of "Barbarian Invasions" (having partly to do with government subsidized healthcare in Canada) so long as Richard Kimble here agrees never to come around here talking about his g*dd*m disease ridden cat. Thank You in Advance. :-)

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Very good points.   I would hope this group could discuss how film is used for messaging without any one side feeling the need to defend a particular POV or attack someone else's.    But maybe that is a foolish POV to have.

 

Anyhow take the movie Victim.   This is clearly a film with a message.   In fact the title conveys the core of the message;  that the people being blackmailed were the victims.     Near the end when the blackmailer is busted he calls out the lead character in a mocking way by calling him a victim.    I found this to be a powerful message.   

 

I was going to start a thread about Victim after I caught up with Wednesday's British dramas yesterday afternoon.  I got waylaid and never got around to it, but this is one extraordinary film, especially considering its 1961 date. 

 

A serious movie about the perils and risks of being gay, made in 1961 ????!!!!  I'm still scratching my head in disbelief.  How many more years did it take for a comparable film to be made in the United States?  I can't think of any.  Sometime in the 70's or 80's?  I remember a farce called The Boys in the Band that came out in the late 60's, but that was so filled with one dimensional stereotypes it was wholly forgettable and not serious at all.

 

By contrast, the characters in Victim were three dimensional, the viciousness of the blackmailers was presented uncompromisingly, and while the plot's denouement was relatively upbeat (the blackmailers were caught and the torn husband and wife rediscovered their love for each other in a manner that didn't seem forced), it hardly brushed the brutal realities of the law's effects under the rug.  All in all, this was a film that should definitely be shown as one of The Essentials.  For those who missed it on Wednesday, don't fail to see it the next time it comes around.  You won't regret it.  This was TCM at its very best.

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I was going to start a thread about Victim after I caught up with Wednesday's British dramas yesterday afternoon.  I got waylaid and never got around to it, but this is one extraordinary film, especially considering its 1961 date. 

 

A serious movie about the perils and risks of being gay, made in 1961 ????!!!!  I'm still scratching my head in disbelief.  How many more years did it take for a comparable film to be made in the United States?  I can't think of any.  Sometime in the 70's or 80's?  I remember a farce called The Boys in the Band that came out in the late 60's, but that was so filled with one dimensional stereotypes it was wholly forgettable and not serious at all.

 

By contrast, the characters in Victim were three dimensional, the viciousness of the blackmailers was presented uncompromisingly, and while the plot's denouement was relatively upbeat (the blackmailers were caught and the torn husband and wife rediscovered their love for each other in a manner that didn't seem forced), it hardly brushed the brutal realities of the law's effects under the rug.  All in all, this was a film that should definitely be shown as one of The Essentials.  For those who missed it on Wednesday, don't fail to see it the next time it comes around.  You won't regret it.

I agree, Andy, that VICTIM should be shown as an Essential. Hopefully Robert or a courageous co-host will select it at some point.

 

By the way, I was going to make a thread about VICTIM in the films and filmmakers forum, but then I realized it would be better placed in the LGBT sub-forum. You can find it at:

 

http://forums.tcm.com/index.php?/topic/52456-dirk-bogarde-in-victim-1961/&do=findComment&comment=1071180

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I didn't see 'VICTIM' the other day, but after reading about the plot it's not that different from the 1962 political drama 'ADVISE AND CONSENT'.  

 

     * BIT OF A SPOILER * 

 

     Don Murray's married character is strongly implied to have had a boyfriend in the past and he's being targeted by some shady political operatives.

 

     ('ADVISE AND CONSENT' was also Charles Laughton's last film, btw).   

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I didn't see 'VICTIM' the other day, but after reading about the plot it's not that different from the 1962 political drama 'ADVISE AND CONSENT'.  

 

     * BIT OF A SPOILER * 

 

     Don Murray's married character is strongly implied to have had a boyfriend in the past and he's being targeted by some shady political operatives.

 

     ('ADVISE AND CONSENT' was also Charles Laughton's last film, btw).   

I think ADVISE AND CONSENT is more similar to THE BEST MAN (where it is implied that Cliff Robertson has a gay skeleton in his closet). In all these films, we have what appears to be an outwardly heterosexual man who is a respected member of his community and profession, having had a male lover on the down-low.

 

But VICTIM is much more explicit-- it talks about how a law against gays has unexpected ramifications across the community. Also, VICTIM has the added benefit of casting a lead actor who in real life was homosexual, so it seems more relevant. Dirk Bogarde is not a heterosexual play-acting as a gay man. In a way, he is helping to tell a story that affects him personally, off-camera.

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But what would you make of  the 1959 Gore Vidal script for T. Williams' Suddenly, Last Summer?

Or if the theme was too obscured by symbolism in the Tennessee Williams play, how could anyone not get, or forget Vincente Minnelli's Tea & Sympathy--the way my mother went about with her beatnik friends raving about it in 1956?

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But what would you make of  the 1959 Gore Vidal script for T. Williams' Suddenly, Last Summer?

 

I've only watched parts of that film and wasn't all that impressed.  Too Gothic / melodramatic for my taste.  But the next time it runs I'll give it a fairer shot.  I'm glad you mentioned it.

 

It should be noted, however, that it was panned by Tennessee Williams for miscasting Liz Taylor,* and by Gore Vidal for the ending.  Not too surprising, considering that the film was made in conjunction with the Catholic League of Decency and was tamed down considerably from the play in order to get the approval of the Production Code.

 

* Williams said that the movie made him "throw up" for going far afield from his original play.

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A serious movie about the perils and risks of being gay, made in 1961 ????!!!!  I'm still scratching my head in disbelief.  How many more years did it take for a comparable film to be made in the United States?  I can't think of any. 

 

'Reflections in a Golden Eye' (1967).

 

The first American movie to be unequivocal about a homosexual attraction.

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It’s the sexual innuendos this conservative party-girl (pardon the oxymoron) seeks from her movie entertainment – and perhaps the reason movies such as North by Northwest are popular viewings here  ;)

If you're referring to that train rushing into that tunnel at the end of NxNW, that's NOT so much of an innuendo!  That's pretty much "in your face".  You don't have to be FELLINI to figure THAT one out!  :P

 

 

Sepiatone

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