Brokeass Mountain

Everyone’s got a theory about why Hollywood profits are in the toilet—too much emphasis on awards season leaving the rest of the year bereft of decent films, the ever-shortening length of time between theatrical and DVD releases, not enough films for teenage boys, too few family flicks, etc. etc. etc. Personally, I think it’s a combination of the increasing unpleasantness of the movie-going experience and Hollywood’s compulsion to release swill like Kingdom of Heaven, which was great for Mr. Shakes’ and my regular habit of deliberately watching bad films to mock them, but not much else.

Tammy Bruce, self-described “half Italian, half Irish, half troublemaker,” may not be good at math, but adeptly asserts her own theory on why Hollywood is faltering. Looking at the 2005 Golden Globe nominees for Best Picture tells Bruce everything she needs to know—Brokeback Mountain (“A love story between two gay sheepherders (erroneously labeled 'cowboys' by the media, I suppose because they wear hats)”), Goodnight and Good Luck (“A film portraying as noble the efforts of journalists to demonize and ‘take down’ a US Senator whose anti-communist policies they did not like”), The Constant Gardener (“A film about, as one movie-going reviewer noted, ‘...the horrors of big business and the way they are willing to experiment on the poor to achieve their goals...’”), A History of Violence (“The demonization of the average mid-western American man as someone who is no hero, but a cold-blooded killer at heart”), and Match Point (“…a Woody Allen film about infidelity. Well, he should know.”).

…Not only will we not go see films which insult us, we refuse to support an existential worldview. We happen to think life does matters, that decency is a good thing, and that people are inherently good, not bad. We also have stopped believing the lie that Americans are bad people. We looked away for 4 decades as that lie was spread, but that time is over.

So you can take your gay sheepherder, noble communist supporting reporters, big-business is evil, Americans are hopelessly and inherently corrupt and violent and unfaithful movies and go to Cannes where at least the Parisian set will love you. But that won't exactly pay the bills, will it?
Tough stuff, Hollywood. How do you respond?

Hollywood: Uh, doesn’t Tammy Bruce also call herself “an openly gay, pro-choice, gun owning, pro-death penalty, voted-for-President Bush progressive feminist”?


Hollywood: We’re too confused to answer.

The Heretik, who gets the hat tip for this one, and who I’m pretty sure is a traitorous French weasel, notes that “Quite a story and a movie could be made of Tammy The Bruce’s life. But if the movie of Tammy The Bruce got made, it sounds like Tammy would be the least likely to see it.” He also proposes what I think is a very good solution to Hollywood’s woes:

What America needs is a return to its roots. And who better to lead us there than a man with foreign roots? More action fare featuring brainless violence is what the people want. Arnold needs to come back to his first job. Or his second job. The one after he was an um bodybuilder, posing in a small suit that well displayed his large um talents. Lead us, Arnold, to moneymaking movie Mecca. Bring us to the Hollywood Holy Land of Profits, if not prophets.
See, that’s the way to do it, Tammy. Not just complaining—coming up with solutions.

To be fair, Bruce does have one solution to address her concern that Hollywood is making despicable films about “what they think our culture should look like.”

I'll be adding some of the old classics to my Netflix queue.
Splendid idea. The only problem will be finding time to watch all the old classics that feature openly gay, pro-choice, gun owning, pro-death penalty, voted-for-President Bush progressive feminists.

Actually, come to think of it, there aren’t many of those. It might be because Hollywood has never been all that interested in what our culture really does, or should, look like. But hey—if Bruce prefers to watch movies where people like her seem not to exist, who am I to criticize her decision?

As for me and my golden globes, we’ll be seeing Brokeback Mountain.

(Crossposted at Political Animal.)

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