Friday, October 17, 2014
'Racist' French cinema hit 'too politically incorrect' for UK and US audiences
British and American cinema-goers will not get to see a hugely popular French comedy because it has been rejected by film distributors who deem it politically incorrect and possibly racist.
"Qu'est-ce qu'on a fait au Bon Dieu?" (Serial (Bad) Weddings) tells the tale of two stuffy, white, Catholic parents whose daughters horrify them by marrying men of other religions and ethnic backgrounds.
Three are already wed - to an Arab Muslim, a north African Jew, and a Chinese man - and Maman and Papa place all their hope in their youngest daughter, only to discover that she has promised herself to a man from Ivory Coast.
The movie has been seen by more than 12 million French but will not make it across the water because, according to the production company behind it, English-speaking audiences "would never allow themselves these days to laugh at blacks, Jews or Asians."
"The people [in US and UK distribution companies] we spoke to found it politically incorrect," Sabine Chemaly of TFI International told Le Point magazine.
The film got mostly rave reviews in France, with one critic praising it as a "sort of hymn to the melting pot of France, an efficient comedy that uses self-derision to promote multicultural tolerance".
The film's message appears to be that even if the French are sometimes a little racist, common sense will prevail and everyone can in the end get along.
The director, Philippe de Chauveron, said his film was about "deflating" the prejudices peddled by the anti-immigrant Front National party, whose support has been growing rapidly in France in recent years.
But the few reviews that have appeared in the English-language film trade press were negative.
"The majority of the jokes are extremely heavy-handed -- the Jew calls the Arab "Arafat" and then is karate-chopped by the Asian," said the Hollywood Reporter, while Variety magazine noted that the film had been criticised for "perpetuating racist stereotypes and feeding into France's ambient xenophobia".
The 2011 French film, The Intouchables, touched upon similar topics as Serial (Bad) Weddings and grossed nearly $400 million worldwide, but it's hard to see Weddings honeymooning far outside the usual Francophone hotspots," added the Hollywood Reporter.
How the Free Speech Movement Stopped Moving
This month marks 50 years since Mario Savio stood atop a police car at UC Berkeley and gave an impassioned speech to throngs of young pampered radicals that launched what is now preserved in amber and lionized as the “Free Speech Movement.” Barefoot and presumably smelly, Savio famously orated something about the “machine”—apparently it was “odious”—and how you had to place your body in the machine’s gears to stop it from working.
And in a sense, it worked. But more precisely, the machine only shifted gears. The net result a half-century later on college campuses nationwide is that you are now permitted to say “fuck” but no longer allowed to say “nigger.”
In an email forwarded to Berkeley’s faculty, staff, and students early in September of this year, school chancellor Nicholas Dirks acknowledged the Free Speech Movement’s Golden Anniversary, but with reservations:
"…the commitment to free speech and expression can lead to division and divisiveness that undermine a community’s foundation. … Our capacity to maintain that delicate balance between communal interests and free expression…will be tested anew. Specifically, we can only exercise our right to free speech insofar as we feel safe and respected in doing so, and this in turn requires that people treat each other with civility."
Cutting through that verbal wall of bullshit, Dirks appears to be saying that free speech ends where the “community” begins. He also seems to imply that one person’s right to feel “safe and respected” may trump another’s right to say what’s on their mind.
It is no coincidence that one of the prime movers and shakers of the original Free Speech Movement was Bettina Aptheker, the daughter of dedicated Stalinists and a woman who, despite all the lip service she paid to “free speech,” openly supported thought-squashing socialist regimes throughout the 1960s, the sort of tyrannical state entities that would rip your tongue out of your throat for making the merest bird squeak of dissent. Aptheker is now a professor of feminist studies at UC Santa Cruz and recently wrote this in a Berkeley alumni magazine:
"On the occasion of this 50th anniversary of the FSM…it is worth pausing for a moment to consider the ways in which gender, race, class, and sexuality may effect [sic] one’s access to freedom of speech. Although the First Amendment embraces a universal ideal in its wording, it was written by white, propertied men in the 18th century…."
Lady, if I was against free speech, I’d tell you to shut the hell up right now. But I’ll let you prattle onward and downward, because you’re only proving my point.
What a despicable group of tyrants the freewheeling leftists of the early 1960s have become. Those who rose up against the “machine” back then are still working from the old operator’s manual. Miraculously, they still manage to convince themselves that they have not become the machine against which they once railed. And somewhere along the line they concocted the screwball idea of “hate speech”—I doubt such a concept so much as existed in 1964—and began fallaciously arguing that it was a fundamentally different thing from free speech.
They spun a magical illusory world where “civil rights” and “civil liberties” are somehow at odds with one another. They even convinced untold numbers of otherwise intelligent people that if you stopped calling blacks dirty names, those benighted and oppressed descendants of slaves would perform better academically.
They still whine about McCarthyism, which would be fine if they were able to point to a single Nazi screenwriter currently employed in Hollywood. In their childish quest to avoid creating a “hostile environment,” they’ve engineered an environment that is brutally hostile to the merest wisp of dissent. They have engineered a coddled, over-medicated world where mild disapproval of anything is “hate speech.” In the service of “sensitivity,” they have fashioned a modern educational system that is an uninterrupted blood libel against white males. They have achieved ethnic, gender, and sexual diversity—at the almost complete expense of ideological diversity. It is a world where feelings overrule ideas at every turn. Ideas—at least ones that diverge a millimeter from official indoctrination—are viewed as threats.
The mind of a censor is a dark and frightened space. Censors are motivated not by a certainty that their targets are wrong but a fear that they may be right. The end result of the Free Speech Movement has been to create a generation of graduates whose minds are bolted shut and paved over with cement.
In the interest of delusional and unquantifiable intangibles such as “equality” and “social justice,” the totalitarian wolves in free-speech clothing who arose in Berkeley fifty years ago have created a suffocating environment that is more hostile to the free exchange of ideas than perhaps at any time in American history.
Former Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom quits party because it is too 'politically correct'
Controversial former Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom has quit the party saying he now considers it too politically correct.
Mr Bloom, a former flatmate of Nigel Farage, said he was leaving with a "heavy heart" but had "had enough" after being banned from speaking because of his controversial views.
He warned Ukip’s first elected MP Douglas Carswell that he could be knifed in the back by his new party if he was not careful.
The former MEP, who was first elected to Brussels in 2004, said: “I was a founding member of Ukip and I’ve been a significant donor.
“But now I find that instead of being the libertarian party, the party of common sense, I’ve been banned from speaking. “So, yes, it’s a very sad day for me. But the party seems to have gone astray."
He added: "Quite what’s going on I couldn’t say, but I’ve had enough. “What kind of party are we supposed to be? The whole point and the reason we are doing so well is because we were supposed to something different. “We seem to be drifting towards the politically correct mainstream like everybody else.
“I’ve had enough of party politics. I don’t think party politics is for people who tell it like it is.”
Mr Bloom caused an outcry in 2012 after saying that foreign aid is sent to "Bongo Bongo Land". It came after he sparked accusations of sexism after saying: “I just don’t think they clean behind the fridge enough”, a remark which ultimately led to his downfall.
When female Ukip activists said they were too busy to “clean behind the fridge” Mr Bloom told a fringe meeting at the party’s 2012 conference: “The room is full of sluts!” The remark was meant as a joke but caused fury. Mr Bloom then hit Mr Crick over the head with a Ukip conference programme outside the fringe event in a row about racism.
Furious party leader Nigel Farage said Mr Bloom’s antics had ‘destroyed’ coverage of the party’s annual conference, and he was suspended from the party just two hours after giving his keynote address as Ukip’s defence spokesman.
Ukip has been trying to move away from its politically incorrect image and appear more mainstream, although Mr Farage attracted criticism last week when he called for people who have tested positive for HIV to be banned from migrating to Britain as a “good start” in controlling the UK’s borders.
Hercules Actor: ‘Being a Christian in Hollywood, You Get Attacked’
Kevin Sorbo, star of the 1990s TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, as well as the 2011 movie Soul Surfer and this year’s highly successful God’s Not Dead, said there is a huge audience for Christian-themed movies and Hollywood would profit if it understood that audience, but he added that if you are a Christian and a conservative in Hollywood, “you will get attacked.”
Sorbo, who sometimes comments on current events, also said he believes there is a hostility towards Christians by some media and they spend an inordinate amount of coverage on topics such as “global warming” instead of focusing on more immediate issues such as the persecution and beheading of Christians by radical Muslims.
In an interview with CNSNews.com about the new movie Let the Lion Roar, in which he plays the 16th century Protestant John Calvin, Sorbo talked about the appeal of Christian movies in the marketplace and how the media are hostile toward people of faith.
CNSNews.com asked Sorbo if the criticism he has faced stemmed in part from the fact that he is an outspoken Christian.
“Yeah, sure,” he said. “I think being a conservative in Hollywood and being a Christian in Hollywood, you get attacked. It’s so strange to me that the media sits there and protects the things that they protect, or they ignore the things that they ignore, and they go after stories like global warming -- like that’s more important than what’s going on in the world right now with these terrorists.”
“Am I saying that all Muslims are bad? Of course not all Muslims are bad,” said Sorbo. “That’d be a silly thing for me to say. There’s what, 1.2 billion of them out there? But they’ve estimated 300 million of them are radical and ready to behead every single person who doesn’t believe the way they believe, including fellow Muslims.”
“That’s a far bigger problem for me with terrorists in the world than the things that they [media] want to pick on, attack, and I’m tired of racism being used as a card or bigotry or anything,” he said. “It’s like, give me a break.”
CNSNews.com then asked, “In the interviews I read some of the things you talked about was some of the resistance in Hollywood or New York to making Christian movies or pro-Christian movies, even though a lot of these, if they’re done well, they tend to be popular and profitable. You seem to be saying that there’s an animus against Christian movies in Hollywood -- why do you think that is?
Sorbo said, “You know, it’s interesting, I went to see Noah. I got invited to Paramount and one of the producers came up there. Well, number one they hired an atheist director, which to me is a weird choice. I mean, look, the movie was very interesting, it was beautifully shot. But as my wife says, it was Waterworld Meets Transformers. But I think it only made $100 million in America; I say only but they had $200 million into it. Worldwide they did very well. I think they still ended up making a $100 million profit. Not a bad profit, you know?”
“But ultimately it did very well opening week and in every one country that opened it,” he said. “But if you look at it, that movie dropped off 50, 60, 70% in every country the following week. Word of mouth was like, ugh, it doesn’t really speak to us. And I say us, I’m saying Christians who went to, who flocked to the movie to see it.”
In analyzing why the appeal of Noah diminished quickly with audiences, Sorbo referenced, for contrast, Mel Gibson’s hugely popular 2004 movie, The Passion of the Christ.
“I go back to Mel Gibson, only saying that if you look back at stories -- I’ve been saying this stuff, you can see the stories that were printed up -- Hollywood not being very happy with Mel’s portrayal [of Christ’s Passion],” said Sorbo. “Well, he shot it for $30 million and the darn thing made –what? -- $500, $600 million worldwide?”
“So, with the believers in God it obviously struck a positive chord, much like my movie God’s Not Dead did this year,” he said. “I mean, we had a $2 million budget, the thing made $64 million and we did very well overseas.”
He continued, “So you know there’s an audience out there, is all I’m saying. I think Hollywood, I don’t think they on purpose don’t do it, I mean it’s called show business and they want to make money too and I know they’ve got more things coming down the pipe. … But I just think, I don’t think they have people around that understand it, that get it because maybe they’re not believers in God, maybe they’re not Christian, maybe they’re not whatever -- and I think you’ve got to hire people like that to put movies out there that will appeal to the audience.”
Sorbo then noted the phenomenal success of Christian-themed or God-based television series.
“I mean, you look at 7th Heaven, Highway to Heaven, Roma Downey’s show Touched by an Angel, those shows all went 8, 9,10 years and there’s been nothing like that on TV for a long time.,” said Sorbo. “Why? There’s an audience out there that would love that stuff, that has a moral compass that they want their children to see and follow, as well. To me, there’s nothing wrong with that.”
“I don’t know why Christians get bashed,” he said. “Christians aren’t the ones beheading children and blowing up churches and buses with women and children on board. So, I don’t understand why Christians get attacked and we sit here and protect Muslims, say, ‘oh well, can’t judge them all.’”
“Wow, it’s so strange to me,” he said, “what we protect and what we go after right now in this country through the media.”
Kevin Sorbo’s latest film project, Let the Lion Roar, examines how the Bible was changed by some anti-Jewish writers throughout history and presents its message that the Jewish people and Israel are vital in God’s plan for man’s salvation. The movie was released on Blu-ray/DVD with an accompanying book in September. In addition to Sorbo, other actors in the film include Oscar-nominated Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight), John Schneider (October Baby), and Stephen Baldwin.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.