Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.

THE SHEIK (1921)
The rape fantasy that won the heart of millions--but it's okay, because he was white all along! Very much a product of its time, almost casually racist and sexist. But I always love Valentino. *** stars.

I despised this movie with every fiber of my being. Privileged white guy doesn't want to get a job, decides he can live by himself in Alaska despite not knowing anything about how to survive or hunt or camp, basically acts like a criminal and has no interest in reality, then starves to death because he feels guilty about killing a moose for food. And according to the movie (and to millions of young people everywhere), being a selfish dick and dying because of your own ignorance is terribly, terribly romantic. What a joke. I'm actually offended by the whole notion that I'm supposed to feel anything for anyone so stupid and so caught up in their own bullshit. I feel nothing but contempt for this person. No stars.


Katie said...

I so glad I've finally found someone else who hates Into the Wild as much as I did. That idiot deserved to die and should be given no pity.

The Frog Queen said...

I thought I was the only one that hated into the, there are more of us! Sweet!!


Tallulah Morehead said...

That plot description of Into the Wild (a movie I don't recall ever being released. Maybe it never played in California. Quite possible.) is the life story of everyone who ever moved to Alaska from Civilization. That's how losers like Sarah Palin thrive there: they get elected by idiots, fugitives, criminals, and misfits. Palin's error is that she thinks the lower 48 contain people as uncivilized and stupid as Alaska does. She forgets that Alaska is where you go if you can't get on in civilization.

SO it's okay to rape white women as long as you yourself are white? Good to know. My dad used to defend various bits of cultural idiocy (like religion) when he wanted me to stop questioning "received wisdom" (Which I have NEVER stopped questioning!) as "The Wisdom of Our Ancestors." Movies like this, along with all of history, proves to me that there is no such thing as "The Wisdom of Our Ancestors." Here's a movie made when my dad was 3 and my Mom was a newborn, which takes racism as a natural and good thing, as does most every movie made prior to about 1960. My dad actually defended his own rabid homophobia as "The Wisdom of Our Ancestors." Which ancestors dad? Not the Romans. Not the Greeks. He also told me racism was bad, and then told me: "I hope all my grandchildren will have round eyes." I called him on that bit of racism to his face, and said: "Well Dad, you get no say in THAT decision, fortunately for all."

I began countering with examples of "The Idiocy of Our Ancestors." Example one: The Shiek.

SamuraiFrog said...

Well, my line about rape was sarcasm. I rolled my eyes when Adolphe Menjou began explaining that the Sheik was really white all along, and Agnes Ayres' eyes light up as though she's thinking "Oh, well now it's okay that he tried to force me to have sex with him!"

Tallulah Morehead said...

Well, I've never seen The Shiek and went by your description.

Adolphe Monjou is in it? Ew. He's in a number of good movies, so I have to endure him from time to time, but I can not look at that asshole without remembering his testifying before Senator McCarthy, and before HUAC proudly naming names, and pontificating from his extreme right-wing loony bin about how he KNEW "The Commies" were in the movie industry, trying to "corrupt" us. "I have seen movies that should never have been made," he said to Congress, as he advocated politically-motivated censorship and repression. So have I. Some of them starring that Fascist Monjou.

Hollywood has never abandoned that falling-in-love-with-your-rapist plot line. Soaps still use it. The infamous "Luke & Laura" romance of years ago, that had press far beyond what any soap can get these days, as the soaps die off, began with Luke raping Laura, and then they went on to be True Loves. In the words of Sheridan Whiteside: "I may vomit."

Kino this week released a lovely 3-disc set of all 19 of Buster Keaton's silent solo shorts, and I'm making my way through those, proof that GREAT movies were also made 90 years also.

SamuraiFrog said...

Oh, wonderful! I have the older Kino set The Art of Buster Keaton, and I need to have the new one as a companion... Essential to one's DVD library.

Tallulah Morehead said...

One by one, Kino has been doing the Keaton silent features in big, GORGEOUS two-disc editions all restored from 33mm originals, with scores composed for the discs, and lots of juicy extras. I have their edition of THE GENERAL, and want to get OUR HOSPITALITY and SHERLOCK Jr. & THE THREE AGES (both films in one set.)