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David Poland

By David Poland

Asking Again

In the A.O. Scott stuff, these questions never seemed to be answered by people posting. And I find them very interesting. So I ask again, with no tongue in cheek, but with sincere interest in your perspectives…
Tell me, is North Country a conservative tract? Sure, it

72 Responses to “Asking Again”

  1. Crow T Robot says:

    David, I love when you get hysterical.

  2. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Well, nodoby’s seen these movies – and we all knew it’s so unlike people around here to comment on movies they haven’t seen.

  3. James Leer says:

    Is having a loving family the exclusive domain of the right? That’s what I don’t get about your arguments.

  4. Angelus21 says:

    Basically every movie is pro right. Because the right is for values, families, religion, and individualism. Not the values the Left embraces.

  5. Josh Massey says:

    First of all, like most here, I haven’t seen a single one of these movies. My questions, though: Why is “pro-working woman and anti-sexual harassment” anti-conservative? Why is “how wrong sex, drugs and violence can go” not an idea liberals can embrace? Why is a “strong woman in control” not conservative?
    And honestly, I don’t even get what you’re saying about “Elizabethtown.”

  6. David Poland says:

    Oh well… I thought they were provacative questions… apparently not.

  7. Stella's Boy says:

    Look at Angelus’s post. Who want to debate with people like that? Why bother? The idiocy of that post is astounding. What person who actually has a brain in their head truly believes that only those on the right value family, religion, values and indivudualism? My Catholic parents, proud Dems, would have something to say about that.

  8. Wrecktum says:

    They very well might be interesting questions, Poland, but they’re unanswerable by most of us because the films in question haven’t been released yet.
    To answer the question broadly, though, I’d say most Hollywood product, being apolitical, can be co-opted by either the right or the left to suit their needs.

  9. twotrees says:

    Cameron Crowe is easy to figure out. The Liberal ones are ‘R’ and the Conservative ones are ‘PG’. It couldn’t be any simpler. I’m always thinking.

  10. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    i’ve seen all three and so will attempt to answer as succinctly as possible.
    “Tell me, is North Country a conservative tract?”
    No, unless conservatism equals a need to be as commercial and comforting as mainstream tv movies are.
    Is Domino a right-wing tract or a left-wing tract?
    Like most of its brethren it is both – the same with nearly every film budgeted above 50m with an investment to appease as wide an audience as possible. Read what you want into it.

  11. Angelus21 says:

    Stella I am all ears on your response. It will be far left wing and utterly absurd but I am all ears. Not may fault the Left has no values. Don’t shoot the messenger.

  12. joefitz84 says:

    Now Cameron Crowe gets voice of the right when his new movie is terrible???

  13. PandaBear says:

    Why does everything have to be either right or left? How about entertaining the audience? What part does that play in the industry now? Just asking.

  14. Heiron says:

    As with all creative endeavors, isn’t the objective of those who create films to ultimately produce art? And since art’s aim is to foment a multiplicity of viewpoints, interpretations and even reveries… doesn’t that make cinema ESSENTIALLY more liberal than conservative? More Bacchus than Apollo?

  15. LesterFreed says:

    Whoever said all art is Liberal? That is a pretty weak argument.

  16. Eric says:

    Hey Angelus, it’s really easy to do what you do. Watch:
    “All conservatives are endowed with penises less than half the length of those of liberal men, and that includes the conservative women.”
    Look! I’ve stirred up some rancor, without adding anything whatsoever to the conversation. Cheers.

  17. Sanchez says:

    Does this mean War of the Worlds is Liberal heaven for all its allusions to the big bad US dominating the world and being the lone super power?

  18. David Poland says:

    Sanchez speaks to my real question… it’s not literally about each film. It’s about whether these black and white positionings of artistic efforts are reasonable to make.
    The answer that the Rs are conservative and the PGs are liberal is exactly what I mean. I assume the comment was tongue in cheek. But it does get that absurd far too often, no?

  19. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    I absolutely despise these pathetic political debates on here, but considering David actually brought this on himself.
    Is Angelus saying that all left-winged people want everybody to be divorced, crack-shooting, morally adjacent monsters? Cause that’s what it sounds like.
    Man, cynicism is so fun!!!!

  20. jeffmcm says:

    Not only are these questions hard to answer because only Dave Poland, of those present, has seen these three movies, but they’re also hard to answer because Dave P. is setting up false and potentially misleading ideological distinctions. Obviously most movies aren’t totally “left” or “right”, like everything they exist in a vast spectrum.

  21. Bruce says:

    Black and white positioning is pretty extreme in movies. You can’t have a movie either one way or the other. It doesn’t become entertaining when you do that. Either way.

  22. Krazy Eyes says:

    So on Angelus21’s terms does that make all right-wingin’ conservatives racist, homophobic, demagogues, who are happily willing to overlook all their cherished “values” if it will make them a buck?
    Yeah . . . that sounds about right. Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger.

  23. Nicol D says:

    You ask a good question about these films. I do not believe values alone make a film left or right (and not all films are easy to classify). We all have values that sound similar…the difference is in how we define those values.
    Take Elizabethtown, a film I have not seen. You say it is about a guy who comes home to the loving bosom of his family.
    Does this alone make it right or left?
    I would say no. We all want a loving family.
    Where our culture fractures is in what do we depict as a loving family.
    If the loving family in Elizabethtown is depicted as something out of Norman Rockwell I’d say it skews right. If Bloom’s family is a commune of transvestites that adopted him in the 70’s I’d say it skews left.
    Now obviously I’ve chosen extreme examples to make a point. It’s not the values necessarily people are talking about but the embodiment of those values. I think the right confuses their language in that respect.
    The late great Gene Siskel used to always complain how modern Hollywood depicted fathers as stupid and buffoonish…I would directly link that to Hollywood’s post-feminist (New Left)worldview. A 60’s response to the ‘Father Knows Best’ types of the 50’s that has now become its own cliche.
    Now any one film may be ambiguous but taken as a whole, more people are noticing a consistency to how certain demographics are presented in modern films (say post 1965).
    It’s not just conservatives.
    Personally I also put some of the blame at the foot of conservatives also. Why they did not embrace Cinderella Man is beyond me. Why the studio didn’t target them is beyond me.
    I do not think there is any grand conspiracy. Just a cultural worldview that is reflected in the choices made as to who protagonists and antagonists are.
    As for Domino…I suspect it is nothing more than an action genre film that plays to the rules of the genre.
    Finally as for the Lib=R Repub=PG debate. Gibson thoroughly blew that out of the water.

  24. Terence D says:

    I’ll tell you the one reason why Conservatives didn’t embrace Cinderlla Man. It wasn’t any good. For the masses that is. Even though I liked it. Its really not about Right/Left.

  25. BluStealer says:

    This is a group that should never discuss politics.
    That said I just hope those movies are good. Whether they lean either way. It doesn’t matter to me. I’m semi intelligent and don’t need to be told how to think.

  26. Bruce says:

    The last thing anyone needs is more Lefty movies. They haven’t figured out yet that people don’t like being preached at or told they’re bad people.

  27. jeffmcm says:

    I thought it was the Right that preached at people and told them they were bad. Hey! Common ground!

  28. Josh says:

    Just because liberals are godless and valueless doesn’t mean you have to cry about it.

  29. James Leer says:

    …and jeffmcm’s point is proven.

  30. David Poland says:

    I am happy I brought it up.
    There is some bad behavior, but I think that is the crux of the conversation. People seem to want to take sides when there may be no sides… so they create them.

  31. mysteryperfecta says:

    Isn’t it the entertainment press who goad this kind of tenuous side-taking? Remember the articles on a Bush-bashing Star Wars: ROTS? Was it really a topic before the press made it a topic (unless they got the idea while trolling blogs for topics)?

  32. jeffmcm says:

    I agree, The media is all about building things up for the purposes of sensationalization. In fact, I thought Scott’s original article was partially trying to avoid this kind of one-sidedness.

  33. Mark Ziegler says:

    The press will try and spin any story or create one where nothing is. How many out there even thought about Dominoe being a political right/left movie????
    No one.

  34. Nicol D says:

    Y’know what.
    I scratch everything that I said.
    This whole debate is a media concoction. Hollywood loves George Bush. They love Republicans. They love Christians. They love Catholics. Every film that comes out oooozes a lil’ bit o’love for these demos.
    I think I’ll write a script abouth the life of St. Peter. I’ll get Sean Penn to star, David Geffen to produce. Tom Hanks will be the co-lead and Bruce Springsteen will write the score.
    I have no problem saying some conservatives overstate the left-wing nature of Hollywood…but to say it is entirely neutral and unbiased at all does require a little bit of ‘head in sand’ thinking.

  35. joefitz84 says:

    So 100% of Hollywood hates Republicans? A blanket statement if I ever heard one. There is a reason the Left is clueless, out of power and out of touch.

  36. jeffmcm says:

    Thanks for the pointless, reductive blanket statement of your own.

  37. Sanchez says:

    Do you ever have anything of substance to add Jeff or is it just little small shots at people? If its just small shots you can do better because you’re not even a tiny bit humorous. You can do much, much, much better.

  38. jeffmcm says:

    I’m sorry Sanchez, but you and Joe and your partners have dragged down the level of discourse on this blog. I would love to talk about semiotics or Wong Kar-Wai but I think I would be wasting my time.

  39. jeffmcm says:

    PS: You’re a poopyhead, nyah nyah.

  40. Sanchez says:

    I wa sjust curious since you never really have anything to contribute other than a cheap put down. Why bother? Life got you down that much?

  41. jeffmcm says:

    How touching, this must be that compassionate conservatism I’ve heard so much talk about.
    Like I said, I would love to have a proper conversation about movies. You want to talk about Domino, North Country, or Elizabethtown?

  42. Sanchez says:

    Proper? You wouldn’t know where to begin, young fella. For that I do feel sorry for you.

  43. jeffmcm says:

    Jeez, you try to be nice to a guy, engage him in a conversation, and you get BURNED! Ouch, Sanchie, that stings.

  44. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Sanchez used the term “young fella”… i think i burst a gut there.
    It’s really just saddening that certain people on this blog are so blind. It’s certainly fine for anyone to lean left or right, but some of the people here are taking it to extremes.
    I may be a lefty (if you’re going to name people that is) but that doesn’t mean I think all right-winged people are buttoned up bible bashers, and it’s offensive and outright disgusting that people think we are morally defunct and have no values.
    People like Angelus, Josh and co are quite possibly the most disgusting people on here.

  45. Angelus21 says:

    Coming from a confirmed bible hating Lib, I take that as a compliment. Don’t you have criminals to free and babies to kill?

  46. bicycle bob says:

    a liberal calling some people disgusting? the pot calling the kettle black.

  47. Stella's Boy says:

    Based on the trailers and TV spots, Domino certainly seems to glamorize her life as a bounty hunter. She is shooting people, kicking ass and taking names, and having the time of her life. On the contrary, life as a beauty queen was hell. Nothing but snobby bitches that she constantly fought with. Live fast, die young and leave a good looking corpse.

  48. Mark Ziegler says:

    Lets see if they show her drug use and her drug selling life.

  49. David Poland says:

    I am genuinely stunned everytime I see what a high percentages of the commenters in here lean right. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that…)

  50. Joe Straat says:

    Stella, well, advertisements are about selling the movie, and “hot bounty hunter kicking ass” sells more to a general audience than the backstabbing world of beauty. I find that the ads for theatrical releases are to get as many butts from all sorts into theater seats, and can be sometimes misleading (See the “Download into the FUTURE!” Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow ads. Ha!). Take your money and if it isn’t what you wanted, too bad. I find ads for the DVDs tend to be more of what the movie actually is, but still skewed general for impulse buyers. We’ll see how it really is when it comes out, though I don’t doubt the movie actually leaning more towards the bounty hunting.

  51. Nicol D says:

    You should not be surprised.
    There is an amazing amount of people out there who skew right and are very knowledgeable about film history and generally love the medium and art-form of film.
    The notion that all film-artists must be ‘left’ is an old one that is very sixties related.
    To many, film art is about stories from across the whole breadth of the human spectrum.
    Neither right nor left.
    Some just feel it is time for a bit of a change.
    I think as more of generation y (whose cultural touch point was not Vietnam) enter the film industry you will see a shift in subject matter.
    The films will not be better or worse…they will just be different and stand on their own merit.

  52. joefitz84 says:

    I didn’t realize every film buff had to lean left. When was this rule adopted?
    I’m kinda excited to see Domino. For one I like Keira K. Who doesn’t? And I also like Tony Scott. He’s fast paced. Always pretty enjoyable. Might not be Ridley but hes entertaining.

  53. Stella's Boy says:

    In some cases I wouldn’t call it leaning or skewing right. Joe Straat, I know that. I was merely attempting to stear the conversation in a more civil direction. The back and forth was old a long time ago. This place isn’t all that much fun anymore. Too much bickering.

  54. LesterFreed says:

    Bickering over films is part of the whole game. Some like it. Some hate em. It’s part of the process. That’s why some people like Fast And the Furious and some think they’re nutso for liking it. It’s part of the charm of film.

  55. Josh Massey says:

    I’m a fiscally conservative guy – voted for Bush twice – and am genuinely embarrassed for some of the political commenters on this blog, both right and left. It just seems so petty and silly, and most of the discourse here only serves to make everybody sound dumber.
    That said, I think Tony Scott has a higher winning percentage than Ridley, so take whatever I say with that proverbial grain of salt.

  56. Krazy Eyes says:

    Oh . . . I don’t think Stella was complaining about bickering over films. At this point I think Stella would be overjoyed to be able to bicker about films (and only about films).
    To keep things on track I agree with what others have said. I don’t think any of the films you mentioned have any sort of political agenda but it does show how easy it is for people to interpret them to suit any agenda they might have. Sometimes a good story is a good story and it should be told whatever the political natures involved.

  57. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    “Coming from a confirmed bible hating Lib, I take that as a compliment. Don’t you have criminals to free and babies to kill?”
    I don’t hate the bible and have never said i do. Just because I’m an athiest doesn’t mean i don’t respect people who aren’t. Unless they go around saying the sort of things people on here are.
    The common curtosy would be to respect another person’s beliefs or lack thereof, but it appears that’s not possible for some people.

  58. BluStealer says:

    Maybe Stella’s Boy should stick to films instead of trying to get into politics discussions. If you can take the heat, stay out the kitchen as my mother always says.

  59. Stella's Boy says:

    Maybe BluStealer should mind their own business, seeing as how I never started a political discussion here. As my wise mother always says, if you have no idea what you are talking about, you should keep your mouth shut.

  60. Mark Ziegler says:

    I’d rather sit thru a double feature of Girl 6 and Bamboozled than listen to Stella’s Girl go on about politics.

  61. Stella's Boy says:

    Nothing makes me laugh harder than third grade insults on a movie blog. So thank you Mary Ziegler. You just gave me a good laugh. I am smiling from ear to ear.

  62. Mark Ziegler says:

    I’m not trying to insult you Stella’s Girl. Why you so defensive? Just telling you how it is and what I would prefer.

  63. PandaBear says:

    I don’t know. Girl 6 is really bad. Like the pitts. I might have a hard choice on that.

  64. Stella's Boy says:

    But Mary, you didn’t insult me. Not at all. Like I said, you made me laugh. Tell me, why would I care at all about what someone like you thinks of me? I care what intelligent and reasonable people think of me. People like jeff, Dave Poland and Joe Leydon. I could not possibly care less what you think of me. If you don’t like me, I am doing something right.

  65. PandaBear says:

    I think you made her cry, Mary.

  66. Mark Ziegler says:

    I don’t think it takes much to get Stella’s Girl going. Like I said hes very emotional and prone to spastic posts about God knows what. I know the G word makes his Liberal blood boil. Sorry, Stella’s Girl!

  67. Angelus21 says:

    Why is every post from Stella always about him? Self centered much? No way to go through the grind we call life. Don’t you have anything else to say besides something about you?

  68. Bruce says:

    He’s an only child. I’ve seen it before.
    Tony Scott better than Ridley Scott? Interesting take there. I do prefer Top Gun to anything Ridley has done. But overall? Tough.

  69. Joe Leydon says:

    Before some of you folks get carried away in drawing firm lines of demarcation between “liberals” and “conservatives,” please note: Some of the most outspoken and indefatiable anti-death penalty activists have been deeply committed, deeply religious folks. (Anyone out there see “Dead Man Walking,” by the way?)Same thing with anti-war activists: Even the pope (well, OK, the LAST pope) was against the U.S. invasion of Iraq. So I would suggest that before we start saying that this or that group is anti-God, we look at the record and maybe try to be more accurate.

  70. PandaBear says:

    Liberals are pro God? Maybe 40 years ago. Thats also when they had a clue about national security and defense. Long live the good old years they say.

  71. jeffmcm says:

    Forty years ago, Panda, you would have been blasting Kennedy for screwing up the Bay of Pigs and up Johnson’s ass for Vietnam.

  72. joefitz84 says:

    It’s too bad the Dem’s forgot that national security and a strong defense was a cornerstone of national policy. Pacifism never won a national election. Ask McGovern.

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