Filmmaking and the Unjust Status Quo

Mick LaSalle at the San Francisco Chronicle writes, Lions for Lambs “is responsive, engaged filmmaking, the kind of movie they say Americans don’t make.”

On the contrary, Hollywood makes “responsive, engaged filmmaking” continuously. The problem is that it basically reinforces the unjust status quo about fundamental economic and military matters, especially.

Tell me, which Hollywood studio will produce these Mainstay Press / Lib Lit productions?:

The Publisher – by Joe Emersberger:
A Canadian newspaper publisher confronts his complicity in the Canadian, US and corporate backed coup and mass murder in Haiti.

Storyteller and East Timor – by Andre Vltchek:
On a ship leaving East Timor, a wrenching conversation about the US-backed Indonesian conquest and slaughter of East Timorese.

Homefront, a novel:
Exposes the religious and academic, corporate and governmental forces that built support for the US invasion of Iraq and continue to maintain the occupation that has been judged to be illegal by the head of the United Nations and legal experts across America and the globe, and has had the predicted effect of increasing the likelihood of attack against America, and was based on fraud as known in advance, and meanwhile has killed thousands of American troops, and has wounded or debilitated tens of thousands of others, and has killed upwards of 1,000,000 Iraqis, maimed countless others, and created millions of refugees while destroying their country? Where are the didactic, polemic, partisan novels and films on the fundamentally criminal nature of the ongoing American aggression in Iraq?

Big Hollywood money doesn’t care. Any Little Hollywood money that does, doesn’t dare.

In the LA Times, Ann Donahue reports:

“On Friday, the megawatt-star-powered “Lions for Lambs” opens. Will it be the one to break the [Iraq War] box office curse and give credence to early Oscar buzz? “If Robert Redford, Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep can’t get it over $100 million, I don’t know what can,” Hartigan said. But reports that the film is too preachy could sink its chances. “Americans are extremely unhappy about this war…you’ve got to be awfully clever to get them to buy it as entertainment,” [said historian and critic David Thomson].”

And therein lies Hollywood’s debasement. Such “awful cleverness” doesn’t deserve to work. People don’t see the war as entertainment, of course, thus they don’t want to be clevered awfully into having it turned into entertainment. Most people’s view is partisan, and rightly so, thus it follows that they would respond to partisan movies, even polemic movies, not entertainments. But “entertainment” is about all that corporate dollars are willing to fund, advertise, allow. The corporate censorship of and over American culture continues. And what of Truthdig’s capacity for imaginative works and fiction and film coverage? Does it do but little more?

Also see: Hollywood’s Corporate View on War

Liberation Lit:

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