January 18, 2008

When Is a Real Theme Too Real?

Here's an interesting little think piece by Ace on Stallone's reasoning for not having Rambo take on Bin Laden in the latest Rambo movie. It would be, Stallone tells us, "insulting" to the real-world heroes who are out there hunting UBL down.

Yup. And yet Ace is skeptical about whether Stallone could have used that subject matter even if he'd wanted to.

I know that one of the issues Jason Apuzzo of Libertas (and The Liberty Film Festival) has had with Hollywood is its reluctance to use Islamist terrorists as real villains in feature movies. And I personally would like to see it done—but it has to be done with some delicacy. Not, as Ace puts it, made into a "comic book" based on a real (and contemporary) struggle.

The fact that Bruce Willis hasn't been able to get a movie made based on Michael Yon's writing about Deuce Four is tremendously frustrating to me, because that is a real story—there would be no question of whether it was respectful to do it. It would be an homage. But the problem may have to do with Willis looking to traditional fundraising sources. Had Mel Gibson waited around for that sort of money, Passion of the Christ might never have been made.

The film industry has issues, and its willingness to throw huge amounts of money down the drain on anti-war propaganda that people don't want to see—and forego a fortune from making movies that people might want to—is pretty illustrative of its political neuroses. But. So what? There is a market out there, and we all know it. All that's necessary is to get the talent and the financing into the same room at the same time, and to come up with creative distribution channels.

The bottom line? We need more independent filmmakers. Truly independent filmmakers, who are willing to secure alternate financing for their work, have it shown at center-right/libertarian film festivals, and rely on DVD sales to create the necessary buzz. In the final analysis, movie theaters will let films be shown that are going to bring money in. We need a parallel structure to the existing Hollywood machine.

And we need it now. This is, as a famous lady once put it, "no time to go wobbly."

Posted by Attila Girl at January 18, 2008 01:40 PM | TrackBack

New content-delivery mechanisms may help break this logjam. Comcast, for instance, has said that it is vastly expanding its video-on-demand service. The interesting question is: where is it going to get its content?..via a few mega-deals, or through a more open approach that could provide an outlet for the work of independent filmmakers.

Posted by: david foster at January 18, 2008 01:48 PM

Well, even the "Indie" culture is dominated by left-wing thinking. We need an indie-indie network of providers and distributors.

And I do think it's going to happen.

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