Friday, November 14, 2014

Fading Gigolo, Woody Allen, John Tuturro

Woody Allen was asked in an interview in the NY Observer why there were almost no black people in his movies. The interviewer said that Allen was "horrified" at the question and that he replied:
“Not unless I write a story that requires it. You don’t hire people based on race. You hire people based on who is correct for the part. The implication is that I’m deliberately not hiring black actors, which is stupid. I cast only what’s right for the part. Race, friendship means nothing to me except who is right for the part."
He doesn't hire actors based on race and therefore won't hire blacks. And he sees nothing contradictory in this.

I read a long piece on Cracked.com about "nerd racism". The nerds are outraged that the Human Torch in an upcoming movie will be played by a black guy. The angry racist nerds they quoted sounded pretty much like Woody Allen and the dolts who are defending him.

"This isn't about race," wrote one angry nerd. "The characters are white! That's how they were made."

I bring this up because I just watched Fading Gigolo, written and directed by John Turturro and starring Tuturro and Woody Allen.

It was refreshing to see Woody Allen among black people for a change and to see him taking care of children.

It was also nice to see Hassidic Judaism presented as a dangerous cult for once.

There was a movie long ago, A Stranger Among Us, starring Melanie Griffith as an unconvincing police detective hanging around the Hassidim for some reason. One of them sees a TV. He gazes at it slackjawed. "It is so magical," he says.

It was stupid. Even if you've never watched TV, you know what one is, and, no, there's nothing magical about it.

Paul Schrader, the writer and director, grew up as a Calvinist. He was seventeen before he saw his first movie. He snuck off to see The Absent Minded Professor. He said he was "very unimpressed". He thinks his approach to movies is intellectual rather than emotional because he didn't watch movies when he was young.

Just because you've never watched TV or gone to a movie, it doesn't mean you're some kind of simpleton.

It's like adults who've never sat through an episode of the Brady Bunch before. If you grew up watching it, you can still stomach it, but a grown-up who's never seen it before just can't take it.

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