brianpatrickx | Indy Week

Member since Sep 30, 2007

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Re: “American travesty

American criticism on Von Trier in the line of: "How dare this foreigner say something about us when he's never even been here?" is of course, the epitomy of hypocrisy. American movies and literature have a long standing tradition of attributing values (often lower) to countries and peoples they have never been to and have never met. The portrayal of the American Indian in movies is grossly distorted, as is the romanticized version of the West. Open and honest gunfights, duel in the style of 18th century European gunduels were a rarity in the West, where the common practice was to shoot your opponent in the back. Much more practical because it was saver. White American filmmakers have never really 'traveled to the land' of the first Americans The King and I. Walter Lang and even Hammerstein have never been to Siam. The treatment of Africa as a uniform cultural entity, rather than a complex set of vastly differing nations, territories and countries is also well established practice. Even the British cousins have been consistently been portrayed as villains, from Ming in Flash Gordon to Timothy Dalton's "Neville Sinclair" in the Rocketeer. Oh well. Americans are increasingly becoming more and more sensitive to criticism of their violence-loving and warmongering ways, as is shown by the heavily criticized (only by american reviewers) films "Elephant" by Gus van Sant and Land of Plenty by Wim Wenders, and the equally despised book "Vernon God Little" by Australian-born DBC Pierre. Greatness of a country can be measured upon the grace, flexibility and ease a country deals with criticism. In the past 7 years, America hasn't shown any of these.

Posted by brianpatrickx on 09/30/2007 at 1:21 AM

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