Harry Knowles at AICN interviewed "Machete" director Robert Rodriguez
about the controversy surrounding the director's "special" Cinco de Mayo message
to Arizona after that state passed a new set of (wildly popular
) laws meant to protect its borders -- laws nowhere near as strict
as the Police Statish laws
Mexico enforces to keep illegals out of their own country.
Watch below as the film's protagonist, Machete (The Great Danny Trejo), targets a Southern politician who favors border enforcement (The Formerly Great Robert DeNiro) for assassination on behalf of illegals being "forced out" of the country "at an alarming rate."
Rodriguez's response to the uproar that followed the release of this trailer?: Just kiddin'!
According to him, it's not the actual movie that's all about ginning up racial divisions ... just the trailer, I guess.
You know, three minutes of race baiting, but thankfully not ninety.
You gotta love the way the Hollywood mind works.
But as with all things Leftist Hollywood, you have to look and read closely. The backlash was obviously unexpected and so Rodriguez poses as the innocent and tries to laugh the whole thing off as a misunderstanding. But buried deep in a rather tortured explanation and disguised as a throwaway is the real story
I will admit that there were a few scenes that became so real in the past month because of what’s going on that they’ll be best left as a fascinating case study for the DVD extras. This will be my best DVD special features to date, that’s for sure.
And into the Super-Duper-Lefty-Hollywood-Bullshit-Sniffing-Thingamajigger
that statement goes, and out comes...!
Yeah, this divisive race-baiting angle didn't quite go the way I hoped and now I'm gonna have to go ahead and remove some scenes.
The director also doesn't deny this report
regarding the incendiary "Machete" screenplay. He only offers the explanation that the film evolved through the shooting and editing process -- which, to be fair, does happen all the time:
They may have read a script that wasn’t finished and jumped to conclusions about its content and tone. We kept adding characters so often during production as the movie got bigger and the cast grew that actors would get their lines and scenes the night before (or morning of) each day of shooting. The best lines and scenes and character moments are always those that are added on the day of shooting or added in post. Any filmmaker will tell you, there are three movies that you make: the one you write, the one you shoot and the one you edit. And that’s especially the case with Machete, making the story as tight and as entertaining as possible.
But post-Arizona, he's removing scenes, isn't he? And using his Machete character to gin up racial animosities and publicity seemed like a pretty good idea before the backlash, didn't it?
FOR THE RECORD:
I loath the idea of an artist bowing to any kind of pressure. Rodriguez should tell the story he wants to tell. That's how things are supposed to work. He has his go and then those of us who disagree have ours. But the director's feeling the heat and his backtracking doesn't stop there. Now he won't even take a stand on the new Arizona law! Laughably, after pouring all that energy into cutting and releasing three minutes of violent, racially-charged gasoline (the film's hero aiming a rifle at a U.S. Senator?) on a simmering house fire, Rodriguez is suddenly bored by the very thought of it all.
AICN: So what do you really think about what's going on in Arizona?
RODRIGUEZ: ZZZZZZZZ. Okay, last question about this.
I’m not that worried about it anymore, because it’s pretty clear that people won’t stand for it. I don’t really believe in protests, rallies or marches either. The real power is in voting. People have to register and vote because what we need is serious, comprehensive immigration reform. Our immigration system is so screwed up, I didn’t realize how much misinformation and misconceptions are out there until all this happened in Arizona and I started reading people’s thoughts about it. You can feel people’s frustration and yet it’s difficult for them to have a clear opinion on the matter because there’s such a mess of misinformation. This has to be figured out, the federal government has left it on the back burner for too long. Hopefully this will put pressure on them to do something about it. It won’t get solved before this mid-term election but they can at least start making progress.
I’m putting myself to sleep, that’s not what I’m here for, Harry. We have something terribly exciting to talk about. Well, I know it’s especially exciting to you and me.
That response is a thing of beauty, no? I wonder who who gave him Parsing Lessons? Now all of a sudden Rodriguez has moved past the whole issue -- he's all eager to move on and talk movies. Suddenly he's Mr. Nuance, Mr. Politic, Mr. Entertainment!
But of course he is. His cinematic experiment in racial demagoguery blew up in his face. After maliciously and willingly throwing a racially-charged grenade into an already bubbling cauldron, he never expected to be held accountable. He is a member of the protected class, after all...
Now, if I could only get my hands on a copy of the "Machete" script.
Hmm... *taps chin thoughtfully*