The Conversation

Entertainment: Discussions and News about Entertainment

Jonah Goldberg: Conservatives Don't Need a Movie Studio

Feb 22, 2013 1:05 PM PT

Ace and John's debate over ideology and film reminded me of Jonah Goldberg's wonderfully counter-intuitive column this week about leaving liberal Hollywood to liberals. His points about the unintended political consequences of "The Wire" and how no amount of global warming propaganda has changed people's minds are especially true, but his bottom line is this:

There's a difference between art and propaganda. Outside the art house crowd, liberal agitprop doesn't sell. … The conservative desire to create a right-wing movie industry is an attempt to mimic a caricature of Hollywood.

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Hyper-politics and culture

Feb 22, 2013 12:19 PM PT

In response to Even So...:

Point well taken, and I know exactly what you mean.  Neither of us wants to be that guy, handing out lists of politically approved or forbidden entertainments.  Neither of us wants to be like the liberals who went nuts over "The Phantom Menace" because they thought Jar-Jar Binks was some sort of racist code machine.

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The wheel of history turns

Feb 22, 2013 11:48 AM PT

In response to I Don't Think People Can Be Reduced That Much to Political Stereotypes:

I don't think "pining for a bygone era" is quite the right way to put it, Ace.  I think it's more like the recognition that it's not entirely bygone - that the wheel of history turns, and everything old comes back again.  The alien nature of the setting, in either a historical drama or the sci-fi you mentioned, also highlights the things we recognize.

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The "Downton Abbey" phenomenon

Feb 22, 2013 11:01 AM PT

I overheard Rush blurting out some big "Downton Abbey" spoilers on the air today.  I'm not sure if the Spoiler Statute of Limitations has expired yet, as it hasn't been a full week since the finale for American viewers.  I have never made so much as a Twitter reference to a plot twist from a TV show less than one month old without someone angrily shouting "SPOILERS!"  I guess that's a consequence of the VCR-DVR-Video On Demand era.  In the old days, pretty much everyone who was going to see Sunday night's season finale of a TV show saw it on Sunday night

I once joked that Jonah Goldberg of National Review and I were going to become the founders, and pretty much sole members, of the conservative "Downton Abbey" fan club, but boy were we wrong.  Fellow righties came flying in from all around to declare they were fans of the show too, and not just because their Significant Others made them watch it.  I detected a bit of that girlfriend-loves-this-show sheepishness at first, but it's now completely evaporated.

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America's Unsung Comedian: Brian Regan

Feb 22, 2013 10:37 AM PT

Been a fan of Brian Regan's forever, and have been waiting for just as long for him to breakthrough in the same way Jerry Seinfeld and Ray Romano did. The guy's absolutely hilarious, swears as little as Bill Cosby, and as far as I know, stays away from divisive political and social stuff.

Pure talent and his own singular style.

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Hollywood Blockbusters and the Holy Season of Lent

Feb 22, 2013 10:11 AM PT

Blurays arrived today: "The Robe" (1953), "The Passion of the Christ" (2004), "Quo Vadis" (1951), and "Ben-Hur" (1925 & 1959). I already own the DVDs, but find that older titles -- especially filmed in Technicolor -- look magnificent on Bluray. "The Robe" (the first feature filmed in widescreen  Cinemascope) should look amazing.  (The DVDs are donated to my church library.)

It might seem shallow watching Hollywood blockbusters during the holy season of Lent, especially fictional ones (all but "The Passion" are fictions set against religious and secular history), but isn't it the themes that matter?

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