Don't miss Dean Barnett's post today, in which Dean comments on Mel Gibson, "Apocalypto," Hollywood, drunken anti-Semitic rants, ant related matters. A few key 'graphs:
The fact that Hollywood-types feel free to stand as the judge of other people’s character is a delightful irony. . . . The fact that some members of the Academy deem it their right to judge an artist’s moral worth would be a dangerously slippery slope if the members of the Academy were at all serious about the endeavor.Dean reports that Apocalypto is "being widely hailed as an audacious creative triumph." Read the whole thing.
. . . Times’ reporter Sharon Waxman lumps Gibson in with Leni Riefenstahl as morally deficient filmmakers. The distinction between Riefenstahl, who used her considerable talent to significantly aid history’s most murderous regime, and Gibson, who used vile racist language but who has never harmed anyone, seems lost to Waxman. The moral obtuseness of this comparison, which I have little doubt that many of Gibson’s critics would find quite apt, is appalling.
Also interesting is that in cataloguing artists lacking the moral right stuff, Waxman didn’t mention my favorite moral leper of an artist, Woody Allen. Of course, Allen’s never had an anti-Semitic outburst which is perhaps the only hanging offense in the Hollywood values structure. He did, however, leave his wife for his wife’s then 20 year-old daughter. In some value systems, that would be worse than any imaginable verbal harangue. A couple of years after Allen’s personal depredations became public, the Academy larded his badly overrated “Bullets Over Broadway” with multiple Oscar nominations.