Cinecast Episode 296 – Praying at the Juno Temple

Without much going on in theaters currently, Andrew and Kurt take to the internet and discuss the current VOD release of The Brass Teapot starring Juno Temple and Michael Angarano. A quiet little 80s style suburban fable with a a dash of Dante, a sprinkle of The Great Recession and a dollop of light bondage. Andrew sorts out his security issues with the Google-machine and the video edition returns. All the better to see you with (my dear) as we delve further into the Orson Scott Card boycott – which is a do-over of the Polanski debates had on previous Cinecast shows. Andrew finds pleasure in needling our frequent co-host, Matt Gamble, when he can’t defend himself. The Watch List is also Polanski heavy as well TV-talk with disparate subjects ranging from “Game of Thrones” season 2, and the long running medical dramedy with Zach Braff in “Scrubs.” We delve into the 1% defense examined in Richard Gere’s Arbitrage and sad-sack Stallone in James Mangold’s Copland.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!


show content


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DOWNLOAD mp3 | 129 MB
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Full show notes and VIDEO version are under the seats…

 


 

~ VIDEO VERSION OF THIS EPISODE ~

To download the VIDEO VERSION (483 MB) of the show directly, grab the URL from the first comment in the comment section below.

 


 

~ SHOW DETAILS/SEGMENT TIMES ~

Opening:     :00
Intros/In-house Business:     00:58
Review (The Brass Teapot):     17:10
Op/ed (The Polanski/Card syndrome):     48:37
The Watch List:     1:14:35
Next week:     2:58:41
Outro music:     3:06:29 – 3:08:39

 

OPENING QUOTE:
José López Rodero & Johnny Depp
in
The Ninth Gate

CLOSING BUMPER MUSIC:
“Juno”
by
Tokyo Police Club

 


 

~ IN-HOUSE BUSINESS ~

– Why we’ve had no video versions lately – damn you Google!
Movie Club Podcast is posted! (Another Earth, Bellflower, Mr. Nobody)
– Die Hard, Fandango gift certificate giveaway winner

 


 

~ REVIEW ~

The Brass Teapot (IMDb) | Amazon Instant | Vudu

 


 

~ OP/ED ~

– Discussion on Orson Scott Card / Roman Polanski (boycotting celebrities)

 


 

~ THE WATCH LIST ~

Andrew
– “Scrubs” (seasons 1-2)
Arbitrage
– “Life of Pi” (book)

Kurt
Rosemary’s Baby (minor spoilers)
The Ninth Gate
Carnage
– “Game of Thrones (season 2)
Copland

 


 

~ OTHER STUFF MENTIONED ~

– Film Junk podcast with Scott Card discussion
– Kurt’s son (age 9) talks about Life of Pi

 


 

~ NEXT WEEK ~

– Oz: The Great and Powerful
– Dead Man Down

 


 

~ FIND US ONLINE ~

Andrew: Twitter | G+ | Letterboxd | Pinterest | about.me
Kurt: Twitter | G+ | Letterboxd
Matt: Twitter | LetterBoxd | Where the Long Tail Ends
RowThree: Twitter | G+ | Letterboxd | Pinterest

 


 

~ COMMENTS or QUESTIONS? ~

feedback@rowthree.com (general)
andrew.james@rowthree.com
kurt@rowthree.com

 

Cinecast Cinecast
Hosted by Andrew James, Kurt Halfyard, Matt Gamble and the occasional guest.

74 Comments

  1. You guys had some great lines this episode. I laughed out loud while I was working when Kurt was talking about this wife watching some P.W.S. Anderson: “that’s the kinda shit my wife watches.” Haha that was really funny.

    Reply
  2. I’m sure Matt can speak for himself (that’s an obvious understatement). While I don’t have a problem watching Polanski films, I do understand what he’s saying about supporting someone who raped a young girl. It’s a personal decision that he’s making. It’s not the same to say that Jodi Foster supports child rape because she acted in Polanski’s film. I don’t think that’s what Matt is saying. If someone feels uncomfortable about an artist and their personal crimes and so forth than they shouldn’t support them. Obviously Foster looked past Polanski’s crime but it doesn’t make sense to say that she then supports child rape. I don’t think Matt’s position is that simple. And, I’m not just writing this because Matt lets me write for his blog. I think Matt’s position is fine and even though I don’t agree with him I completely understand what he’s saying and support him.

    Reply
    • See, Cody listens. My position is very simple, I will not financially support someone (ie person, place or thing) that I find morally abhorrant. That is a personal choice I make. I do not tell other people they have to make it, nor do I judge those who do not make the same choice as me, as everyone has different dividing lines and moral guidelines.

      I, for one, find rape and murder to be two pretty easy choices for me to make. If someone murders someone, I’m going to not buy their product. If someone rapes someone, I’m not going to watch their movie. Why? Because it doesn’t make me feel good as a person. I’m 36 years old and I think I’ve earned the right to choose to not partake in things that don’t make me feel good or that I don’t think positively effect communities as a whole. I’m also cogniscent enough to realize that just because I may not have made that choice in the past, I am not then obligated to make that same choice for all time.

      Orson Scott Card is a bigot, and generally an all around terrible human being who thinks homosexuals are pedophiles and actively works towards their descrimination. To me that is another very easy line to draw. If you want to take away someone’s basic human rights I will not give you my money.

      The difference between OSC and the key grip being a bigot on the film? Well, for one, OSC is one of the major faces of the project, and also the creator of the original work. He’s part of the sell job for the film. Director, Producer, Leads etc these are what they use to sell the film. And if one of them is a terrible person I’m not going to buy that product. As a rational adult with critical thinking skills, I am able to differentiate between someone who commited a terrible act, and someone else who worked with them on a project. I know that isn’t a collusion and that the co-worker actively participated in said terrible act, they just worked with them. Andrew’s logic would essentially mean that because I’ve worked with a rapist, then I’m a rapist. That’s ridiculous, alarmist and reactionary garbage meant to shut down a rational discussion with fear mongering. People are capable of differentiating between the two, and acting accordingly. And because people have free will, they can act however they want.

      Here’s the thing, I understand that these are complicated issues, so I take a great deal of time and thought to decide my position. Then, I act on it and reevaluate it constantly. Things change after all. Kurt and Andrew are arguing from a position that people can’t change and that you must do this or watch this because, well you have to. I don’t believe that. They are free to believe whatever they want.

      Finally, no matter what you say or try to insult me I don’t have to support a vile human being, and if that upsets you that’s not my problem. That’s yours. And perhaps you might want to spend a little time examining why that is so upsetting to you.

      Reply
      • Matt I said pretty clearly in the show that I understand where you’re coming from and why you feel that way and I even defended you to some extent. The question I have – and just to you, but to everyone who feels the way you do – is how you draw that line. Do you quickly turn the channel if a “Naked Gun” movie is on? Do you boycott “Seinfeld?” What about places of business that hire felons and ex-cons. You’re supporting these people simply by frequenting the establishment (which is many).

        My point is that you very likely unknowingly support some really bad things all the time – likely daily. Do you know all of the lead programmers of the video games you play? The web sites you go to? Do you know all of the people at the publishers house where you buy your books? How about your phone? Do you know the guy who put together all of the pieces inside it, who programmed the OS, who developed all of the apps you download? What company made the pencil you’re writing with today? What kinds of activities do the members of the endless amounts of bands take part in daily? My point is the list is endless and if you did the research you’d probably find you can’t really do anything or buy anything ever.

        Yet it’s Polanski you seem to have your sights set on. And the reason I nag you on this point is because it is frustrating as a cinephile to see someone target this particular person while overlooking hundreds of other “do-no-gooders” on a daily basis.

        SO… Do you not “feel bad” about it simply because you don’t know for sure that there’s someone of ill repute working there (i.e. ignorance is bliss)?

        Reply
        • Yes there are lots of people involved in projects whose views aren’t publicly known.

          You can’t see into peoples minds, and even people in favour of gay rights might just be saying it to gain work in Hollywood, for example.

          However when someones negative views are known or their ‘bad’ actions are a matter of record I think that it’s absolutely fine to make a personal choice to boycott their product. Go Matt, I respect you for your views.

          I will be boycotting the shit out of OSC’s products. I’d probably have seen his film and bought at least one of his books if I’d liked the film.

          Reply
          • “However when someones negative views are known or their ‘bad’ actions are a matter of record I think that it’s absolutely fine to make a personal choice to boycott their product.”

            I do too. So does Kurt. I said as much in the show and Kurt said so above.

            The issue lies with the fact that we just don’t care and are going to go see the movie anyway. Some people might say that because I’m buying a ticket to Ender’s Game I’m anti-gay. Which is preposterous. Or because I buy a Criterion Blu of Cul-de-Sac I’m somehow in favor or “support” rape.

            This is the heart of the issue. Not that someone is boycotting something, but they insinuate that because I don’t boycott it too, knowing all the same facts, that I’m a lesser person.

            Which is why I’m wondering if these same people think someone like Harrison Ford is a lesser person just because he worked on the movie.

          • ‘This is the heart of the issue. Not that someone is boycotting something, but they insinuate that because I don’t boycott it too, knowing all the same facts, that I’m a lesser person.’

            I think that the insinuation is all in your mind Andrew. I said ‘I think that it’s absolutely fine to make a personal choice to boycott their product.’

      • “Andrew’s logic would essentially mean that because I’ve worked with a rapist, then I’m a rapist.”

        No, this is not my logic. I never said that. This is your warped logic trying to infuse controversy.

        What I said was, that you (or others) won’t go to see (or read) “Ender’s Game” because it was made by someone who is a rapist or a bigot and you don’t want to support that. Fine. But my question is, by that logic, do you think that

        A) Ewan McGregor (or everyone else who worked on “The Ghost Writer”) is indifferent to statutory rape because he is in the movie?
        B) dammit I forgot my second point. It will come to me.

        Reply
        • From when I have heard Matt talk Polanski to me his point has always been that EVERY person has a line and it varies.

          Matt’s line is not anyone elses but he doesn’t begrudge anyone for having a different line.

          Reply
          • So in your opinion, the answer to my question is that yes, Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan and Jodi Foster and Johnny Depp and Adrien Brody and Ben Kingsley and Jack Nicholson and Harrison Ford and Kristin Scott Thomas and Sigourney Weaver and John C Reilly and Christoph Waltz are indifferent to statutory rape?

            Or do you think they are maybe not indifferent, but actually abhor of it but still work with the director because their need to work is greater than their moral grounds?

          • Nope. Not making ANY arguments at all. I’m asking questions of you (the same one three times now) as to what you think about things in the world and you don’t seem to want to answer. That’s fine. Just continue to put words in my mouth. So be it.

          • “So in your opinion, the answer to my question is ”

            Yeah, you aren’t putting words in my mouth or making arguments at all. That is called a strawman argument, or an informal fallacy.

            “others) won’t go to see (or read) “Ender’s Game” because it was made by someone who is a rapist or a bigot and you don’t want to support that. Fine. But my question is, by that logic, do you think that

            A) Ewan McGregor (or everyone else who worked on “The Ghost Writer”) is indifferent to statutory rape because he is in the movie?
            B) dammit I forgot my second point. It will come to me.”

            This kind of questioning is called a Reductio ad Absurdum. It is a kind of fallacious argument. As I previously stated, you didn’t actually reduce the position to its smallest point, which is where the fallacy comes in. Reducing the argument properly only undermines your own position, as you are arguing against a position I have never made (see above).

            These are arguments that you are typing out. If you do not understand the definition of an argument, or the proper way to make one without is being fallacious then that really isn’t my issue, that’s all you.

            “arguments at all. I’m asking questions of you (the same one three times now) as to what you think about things in the world and you don’t seem to want to answer. That’s fine. Just continue to put words in my mouth. So be it.”

            Also this is an argument of Changing the Subject, also a type of fallacious argument.

            Seriously, I can chew you up all day if you want. My position is actually tenable.

          • And there you have it. Rather than allowing me more information about your ideas and thoughts about things you continue to pursue an “argument” for which I have no interest in pursuing. I’m simply interested in your thoughts. But forget it. As you were I guess.

          • If you truly wanted to discuss this you would have had me talk about it on an episode rather than wait until you knew I couldn’t make it to discuss my “opinions”.

        • No, your questions betray your bias. Your argument against me is that I can’t make any decision because I can never know everything. But if you actually properly reduced that argument then it means that no one can ever make a decision, ever. Thus your position is that there is no free will and so on and so forth down the rabbit hole.

          You’re arguing a fallacious point against something I’ve never stated. Perhaps actually try arguing against what my actual position is?

          And my position is this (as I’ve stated time and again): I am responsible for my own decisions, and I make them solely based on my experiences and my personal set of morals. I stand by them, and I do my best to be consistent in those beliefs as I believe it is important to my community as a whole, and to my own well being, to do so. I do not care what your decision is, I care what my decision is, because my decision personally affects me.

          There is a reason why more and more people keep siding with me, and its because I am simply arguing that an individual is allowed to make their own decisions based on their experiences and knowledge.

          Reply
          • “Perhaps actually try arguing against what my actual position is?” Why would I do this? If you actually listened to the show, you’d hear that I actually backed your argument am totally fine with it.

            You seem to be under the impression that I want to argue with you or than I am trying to debate or debunk your stance. Clearly that’s what you want. You seem to really want people to “take sides”. I understand that this is simply your internet world nature. But I’m not going to do either in this case.

            I just wanted to know what your OPINION was on a few things and you simply choose to not engage in the conversation but for some reason just want to start an argument – which I have no desire to do as we’ve had the argument before.

            However, I’ll try one. more. time.

            This has nothing to do with you or your stance and once again is not for the purpose of debating or debunking you or for “getting people on my side.” What is your opinion of actors or crew members who work with Polanski? What do you think of their moral decision to do so?

          • “No, your questions betray your bias. Your argument against me is that I can’t make any decision because I can never know everything. But if you actually properly reduced that argument then it means that no one can ever make a decision, ever. Thus your position is that there is no free will and so on and so forth down the rabbit hole.”

            Outside of the fact that you think I’m “arguing” rather than trying to have a dignified discussion, this is a true statement and exactly the point I was trying to make.

          • In this case, position or statement is synonymous with argument. So would thesis, text, evidence or dissertation. Seriously, you need to learn what words mean. Also, the question you asked is an argument style called Reductio ad Absurdum.

            Also, let the record show that Andrew is claiming individuals do not have free will. I’m sure he is saying that is objectively true as well. You know, for emphasis.

            Good grief.

          • A) We’re clearly talking about 2 different things. I’m not interested in your position on Polanski. It’s long since been known and decided and I don’t care anymore. And for about the tenth time, I actually support it in many ways.

            B) I don’t need to learn Latin or your gorilla (not to be confused with “guerrilla”) vocabulary in which all words mean the same thing (“they’re” “their” and “there” being good examples). Text is synonymous with argument? I love how you won’t have a dialogue with someone but would rather turn it into a “dissertation” about something completely different and irrelevant.

            C) “…let the record show that Andrew is claiming individuals do not have free will.” = hilarious.

            I will expound on this last point however. Since Matt doesn’t want to actually have an intelligent discussion about it. I don’t really thing people don’t have free will. I would echo what Marc said above though, that people don’t really know where their dollars are ultimately going and it’s too complex. It isn’t that there’s no choice, it’s that no matter what choice you make, there’s a good chance you’re “supporting” something you don’t want to.

            For example I try really hard to buy animal cruelty-free products. It’s a lot more difficult than just looking at the packaging. But no matter how informed my decision is, there’s the possibility something really sinister is reaping the rewards of my purchase.

          • I’m never in disagreement with Matt regulating how he feels. NEVER. I just find it amusing in how he SIGHS loudly whenever one of these things come up on the show and we deign to talk about the film and not the filmmaker.

  3. The distinction for me between Card & Polanski (or whoever else you want to name) is that OSC is a member of a board actively fighting to put down homosexuals.

    Polanski did a terrible thing and should have paid for it, Card continually uses his position to work for terrible things happening to people he doesn’t agree with.

    Reply
    • In regards to Andrew’s and Kurt’s stance that a business has more than one individual, in my opinion, the difference between this notion and the Ender’s Game’s situation is that no one in the film (and in the publishing world) has distanced themselves from Card. In a business, if an employee or owners commits a criminal and/or morally repulsive act, an ethical business response would be either to fire the person and/or force an apology.

      Card’s situation is analogous to the Chick-fil-A controversy, that occurred in the USA about a year or so ago.

      Reply
      • Well said, Antho. Similarly, I can totally see where Matt is coming from, and think he makes some great points above. I think two key things to keep in mind on this matter are visibility and personal agency.

        In the podcast, you guys are quite right when you say that if a person stops and uncovers all the ethically troubling things his/her dollars end up indirectly supporting, they’d have to boycott nearly everything – this area’s far too complex and immense. BUT then there are people like Polanski and Card who a) are prominent figures behind the properties they are attached to and b) have more or less gained enough approval from certain facets of society and industry to keep on working in a visible manner and associate themselves with stuff that is put out into the marketplace to attract profits despite their offenses. When it comes down to cases like that, in which these kinds of people are more or less seeking public approval by continuing to work, then consumers have that extra factor to consider depending on, as Matt says, their personal beliefs and the degree of agency that they choose to deploy to stand by those beliefs.

        It’s not so much the question of whether money will reach Card because people choose to go see the film; it’s more of how troubled or angered a person is by Card’s bigoted beliefs. If that anger is so great that it makes that person actively avoid the film, so be it – they totally have that choice. And if their friend wants to spend a summer afternoon watching a fun sci-fi flick, they should be able to make THAT choice without being criticized for “supporting” a bigot. Each person will have their own stance on how separate the artist should be from their art.

        Reply
  4. I’m with you Rick. I wasn’t going to see the film because I didn’t want to see it but now I won’t support him at all. Homophobes and racists should be punished for trying to hurt other people for no good reason. I guess that’s my line. I can watch a Polanski film but I won’t buy or read a Card book now that I know he’s a raging homophobe.

    Reply
  5. Kurt’s mention regarding ethics that we are all connected… the tangential mess that is Margaret was all about that, how we parse ethical responsibilities from a mire-pit of causal relations and how when you pull back everything is more complicated than we let on. That said, I think it is wrong to surrender all possibility for ethics… I would argue realism is a logical fallacy, but it doesn’t stop me from pretending in a reality that we all share. You gotta draw your line somewhere, for Gamble it’s Polanski.

    Reply
      • The DC issue is more that the company has spent a lot of time and energy actively trying to court the sizeable LGBT audience that reads comics to read their books, then to turn around and hire a bigot for one of their signature titles is mindbogglingly stupid.

        Then of course you have the whole undercurrent of having a character who has always personified fighting for those who can’t fight back and have him written by someone actively stiffling those group as being incredibly hypocritical.

        Honestly, I’m guessing DC really didn’t have much, if any, knowledge on what Card does with his free time, and instead just wanted a big splashy name to help sell books. They certainly got the splash.

        Reply
  6. I think Orson Scott Card and Roman Polanski are different cases. Maybe not different for Matt, and that’s totally fine, but there is more to it than him just being homophobic. I couldn’t care less who is homophobic as long as they can do no harm. Orson Scott Card is still doing harm, because NOM is in the raging business of rights denial. He’s not just a homophobe he’s one of THE homophobes.

    It’s almost more practical than moral for me. Withholding money can’t change the past, but it can change the future. When gay rights are the law of the land or Orson Scott Card doesn’t have an active hand in that battle, I will resume consuming his media and not caring that he’s a douchebag.

    Reply
  7. Regarding that Die Hard scene, I always interpreted W as William too. Never did I once think that McClane knew 100% that Gruber was lying. I always thought McClane gave Gruber the gun as a test. It’s actually really clever of McClane when you think about it. To McClane, “Clay” was already unarmed, so giving him an empty gun changes nothing. The only sacrifice is that McClane makes is that he doesn’t have immediate access to his backup weapon. So it was a test worth trying with very minimum risk.

    I wish I won that Fandango gift card! Congrats.

    Reply
  8. Quick question for Kurt.

    Would you still have talked about Polanski’s films effusively on the Cinecast If the girl Polanski plied with drugs and raped was your daughter? (She was someone’s daughter).

    Reply
  9. On Card and Polanski:

    With Polanski I’m just full on seperation of art and the artist and as sad as it is to say the fact that so many respectable people have continued to work with him has likely swayed my opinion into thinking that there’s too much behind the scenes stuff and discussions for me to make a guess about what’s going on there. And I think a lot of us are just swayed by time and some personal sense of forgiveness/assumption of repentance. Also the fact is I had seen a number of Polanski films BEFORE I knew about his past and I think it’s hard for people to unlike stuff they already liked. Most boycotts go over easier with stuff they don’t already know they enjoy or will enjoy. Like… I’ve never had Chik Fil-A and don’t need to have it.

    With Card:
    I own Ender’s Game. I haven’t read it. I have a gay sister. And I know a lot about the groups that Card is funding and a member of, and personally, I think what he’s doing is far far worse than what Polanski did, because Card is with NOM, who are supporting and aiding the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda. Card knows what that bill intends to do. This is my value judgment. I don’t believe I could now read this book and be focused enough to judge it on it’s own merits, so at least for now, I’m not going to. And since I haven’t read it, I don’t know what I’m missing and that’s fine.

    I’d actually rather watch the movie, and might. Because to me the difference, other than the cut of the money, is that the movie to me is a ‘cover song’. I hate Ted Nugent, but if Tame Impala cover “Stranglehold” it’s not really the same deal. I don’t know if that that logic makes sense to anyone else.

    Card to me, I treat more like Chris Brown. They either haven’t repented accordingly or I don’t believe they have, and I don’t believe they should continue to be supported if there’s reason to believe they have. Whereas I believe that Polanski probably has. But that’s the word, probably. That’s my own assumption.

    The other deal with Card and DC is that most comics have over the years taken on a more gay-positive “agenda” (more like just more gay characters who are treated realistically if not positively). If Card is writing a book, many fans will be upset/disappointed that it means that this book will not progress, because they have seen it progress under other writers and now are actually feeling they are losing something. This is completely valid to me. If you’re a gay DC fan, seeing them hire Card is like being pro stem cell research and then seeing Bush get elected. You’re like, “Well, now I’m not gonna see anything for a while.”. I have many gay friends in comics and their general opinion is being vehemently opposed to him being hired, but now that he’s hired, you can’t fire him unless his work is poor.

    So I’m sympathetic and support Gamble’s position. On a case by case basis I try to weigh the situation by my own values. I won’t go around trying to tell other people they have to do the same or apply guilt by association, but as Gamble has done I’d explain the basis of my choice and expect they respect it.

    As for the personal tragedy stuff that affects your own opinion/punitive discussion.

    My father was killed by a drunk driver before I was born. I think about it frequently but essentially I’ve let it go and have perspective, that my life would be extremely different if it hadn’t happened, and I like my life as it is. I feel no need to hunt down the dude or his family. But if my life was destroyed by what happened I might have, I don’t know. And even without that I generally think drunk drivers need mandatory minimums, because I consider it essentially the same as running around blindfolding brandishing a knife. Punish them and take their license away forever. I don’t care how guilty they feel. I don’t consider that ‘revenge’, I think that’s common sense.

    Reply
    • I’m so glad someone had the stones to talk about what they think other celebrities who have worked with Polanski think about the issue. I’ve asked the question in this forum about 5 times now and for some odd (and now suspicious to me) reason, no one seems to want to talk about it.

      I’m kind of in the same boat as you Goon. Mostly I think that all of these famous actors (many who are quite outspoken and support charities against this sort of thing) who choose to work with Polanski do so because they’ve researched the issue, know people who know him and have talked to him personally and decided for one reason or another that he’s an “okay guy” and realize how much more there is to the whole thing.

      On the other hand, a lot of them might just say “who gives a care?” and works with him because A) it’s money B) it’s exposure and C) well, it’s Roman Polanski for God’s sake!

      So we’re probably back to every individual chooses his own direction and I suppose you’d have to ask each actor and crew member individually what they think about the issue.

      But again, it’s curious to me why no one else has an opinion on this matter.

      Reply
      • ‘I’m so glad someone had the stones to talk about what they think other celebrities who have worked with Polanski think about the issue. I’ve asked the question in this forum about 5 times now and for some odd (and now suspicious to me) reason, no one seems to want to talk about it.’

        How on earth would people who post on this blog know what these celebrities who have worked with Polanski think about the issue Andrew? Unless we were friends with them, which is unlikely.

        Reply
        • You wouldn’t. But you can make opinions about them. Why do you think they are willing to work with him if he’s such a monster. Are there celebrities out there who won’t work with him because they believe him to be a monster?

          We argue every day here about what people are thinking and why they do the things they do and why they choose one project over another. This is just a more serious version of that conversation.

          Reply
      • I agree, Andrew – if all those actors chose to appear in his films, then obviously they’ve decided for themselves to separate the rape issue from the project – and I think that’s what it really boils down to. The actors are signing up for the WORK – they want to work with him for the sake of an interesting role or because it’s likely to be an interesting finished product – or, as you say, Polanski is a talented filmmaker. Either way, they are clearly motivated by the experience of working on the film, not the negative issue that the film’s maker is tangled up in.

        Also, as Arnold Schizopolis points out, there are such factors as time, the forgiveness and financial compensation that went on between Polanski and his victim, and other sticky aspects of the case like the judge who jerked him around during the case – all of which helping soften some folks’ views towards him and the case.

        Reply
  10. As far as politics and artists, my motto is choose your battles. I don’t agree with the “if you boycott one thing, you have to boycott everything” argument. Same thing applies to charitable donations and volunteering. You can’t help every cause, but you usually help the ones that strike a cord with you. Every drop in the well counts in the bigger scheme of things. All of us vote with our wallets every day, whether we’re conscious of it or not. But if a specific cause matters enough, you’ll do something about it.

    I’d be curious to see if there are people that draw the line and boycott Polanski, but won’t boycott Card. That would be an interesting paradox because my first reaction would be WTF?? And I see that as a possibility because Polanski is a criminal and Card is just acting on his civil rights. Obviously, I don’t agree with that simple-minded point of view.

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    • “I’d be curious to see if there are people that draw the line and boycott Polanski, but won’t boycott Card. That would be an interesting paradox…”

      Agreed. I didn’t want to bring out the word hypocritical in this discussion, but this is where it would come out. If someone boycotts Polanski, but then does all manner of other knowingly poor choices with their “wallet voting”, then they basically are a hypocrite are they not – or at least knowingly compromising some of their morals but not others? If they do start boycotting other things, it circles around to what I’ve already said in that you’d basically have to start boycotting pretty much everything. Or it just comes down to picking your battles and everyone chooses what most strikes a cord with them – in which case you’re still compromising some of your morals; maybe to a lesser degree.

      Difficult difficult lemon difficult.

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      • Not really — someone could be an anti-gay person and still believe that is morally wrong to rape a 13 year old girl. I might not agree with the said person, but It would not be an inconsistent, hypocritical position.

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      • I will repeat this again: Card is not just a random bloke associated with a business or film operation. He is a BRAND, that the film production is associating itself with in order to increase awareness, and, hopefully for them, sales for the film.

        In all likelyhood, there probably are many individuals that work for Amazon and Starbucks that also want curtail the rights of gays. But you now what, the companies themselves are not endorsing this position. And if an individual(s) associated with these companies promotes these controversial views, openly in the public– you know what is going to happen, he is either going to be fire or force to give a public apology.

        With Card, the analogous example is Chick Fil-a, who, as an institution, donated money to an anti-gay organization.

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      • Time definitely did some healing with the Polanski scandal. Even the victim officially forgave him. So for me to choose not to purchase his films, I’m more affecting him personally than taking a stance against statutory rape. Whereas with Card, gay rights/equal rights issues are in the forefront because of his actions. So by boycotting him, I am taking a stance on that issue as well as affecting him personally. I find Card promoting his bigoted ideas more dangerous than Polanski’s past mistakes.

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  11. Interesting debate here and in the podcast. I think it’s kind of funny when the argument is about the beliefs and actions of those involved with films but rarely blink when there is repulsive messages being spewed out across the screen. We’re offended by the injustices (OK, Kurt, some just want vengeance but at a core level people want justice) of those associated with the work but I rarely hear discussions centered around the (sometimes, at best) questionable messages being sold to us via films. Maybe I don’t listen enough. Maybe the Row Three guys do. But so few podcasts take a similar stance when it comes to the messages in the films. We’d rather have debates around the edges.

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    • We try to talk way more about the films themselves, rather than the gossip and actors/directors personal lives on The CINECAST! What the films are about and how they are about themselves

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  12. As you guys said the world is a messed up connected place of problems and terrible stuff going on, so WHY oh WHY would I want that permeate into the entertainment I watch / read / play?

    Saying “Oh everything is shit I may as well not give a fuck” is a cop out at least to me.

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    • Yeah, I’ll hop on the bandwagon and agree that “everyone is a little bit crooked” is a Crash-level copout.

      What I find interesting about the Polanski debate is that I believe that there are two noble, moral codes involved on both sides. I don’t think anyone disagrees with the idea that people who clearly commit heinous crimes should be punished. I also don’t think anyone disagrees with the notion that great art/artists should be rewarded as it raises the bar for the whole art form. In the case of Polanski (see also Michael Jackson), these two noble goals come in conflict. And, like Michael Jackson, I don’t expect it to be resolved until Polanski dies and is beyond the reach of the law.

      As far as Polanski goes, I’ll admit I engage in some moral relativism in regards to his films. Partly because I believe that for all practical purposes his situation has been resolved, he’ll remain in France as a fugitive with enough wealth and influence that he’ll never be extradited, and he’s made as much financial restitution as he’ll ever be compelled to make. As such, I’m willing to watch his films based upon how good they’re reputed to be, and will avoid the marginal films. As such, Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, Ghost Writer, The Pianist, and Repulsion are still viewable for me, and his marginal films aren’t. Plus I won’t touch Tess with a 10 foot pole. Everyone has their line, that’s mine.

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  13. I totally disagree about voting with your dollars as being overrated.

    A coordinated buy in or boycott of a product or service in a capitalist system sends a powerful message.

    To say that everything is connected and therefore you can’t send any message through buying or boycotting seems incredibly apathetic (and inaccurate) to me.

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    • When it comes to this sort of stuff, I just cannot get worked up about it. Call it apathy if you will. We have our charities and our causes where we actively donate money. I don’t worry too much about ‘with-holding’ money from creative people because I find their politics (or moral deficiencies) abhorrant, except for companies – say WalMart for instance, but this much a function that I hate shopping there, and the general vibe of the place and the quality of much of what they sell…
      I personally think these types of ‘capitalism’ situations (vote with your wallet) are highly overrated in a country of 7 billion people. Call it apathy if you will. Call it libertarianism if you will.

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      • If you take one person who decides to withhold money from a movie, it makes little difference. Did they boycott the movie for makers views or decide to spend their money on a different movie or no movie at all?

        Movies have targeted demographics and targeted box office expectations. If enough people from a demographic decide to withhold money from a movie it will effect the bottom line. The best way to get rid of Walmart is to not shop there. The best way to hurt a filmmakers who you don’t agree with is to not buy a ticket to their movie. If enough people share your view point, a message is sent to the studios.

        **

        That being said, I don’t think its good to only view art or film that you agree with. Part of the point of art and film is that it challenges your beliefs.

        But I think everyone has the right to withhold money from filmmakers for whatever reason they decide. And if enough people share their view point, a message is sent.

        As an example, if Ender’s Game falls 25% short of its box office target, the studio will certainly look into why. If its determined that Card’s involvement was a major reason for the decline maybe they won’t use him in the future. Voting through dollars certainly works. But I think you have to look at the macro level and not the micro level. The population and not the individual. The macro level effect will only take place if on the micro level, people like Matt G and others who share his opinion take action.

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  14. I consider THE SIXTH SENSE one of my all-time favourite films and I already knew the twist by the time I saw it. It’s one of the films I most regret never seeing in theatres (being a naive teen, I chose the remake of THE HAUNTING as my ghost film that summer).

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        • I have to agree that Unbreakable is by far Shayamalan’s best work. Frankly I think it all went downhill after that. I did not love Signs the way most seem to. I thought the second half was an utter mess.

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          • There was a time when I was quite a big M Night Shyamalan fan, even as he was getting more and more disliked by the mainstream. The only film of his I wasn’t the craziest about was THE LAST AIRBENDER. I’ve liked every other film he has done (some more than others).

            It has always been my belief that THE SIXTH SENSE, which was only Shyamalan’s third film, was both the best and worst thing to happen to his career. Even though the film was a huge box office success and received six Oscar nominations, Shyamalan was doomed to have every subsequent film compared back to that one.

            I do have high hopes for AFTER EARTH though.

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