Monday, December 05, 2005

Moral Equivalence Hollywood Style

Okay, I'm going to say it. Somebody ought to give Steven Spielberg a swift kick in the behind. Either that, or maybe a stint in the IDF. How like a typical Hollywood liberal to be so very smug, pontificating from his lofty perch, while Israelis live under an ongoing existential threat. And then he has the unmitigated gall to say "Israel's campaign of retaliation will expose the futility of violence on both sides." Oh, really? Seems to me Israel's policy of targeted assassinations against Hamas leaders has been working quite well, thank you very much. And as far as his contention that the biggest enemy is intransigence, I'd like to tell Mr. Spielberg where he can stick his instransigence. The enemy may indeed be "intransigence," but it's the intransigence of most of the Muslim world that would like to "wipe Israel off the face of the map" that would seem to be the reason for the conflict.

Spielberg Sez Film "Prayer For Peace"

New York Daily News
December 5, 2005

Steven Spielberg calls his upcoming blockbuster "Munich" a "prayer for peace" in the Middle East, even though it depicts the region's bloody cycle of terror and revenge.

The Hollywood legend says he hopes the film about the 1972 Olympic massacre and Israel's campaign of retaliation will expose the futility of violence on both sides.

"Somewhere inside all this intransigence, there has to be a prayer for peace" Spielberg tells Time magazine in this week's issue. "The biggest enemy is not the Palestinians or the Israelis. [It] is the intransigence."

Time also scored an exclusive screening and pronounced the flick one of the best movies by the maker of "Jaws" and "E.T."

"It is a very good movie -- good in a particularly Spielbergian way," said Time critic Richard Schickel.

Spielberg admits that "Munich," which opens Christmas weekend, is unlikely to bring peace to the troubled region.

Although he is a Jew and strongly supports Israel, Spielberg says he also questions whether the Jewish State can continue to keep a lid on Palestinian aspirations.

"There's been a quagmire of blood for many decades," he said. Where does it end? How can it end?"

The movie has already come under attack from Palestinians and Israelis alike. Spielberg freely admits that the film is a dramatization, not a literal re-creation, of the terrorist assault on the Olympic village that left 11 Israeli athletes and coaches dead.

I'm not sure when is the last time I've seen so much nonsense contained in so few paragraphs. But, even if you agree with the premise of Spielberg's movie, one really would have to question why no one connected with this film ever saw fit to interview anybody involved in the commando operation, or anybody connected with Mossad, for that matter. Somehow, though, I can't imagine he would have made "Schindler's List" without ever talking to a single Holocaust survivor.


At 11:00 AM, Blogger Esther said...

Oh Rory, can't you see it's a dramatization... in other words, complete fiction according to Spielberg, the jerk. Remember, this is a man who did a movie circa WWII about the murder of Jews and did it from a non-Jew's point of view! Can you imagine? It's like if 'Hotel Rwanda' had been told from the UN peace keeper's (Nick Nolte in the movie) point of view! Everyone would be like, "Huh??" No one questioned it with SS though.

My favorite line though in the Time article was the following:

"It is a very good movie -- good in a particularly Spielbergian way," said Time critic Richard Schickel.

Is that a compliment?? I don't think so. It's like saying, "Well, it's a very good tasting can of Spam."

At 11:40 AM, Blogger Rory said...

I can't begin to tell you how much that article infuriated me, especially when Spielberg launched into his take on the Middle East conflict and held the Israelis and Palestinians equally responsible for the bloodshed. I think the man is living in a parallel universe and he ought to stick to movie-making and stay the hell out of foreign affairs. By the way, years ago, a Puerto Rican friend of mine tried to get me to try Spam because she couldn't believe I was raised in NYC and reached adulthood without ever having eaten it. It was by far the worst crap I ever tasted in my life, so your analogy is very apt.

At 1:13 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Although he is a Jew and strongly supports Israel, Spielberg says he also questions whether the Jewish State can continue to keep a lid on Palestinian aspirations.

What kind of support is that? How about telling the Palestinians (I hate that word!), "Cut that shit out!"

And Spielberg movies are usually good box-office draws. How may young minds is this movie going to reach?

Somebody here (Rory? Esther?) needs to view the film and see how propagandizing it is, then print a rebuttal if one is warranted. Of course, going to see it requires buying a ticket--more's the pity.

At 1:26 PM, Blogger Rory said...

I may have to leave it to Esther to do the movie review. I tend to have a short attention span, but I'll gladly split the cost of the ticket. To tell you the truth, I'd probably find it difficult to be objective about this film, especially after I read that the head of Mossad never even knew Spielberg was making it. Call me cynical, but somehow I have a sneaking suspicion this film isn't going to make the Israelis look good.

At 10:02 PM, Anonymous Bozwell said...

For quite some time now I have thought that the man has slowly been losing the plot and here we have some more evidence to support my case.

I was unaware of this latest venture of Spielberg's Rory. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

At 12:55 AM, Blogger Rory said...

You're welcome. I had actually heard about this movie a while back and Esther and I had some email correspondence about it at the time. But, now that it's nearing the date for the movie to open, there'll no doubt be a lot of publicity. Then, when I read that piece in the Daily News, I just about lost it. I mean he never mentioned the four years of bloodletting the Israelis had to endure or the fact that a majority of Palestinians still support the suicide bombings. It was all so obscenely even-handed.

At 7:27 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

To tell you the truth, I'd probably find it difficult to be objective about this film, especially after I read that the head of Mossad never even knew Spielberg was making it.

But such a "bias" (not really, IMO) enables one to see the subtleties.

I don't begrudge the cost of a ticket (Well, not much), but I hate to contribute to the box-office stats. Nevertheless, I may go to the theater during my Christmas break, and take a notepad with me.

At 7:57 AM, Blogger Rory said...

I agree with your not wanting to add to the stats. That's a very good point. As far as that bias is concerned, it probably does raise one's consciousness, but it's also the reason I would need to watch it alone. I tend to want to hurl every epithet I've ever learned when I don't like somebody's position on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and I can definitely see it coming with this particular film.

At 8:08 AM, Blogger Esther said...

One way to offset the stats is to not go the first week. The first week's take is what's really important to Hollywood.

No worries, Rory. I'm sure I can manage a free screening courtesy of someone I know in this town. Living here has to be useful for something. So I'll be sure to write a review for all.

At 9:57 AM, Blogger Rory said...

That's very interesting about the stats. It's good for people to be aware of that if they don't want to give their "seal of a approval" to a particular film. I'll look forward to your review. I know you'll be completely objective...unlike I would be. ;)

At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Felis said...

Spielberg "died" for me when he started glorifying Castro.
A man who can praise a mass murderer cannot seriously understand the world and definitely has no morals set on even basic human level.
How can he understand Holocaust or Israeli problems?

At 8:54 PM, Blogger Esther said...

Saw a couple of trailers for this piece of crap today. I can almost give my review right now. ;)

At 10:55 PM, Blogger Rory said...

That's true, and there seems to be this propensity among some people in Hollywood for glorifying murderers and despots, witness the case of Stanley "Tookie" Williams, the death row inmate, who's scheduled to be executed in a matter of days. He has half of Hollywood rallying to his "cause." It's what used to be referred to in the 60's as "radical chic." But, regardless of what they call it now, it still stinks!

Yeah, I imagine just seeing the trailers would be enough to convince you this film sucks. Having read those asinine comments he made, I was sure it was going to seep down into his attitude when he was making the movie. Maybe he should have called it what it really is...a multi-million dollar whitewash of Palestinian terror, rather than "a prayer for peace."

At 11:27 PM, Blogger patrickafir said...

What a complete, irredeemable ass. Had to get my blood pressure going, huh Rory? heh

I knew this movie was coming out and I was afraid of how he'd do it. After reading this, I don't think I want to know anything more about it or about him.

At 1:23 AM, Blogger Rory said...

I'm really sorry about your blood pressure, but you know how I hate to suffer alone.

At 9:06 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Spielberg is a pompous ass.

A few years ago I had an idea about starting a program of linking Holocaust survivors with young people so they could pass their stories on to a youth who would then be entrusted with that one survivor's story, to pass it on. In this way, these people would continue to live. Whenever I mentioned this idea, people would say, "Spielberg's done that".

Actually, he hasn't. He had people interview survivors on film, and now the films are sequestered away where no one but a very few can access them by appointment.

I finally abandoned the idea out of sheer frustration.

I've seen trailers for this film. The first thought that crossed my mind was, "Oh shit. We're fucked".

At 12:17 AM, Blogger Rory said...

What a shame you couldn't implement your project. I guess Spielberg has managed to keep all but a chosen (no pun intended) few from entering his domain. And I agree with you about his new film. All it took for me was to read his comments about the Israeli/Paletinian conflict to know we were gonna be screwed.

At 8:29 PM, Blogger Esther said...

Mark, what a great idea! Spielberg works my last nerve. I do think we're screwed with this movie.


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