12 Jul 2012

The Dawn of economic misogyny

My morning started fairly well.  It was a sunny winter’s day, which I enjoy. I had a coffee from the cheerful Cuban man from the hole in the wall coffee place. I enjoyed drinking it as I watched the music video for Kim Jong un. Little did I know what evil it portended? 
Kim Jong Un the back up son

Last week I was with some friends and we were chatting about that classic 1984 film Red Dawn.   Despite it being a seminal film of the early 1980’s it turned out that none of us had seen it. So I decided to watch it over the weekend.  Now that I have seen it I can imagine how a contemporary audience would find the cold war paranoia laughable, but at the time it played upon real fear of the ‘commie threat’.  But watching it now the  realisation that Dirty dancing defeated the Soviet Army made me smile (Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze were in both films, also starring was a very young Charlie Sheen and Lea Thompson). 
Dance practise became quite competitive

There is a chap at work who shares my love of film and we are usually on the same page in regards to taste. Many tedious days have been lightened by an intelligent conversation about cinema.  This week I told him that I had recently watched Red dawn.   He then maliciously told me that they are remaking it.

Seriously? I mean however silly it may seem now, at the time it was a reflection of the common place paranoia. But that time has passed. The cold war is over, and we live in an economically depressed post 9/11 environment.  Surely a modern 2012 Red Dawn would not have the Russians and the Cubans invade America? I mean they do, but as prospective taxi drivers and drug smugglers not as an occupying military force. 

To be fair the creators of the remake realised this. No the vicious heartless new threat to American soil is the tea party!

 Sorry just kidding, although that idea would make a better movie. No the invaders were the Chinese.  Yes apparently this new super power is gearing up to invade the US and institute it’s new industrial capitalist….  Are you buying this? No I don’t think you will. Not only is that not very plausible, but China is a grand new market for Hollywood productions.  Interestingly in the original film China allied with the USA against the Russians.  But the creators decided that China was a realistic viable threat to the US. 

Information about the movie was leaked in 2010 and there was a backlash not only in China but amongst Chinese Americans. From this blog the awl (http://www.theawl.com/2010/05/real-america-red-dawn-remade-china-is-coming-for-our-children). I quote Jeff Yang, a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle.

The action genre tends to be Manichaean – there's good, evil, and little or nothing in between – and archetypal – characters are drawn big, iconic, and cartoony to eliminate anything that might distract from the mayhem. Your catharsis comes from rooting for the pure-hearted heroes and hating on the corrupt, inhuman villains.”

I have heard “it’s just a film” said more than once about a variety of topics. And to be clear some movies should be taken at face value as simple entertainment. But if you class Red Dawn as just a film and it is not anti-Chinese, then you could also argue that D W Griffiths   Birth of a Nation does not advocate for the Klu Klux Klan and the insidious threat of African Americans. I agree with Mr Yang, films are vehicles for ideas if you make Chinese people the villain’s then you are vilifying them. 
Just another film

 The Studio decided that the film was a viable threat to its distributors profit margins and Chinese US relations so the creators have succumbed to pressure and common sense and decided to not have the Chinese as the bad guys. 

So now the  villains are North Korean.

Que for Kim Jong uns theme song.

Now while it is daft and insulting to suggest China is about to invade North America, at least they have a capacity to give it a good go. They are large country with a serious military presence. But the creators of the film would have us believe that the North Korean military could successfully invade the USA.

 I am not even convinced that they could make it to the west coast of America before breaking down let alone successfully invade.  But assuming that they would make it, they then have to defeat the sizable US pacific fleet. OK fine Let’s assume that they have a navy that can make it and the entire West coast US navy has suddenly entered a worm hole through to Narnia (because that is the only plausible concept of a North Korean naval victory)  then they invade the US and defeat the US Army, Air force and Marines.  Again with the Narnia. Perhaps that is North Korea’s secret weapon, massive wardrobes?
OK So in this North Korean fantasy / Lewisiannightmare they have occupied the USA. Who can save us now? 
The white witch denied any such alliance with Kim Jong Un

Well apparently it’s the inhabitants of summers bay.  Yes Chris Hemsworth and Isabel Lucas from Home and Away will be leading a rag tag rebellion of teenagers to defeat the evil invaders. I suspect that perhaps the children are more familiar with the works of C.S. Lewis and will not be fooled by the North Korean wardrobe trap.  So Thor will ride in on his surf board and save the day. 
Tash and Kim preparing for the invasion

It is all I can do not to spit the bile from my mouth out onto the carpet.  

What beggars belief is that this project got the green light over the Black Widow film.  I mean I understand that Studios are more likely to produce a remake of a successful film then to produce a new idea with a female protagonist where historically action films with a female lead have not been successful in the box office.  But sure the success of Avengers and Brave can show that audiences will accept and support a female lead. All we really want is a good script and story.  Give Joss Whedon the Black widow project; he is good at writing strong female characters.  Scarlett Johansson did a great performance as Black Widow, give her the job again.  I understand the movies industry is worried, but there are a lot of intelligent women out there and a lot of them like movies. I am sure that they might be more of a market than romantic comedies. And I am certainly sure that more of them would be interested in a black Widow movie than the ludicrous premise for a rehash of Red Dawn.

1 comment:

  1. Why not call it Thor vs North Korea? That would a movie for the ages!

    ....kind of like Alien vs Predator hahaha