Thursday, December 18, 2014

Re: The Interview

I'm pretty dubious about this whole cancellation of the theatrical release of The Interview. Read Mack on that here here here and here, and on the next link below, if you want yet more.

If it's a real thing - if Sony is pulling the film because of threats of terrorism and a supposed "inside job" hack attack - that's definitely on the spineless side, and sets a dangerous precedent.

But the little qui bono gremlin that sits on my shoulder is quivering about the press this is generating (FIVE articles in the Straight? Find me one other movie in the last ten years that's gotten that much notice there). I was pretty interested, a few months ago, to read about the original (alleged) threats against the film, but even then, it was pretty obvious that the controversy was only going to be good for this movie; though I had seen a trailer, the original news story about North Korea's tub-thumping response to the film was far more provocative. And now... there's nothing Sony could have possibly done to generate more interest, really. The whole thing makes me suspicious - even though it's being taken quite seriously, and follows on an (apparently) real cyber attack...

But the whole world is turning kind of fake, you know? You can't have a mass murder, from 9/11 to Sandy Hook or whatever, without someone theorizing that it was all a lie; it's actually become a bit of a boring, predictable response to the world, to wonder if something is a conspiracy (my even wondering as much about this film's cancellation also counts). Plus an increasing number of headlines you see as you surf along are from spoof websites - it's not just the Onion anymore. Nothing is done at face value, nothing you read can be trusted; it's pretty bad for the brain, in fact, since ultimately the only sane response to the amount of disinformation you're bombarded with is just to give up trying to make sense of things. The ultimate subtext is that the truth doesn't matter, as long as we/ you/ whomever gets noticed.
Of some relevance, I particularly like the example of the supposed North Korean documentary Propaganda,  actually assembled in New Zealand under the direction of someone named Slavko Martinov, with zero North Korean involvement (my ESL students even assure me that the alleged North Korean expert who narrates the Korean portion of the soundtrack has a South Korean dialect). The whole film is about the mendacity of western media, so why shouldn't we be surprised that the entire premise of its distribution is founded on a lie? (They're supposedly working on a sequel, too; one wonders if they'll bother to maintain the original film's pretence of being smuggled out of North Korea, now that the cat is out of the proverbial bag).


Allan MacInnis said...

Sigh. Looks like this is a real thing and that Sony are going to actually pursue this non-distribution course. Which is even stupider and more disappointing than the thought that this might all be a scam. What cowards.

Not Waving But Drowning said...

Snap! goes the crayons as the big baby kicks up the sand in his play box. It's bad enough some television shows actually listen to those harridan fish-wives called "The One Million Moms," but as you wrote, this is a dangerous precedent. Entertainment is already bland enough, with the constant remakes. And the thought that this might be a ruse really irks me. If the predictions for a holiday release are bad and they don't want a bomb, to use this as an excuse is inexcusable. I've got a picture of William Holden with his head out the window (Network) at this moment.