Monday, April 05, 2004

Le Monde to Viggo: Make No More Films in the Arabian Desert (Unless It Is an Anti-Bush Political Statement)

Did I leave anything out? The French just can't keep themselves from giving other nationals lessons, especially Americans. Even in their film reviews, they have to vent their sourness. Reviewing Hidalgo for Le Monde, Florence Colombani (who is she? Jean-Marie's daughter? the newspaper director's wife?) writes:
Cruelly deprived of any political message, but filled with clichés (the taste of liberty for the American, perseverance and cunning for the Arabs), Joe Johnston's film would probably have benefitted, in the current context, from taking place in another region of the world.
Excuse me? Hollywood should refrain from making movies in (or concerning) the Middle East? Until the last G.I. leaves Iraq? (I suppose because every American citizen should feel a black veil of shame over his or her shoulders? At least until someone lording over them naturally — like Florence Colombani — tells them they have been punished enough and it's alright to lift their heads again.) And Viggo Mortensen and Omar Sharif should refuse to accept a role unless it is to make a political message? Really? Do we have enough things under Florence's control yet?

What should the political message have been? I wonder? Oh yes, I get it. The American should have been ashamed of his country and leadership, while someone like a Le Monde journalist or intern should have dazzled everybody with her humanitarianism, her lucidity, her militancy, and her boundless love for equality and human rights. Wow. I can't wait to read the screenplay.

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