Marketing the KKK?
September 6, 2001 5:31 AM   Subscribe

Marketing the KKK? Is Tim Burton a racist or has his directing skills gotten so bad that movie critics are having to repent for previous words of kindness?
posted by kant breathe (22 comments total)
And many black students told me at one time years ago that King Kong was a racist film about Blacks lusting after white chicks.
Take a deep breath. Think Darwin. We are memebers --all of us--of the ape family (gorilla), be we white or black or yellow.
posted by Postroad at 6:17 AM on September 6, 2001

i think mr metaphilm just took his politically-motivated bs college papers on film criticism much too seriously--and still does.
posted by dogmatic at 6:36 AM on September 6, 2001

If you spend all your time looking for racism, you're bound to find it. Whether or not it's actually there is a different matter.
posted by harmful at 6:39 AM on September 6, 2001

Spielberg also used the same opening chase from Birth of a Nation in Jurassic Park - in that case having the T-Rex do the chasing.

Birth of a Nation has influenced many film makers, as its cinematography is used as a study in nearly every film school I'm familiar with, usually in the first year. It has nothing to do with the film's plot or purpose. It's the technique that people imitate, not the message.
posted by J. R. Hughto at 6:59 AM on September 6, 2001

Racism may one day be eradicated, but shitty, underwritten, overhyped summer movies will be with us forever.

Burton's not a racist. George Lucas, on the other hand...
posted by Optamystic at 7:00 AM on September 6, 2001

I agree that the Metaphilm writer makes some tenuous connections between POTA and Birth of a Nation, but I think he/she has a valid point. I was also struck by the not-so-subtle racial undertones of this year's POTA.
posted by tippiedog at 7:05 AM on September 6, 2001

Or it could be that they are just trying to be facetious. Have you looked at any of their other "interpretations"? Star Wars as a tale of impotence, Shrek as an explanation of why babes dig ugly rock stars, Blow as the rise and fall of Clinton. I viewed this site a few weeks ago, and it's funny as hell.
posted by jacknose at 7:49 AM on September 6, 2001

the original movie(s) dealt with racism. Remember, "conquest of TPTA" The human leader was african- american. I feel the writers where aware of this, and had us try and see beyond that comparison- more "advanced simian" mind vs. the human mind. Plus, Taylor, though far more intelligent, was the underdog...showing that a minority can use brains and skill to overcome...ahhh...prejudice.
posted by clavdivs at 7:55 AM on September 6, 2001

"not-so-subtle racial undertones of this year's POTA."

This film had nothing on the original. "not-so-subtle" is the theme of this year's movie. It was typical blockbuster tripe with little substance and no real "message." Casting this film as controversy, or racists, only undermines the criticism of films that actually do have racists undertones.

I can't help but find any critical disassembly of this film, or most summer blockbusters, as laughable.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 7:58 AM on September 6, 2001

Burton's not a racist. George Lucas, on the other hand...

Hell, yes. If Jar-Jar Binks isn't a minstrel figure, I'll eat my entire collection of SW action figures.

(Please note: I do not actually have such a collection. I invented it for effect. Even if I did, you couldn't prove it, so nyah.)
posted by jpoulos at 8:20 AM on September 6, 2001

[Reads Article]

[Spit Take]
posted by Hildago at 10:31 AM on September 6, 2001

Seriously people stop taking things so fricken seriously sometimes a movie. Is just a movie get over it dammit! I hate people that search for crap to get pissed about, so they feel like there life means something but its just crap and that's all it is and that my opinion(fact).
posted by CerealX59 at 11:51 AM on September 6, 2001

eh, Jar Jar would not be considered a racist character if not for the voice that seems so carribean. Seriously, the character himself and his actions are not racist, they are the same as many 'freed' slaves in other myths and legends. Just a very, very poor choice of a voice for the character.
posted by dig_duggler at 11:57 AM on September 6, 2001

Tomb Raider was not a crappy movie based on a popular video game series, but was actually in fact an in-depth exposé into how women are usually put in subserviant roles in society, except in cases where they are exploited sexually.

Of course, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

By the way, at the end of POTA, the humans made up with the apes. It was a movie against intolerance, not a promotion of it. ...So I consider that Metaphilm review to be a gag.
posted by Down10 at 12:00 PM on September 6, 2001

The weirdest thing about Burton's Planet of the Apes that I haven't seen anyone comment on yet, is that the orangutan slave trader character seemed to me to be something of an anti-Semitic stereotype.
posted by Rebis at 12:05 PM on September 6, 2001

er. isn't this article satire?
posted by kevspace at 2:43 PM on September 6, 2001

Screw the pinheads who are reading "racism" into about people who need to get a life...

What I really want to know is: What the hell happened to Burton, anyway? From Pee-Wee to Batman to Edward Scissorhands to Jack Skellington to Ed Wood to...Planet of the Apes??? A crappy remake that doesn't even begin to utilize his talents & imagination, with mostly mediocre acting, plot points with holes a mile wide, chickensh** ending, and a complete waste of such talent! I don't get it. Now, if POTA had never been made in the 60s, and Burton was the first director to create a movie based on it, I'd wager he would have created a much more satisfying movie. Ah, well...

Tim, we want our money back. Seriously. That, or a public apology for POTA.
posted by davidmsc at 3:17 PM on September 6, 2001

Rebis, i have to agree... i was also a little disturbed by the slave-trader character. and i was also struck by the sexism of the movie; why were the female apes so much more "human" looking than the male apes? why did they have long hair, smooth, relatively hairless faces, big human-looking eyes?

why, in the culture of the movie, did it make sense for female apes primp their "hair" and wear makeup in order to look more like the slave human race they so despised?

or is it simply that Hollywood requires females of all species to be pretty and decorative according to mainstream standards?

also, i thought it was kinda interesting that there were "white" apes and clearly "non-white" apes. there were definitely some class issues going on there.
posted by mjane at 3:49 PM on September 6, 2001

it is simply that Hollywood requires females of all species to be pretty and decorative according to mainstream standards. as stated earlier, i'm not sure it's worth anyone's time to look at POTA critically.
posted by bluishorange at 4:20 PM on September 6, 2001

i'm not sure it's worth anyone's time to look at POTA critically.

hmm, i think it's worth my time to do so.

i think mining pulp culture for meaning is fun.

but then, my time isn't worth much these days...
posted by mjane at 4:46 PM on September 6, 2001

Skallas -- right on the mark. To be "disturbed" by anything in POTA is to forget that it is just a formulaic rehashing that really isn't worth watching even after it comes out on video. Anti-semitic slave trader? C'mon. None of the Hollywood writers are thinking or writing carefully enough to weave the sort of nuance it would require to make that believable. If anything at all, it would have to be limited to the screenwriter's own prejudices added to those of the actor. Few are devious enough, and even fewer talented enough, to pull off metaphorical meanings at anything beyond the purely blatant. They all suck. And it doesn't help that most audiences are collections of unimaginative dipsticks.
posted by Bixby23 at 7:07 PM on September 6, 2001

Huh? Alot of people see these movies... They have a profound influence on the way we think about ourselves and others. They are NOT critical movies..they are written by hacks who use stereotypes BECAUSE they are part of our vocabulary, a huge part of our vocabulary. Thats why these 'hacks' rely on these devices so often. It doesn't take alot of nuance to write a slave trader as a jewish spendthrift. Its actually too easy.

No ones saying there is a secret plot to portray a certain group in a negative light. If the word Aufenthalterlaubnis is noy in your vocabulary you probably wont use it. If the concept of a miserly Jew isnt part of the cultural vocabulary we wouldn't see it turn up in movies. But we do.

posted by darkpony at 1:09 AM on September 7, 2001

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