filmmaking & patriotism
Bunker wrote a post this morning linking to this NY Times article about Sony Pictures buying the rights to make a movie out of Richard Clarke’s controversial book Against All Enemies. Bunker states that:
This might be the major Democratic effort to unseat Bush in November.
I was fascinated by where this whole development could lead, and wrote a long reply. As so often happens, I spotted some typos immediately after posting it, so I’ve cleaned it up and reprinted it below, with a couple of minor additions and clarifications as well:
Even if they get this movie made and ready to market in time (not likely anyway), the GOP will find a way to tie the studio up in court to block the film’s release.
It’s a big ol’ can of worms to open up, isn’t it? Can a major corporation get away with a blatant attempt to influence an election like that, under the guise of art and mass entertainment? Is this a first amendment crisis waiting to happen? Some will argue that it’s unpatriotic or unethical to use a film, a very emotionally manipulative medium, to influence history as it’s being made. And some will contend that the is the precise purpose of the medium. (So far, I kind of think they’re both right–a dangerously wishy-washy point of view, I know.)
But anyway, our politicos are practical folk, and they’ll know that the long-term implications take a back seat to the immediate need to keep that film out of theaters before November.
Unless Bunker is thinking, of course, that the studio is counting on the legal effort to block the movie, unseating the president not by making him look like he ignored a threat but by making him look like that Orwellian “older-male-sibling” character… Interesting possibility.
As an aside, I believe one of the TV networks has already (or soon will) put out a made-for-TV movie on a similar topic—insider political stuff leading up to 9/11—which I believe plays out more or less as a campaign commercial for the administration. So, it cuts both ways.
Looking forward to watching this whole mess play out.