Feb 15, 2017

The Polanski-Allen Blackwash Double-Whammy Two-Step

From time to time I think about the glut of "content" we suffer from --- the neverending flood of Seemingly Valid Shit (SVS) --- and I was doing that this morning, my mind wandering idly.

Then I had to play devil's advocate: "There is SOME stuff I like... some movies, some directors... Woody Allen, Roman Polanski. Guys like that. That stuff's okay... "

What struck though me is that both make movies "for adults" --- that is, mature, thoughtful, meaningful films, with artistic and aesthetic merit --- in fact Polanski jokingly said this in one interview I watched, in his funny broken English (paraphrasing):

"I tell people, ehh, I make films, you know, for adults! Hahaha... Not these, ehhh, silly movies like we have nowadays, so much.. ehh..."

---and yet, coincidentally(?), both have been blackwashed by years of media attention over allegations of sex crimes against minors.

Cartoon by gungor

It's very peculiar on many levels, because they are definitely privileged "elites" of some sort, both of them, whose films in differing ways might both serve to "catapult the propaganda" (Allen's maybe in a more implicit, cultural sense; Polanski's in a more overt, targeted way.) Which might lead one to believe, okay, maybe there's some truth to these charges, such that TPB can't ignore it. It might seem, on one reading, that Allen and Polanski are "insider" enough to remain untouchable, still making films, but not powerful enough to quash all efforts at legal proceedings, or all news stories on it. Polanski is even supposedly unable to come to the U.S. without being arrested or prosecuted.

Perhaps this is so. But another reading would be, that they have been smeared (with or without their cooperation), to depress their box office numbers, and thus permit them to continue making brilliant films (which elites finance, and can enjoy) while not exposing too many people to aesthetic quality (bear with me and I'll explain a little what the motive for that would be.)

I know this smearing has an effect, because when I mention a film by Polanski or Allen, somebody is sure to speak up and say they're conflicted about watching films by them, given the allegations. I recently saw a Facebook thread where someone was praising "Hannah and Her Sisters," and there was an obligatory comment pointing out that the person wished they could enjoy it, but Allen was a monster, etc.

Thus, they both remain very modest at the box office.

(Actually I'm remembering now that Polanski's "The Pianist," which I missed, did get a lot of attention. Maybe it was too good, from a propaganda point of view, to be ignored by the puppet-masters. Didn't it win an Academy Award or get nominated or something? So maybe that demolishes my whole thesis... And Woody got rave reviews and nominations for his "Midnight in Paris," which as Miles Mathis pointed out somewhere, was big PR for a lot of early 20th century agents --- that whole fin de siecle Paris crowd of modernist artists and writers. Personally one of my least favorite of his movies; it was kind of sappy and saccharine.

So maybe they like to smear and ignore Polanski and Allen with regards to their better movies, but promote them when they can help sell the official narrative?)

At least in the US it's like that --- I would be curious how they are viewed and how they do in Europe. One suspects the Europeans would be more focused on the artistic merit and more willing to live with the ambiguity of not knowing the truth of the matter.

This would fit with Europe traditionally having a more mature, aesthetically richer culture, and the US being more adolescent and juvenile. So the media blackwashing could be a way to subtly "nudge" Americans to remain culturally benighted and sophomoric. "Don't graduate beyond blockbusters and crassness... Remain forever stunted intellectually.."

But I have to conclude that amid a great flood of SVS, Polanski and Allen have made some AVS (actually valid shit.) Take for example a movie like Polanski's "The Ghost-writer." I would say that that is worth checking out. Not only is it hugely entertaining, a Hitchcock-style suspense thriller --- it also has little clues here and there, or at least thought-provoking moments, about the nature of society and "how things really work." Not to say it doesn't prop up "official reality" on one level --- but reading between the lines, there seem to be some insights and "truth" here and there as well. To the extent we're ever going to see it in a "major motion picture," at least.

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