Friday, January 07, 2005

Moral Fundamentalism

"At the UK premiere of his epic film of Alexander, Oliver Stone last night blamed "raging fundamentalism in morality" for the film's US box office failure.
"Sexuality is a large issue in America right now, but it isn't so much in other countries," the Oscar-winning director explained yesterday. "There's a raging fundamentalism in morality in the United States. From day one audiences didn't show up. They didn't even read the reviews in the [American] south because the media was using the words: 'Alex is Gay'."

Meanwhile, Colin Farrell, who plays the title role, helpfully added his own explanation for the biopic's commercial failure: "The film is a draining experience to watch. It's loaded with mythology, icons, symbolism and destiny. My friends have watched the film and said: 'Jesus Christ it's not exactly Gladiator'.""

Of course i will take the time to point out that it is Oliver Stone's job to make movies that America wants to see, not for America to see the movies he makes. He might be right about the moral fundamentalism, but that is beside the point. If the movie does not match the market, it will flop.

"The Platoon director previously defended his epic of the Macedonian conqueror, saying that it was too complex for "conventional minds"."

Oliver is now grasping at stones. Did the movie fail because of "moral fundamentalism", because it was too "smart", or because it was a bad movie? I would have believed Stone believed what he said, if he had stuck to one version of the story. It sounds like he is playing the shotgun blame game. If your blame has a wide enough scatter pattern it will hit something. He is just trying to salvage his reputation and shift the blame off of himself. I wonder if Hollywood will believe him?



Dave Justus said...

I haven't seen the film (I don't think anyone has) but I certainly didn't see it because Alex is gay in the movie. I didn't see it because all the film critics I heard about said the movie was crap. Now, film critics are not as a rule considered 'raging fundamentalists.'

Another way of looking at Stone's comments though might simply be a good marketing strategy for the U.K. Basically it is the idea that 'you people are better than those barbaric colonials, and to prove it you should go see my movie.' I doubt it will work well, but it will probably get him a few more bucks than his stinker of a movie deserves.

Gib said...

Everything I've heard from movie critics - who are not, as a rule, red-staters - said this movie blew whale chunks. I was willing to see it, even though Natural Born Killers was one of the worst pieces of crap ever committed to film.

But still "Watch this - it'll annoy Bush!" ain't a bad European marketing strategy, especially when your historical epic is neither historic, nor epic.

Karlo said...

I've got a long post on the movie at my blog that you might be interested in reading: