Tuesday, 12 April 2011
700,000,000 Screaming Chinese
Red Dawn: one of my favourite films. Maybe some day I will immeasurably enrich the culture of our world by writing an essay on the Nietzschian and Platonic conflicts in that 1980s masterpiece.
But today is not the day. I'd just like to link to this article. For quite some time the Hollywood vultures have been circling John Milius's 1980s work of genius, with plans of remaking. Certainly, of all the films you could remake, at least Red Dawn is one with lots of shooting. And (though it lacerates my soul to admit it) it wasn't exactly perfect.
But then there's the name. I'm sure they'd love nothing more than a bit of Russophobia and have a despotic Russian tyrant, but the Russian Federation doesn't have a red flag. Luckily for the film makers, or so they thought, there's still China. With the world's largest population, 2nd largest GDP and 3rd largest landmass, China was the one to go for. Quite why they would invade America is open to question: they'd be at risk of damaging their own assets and the effect on the American economy could stop them from getting back all the dosh they're owed.
How the film makers answered these questions, however, we'll never know. They've now digitally altered their fillum so that America will be invaded by North Korea. This sliver of the Korean Peninsula might have the 154th highest per capita GDP, a population of 24 million and a landmass that's smaller than the state of Mississippi, but- uh, well that's the point actually: China has too big and too rich a population. Seems these days Hollywood can only be smug and self-righteous about nations that are too poor to make much of an impact on the overseas box office. Don't know how it will go down at home: America being owned by one of the puniest nations on earth. Maybe they just take it for granted the average American is too thick to know how small and poor North Korea is.
I feel a bit sad reading about the entire thing. I'm no great fan of Hollywood, but the American film industry I suppose was an icon of Modern Western civilisation, and films such as the original Red Dawn demonstrated a potential to make challenging and interesting works. Now it seems as well as being intellectually bankrupt, Hollywood will also crumble in its defence of principles (which I don't entirely share or not share) just to benefit at the box office.
Gone are the days when a possible Stalinist sympathiser could be 'run out of town'. In future it could be the democrats.