How to Make a Great Movie
Despite Seymour Hershs latest lurid allegations in The New Yorker, I dont think the Bush administration really wants to nuke Iran. Thinking outside the box, it has merely realized that an obvious solution to global warming is nuclear winter. And if Iran strikes back, so much the better, in the long run.
So this may be just their way of saving the planet. And after all, isnt that what we want? Cant we all just get along?
Not that this will stop Al Gore and the Hollywood Left from caterwauling. Those people are never satisfied.
They finally gave Marty Scorsese an Oscar for The Departed, a film about hoods in Boston. I enjoyed it as a work of art, but I asked my brother Tom, a successful Boston lawyer, if it was based on the feared Sobran crime family and, if so, whether we could sue, but in his waggish way, Tom answered only that he thought Borat was based on the Sobrans. Im not the only wise guy in the family, so to speak.
It occurs to me that in order to make a great movie, you have to be not only an artistic genius, but also a pretty fair businessman. In the first place, you have to raise a lot of money and also gather and coordinate a lot of disparate talents, or there will be no movie at all. All Rembrandt needed was a few tubes of paint, a brush, and a canvas. lt didnt cost him millions of dollars to do a picture. Think what Scorsese has to pay for a few tubes, as it were, of DiCaprio and DeNiro, not to mention stunt men, extras, and key grips. Thats why Im a writer. Its a lot cheaper. Rembrandt didnt need stunt men.
Lets just suppose I get an idea for a somewhat unconventional childrens book, The Littlest Holocaust Denier. This is what Hollywood might call high concept, though I dont see Hollywood snapping it up. Its not exactly Harry Potter. And the principal role would probably be too challenging for todays child actors.
Continuing our supposition, lets say Wolfgang Amadeus Schickelgruber, nicknamed Wolfie, is a German prodigy, a gentle, dreamy, lonely boy with a strong independent streak inherited from his father, Hans, who, after a few drinks, is apt to blurt out things like, I dont know about you, but as for me, Ive had it up to here with all this Hitler-bashing. After all, which of us is perfect?
Such remarks cannot fail to leave their impression on a sensitive boy, and soon little Wolfie finds himself an outcast at his school. The other children tease him about his views kids can be so politically correct! and when his teachers refuse to defend him, he is expelled. He is sent to reform school for several months, most of the time spent in solitary confinement, then placed in a foster home, where he becomes a victim of child abuse by his brutally liberal foster parents.
Isolated, Wolfie is befriended by a kindly skinhead, Fritz, the only adult who offers him nonjudgmental empathy. National Socialists are the targets of negative stereotypes, Fritz points out. Even the Pope was a member of the Hitler Youth.
But Wolfies case becomes an international sensation when such civil rights leaders as Al Sharpton take up his cause. Weve been here before, says Sharpton. The Jews wouldnt listen to Tawana Brawley, either. At age seven, Wolfie is the youngest person ever to be interviewed by Larry King.
He is startlingly articulate and tenacious. Look what happened to Marlon Brando when he said the Jews run Hollywood, he tells King. I remember, says King. He said it right on this show. And he kissed me on the mouth. Brando was sort of weird, Wolfie agrees. That doesnt mean he was wrong.
But back to Hollywood. Scorsese has to make a dozen of the most brilliantly original films of all time and wait until hes an old man before he gets his Oscar, and Al Gore gets one the very first time he narrates a documentary! It must be Gores bubbly delivery, so reminiscent of Robert Preston merrily panicking the River City rubes in The Music Man. I dont know how else to explain it.
And now the news media are reporting, with their usual good taste, that Anna Nicoles remains are decomposing (except for the implants, presumably). Good work, folks! Thats the way to keep the American public fully informed. Now on to Iran.
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