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 How to Make a Great Movie  

February 26, 2007 
Make a Great MovieDespite Seymour Hersh’s latest lurid allegations in The New Yorker, I don’t 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. Today's column is " How to Make a Great Movie " -- Read Joe's columns the day he writes them.And if Iran strikes back, so much the better, in the long run.

Make a Great MovieSo this may be just their way of saving the planet. And after all, isn’t that what we want? Can’t we all just get along?

Make a Great MovieNot that this will stop Al Gore and the Hollywood Left from caterwauling. Those people are never satisfied.

Make a Great MovieThey 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. I’m not the only wise guy in the family, so to speak.

Make a Great MovieIt 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 didn’t 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. That’s why I’m a writer. It’s a lot cheaper. Rembrandt didn’t need stunt men.

Make a Great 
MovieLet’s just suppose I get an idea for a somewhat unconventional children’s book, The Littlest Holocaust Denier. This is what Hollywood might call “high concept,” though I don’t see Hollywood snapping it up. It’s not exactly Harry Potter. And the principal role would probably be too challenging for today’s child actors.

Make a Great 
MovieContinuing our supposition, let’s 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 don’t know about you, but as for me, I’ve had it up to here with all this Hitler-bashing. After all, which of us is perfect?”

Make a Great MovieSuch 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.

[Breaker quote for How to Make a Great Movie: Just be a rich genius.]Make a Great MovieIsolated, 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.”

Make a Great MovieBut Wolfie’s case becomes an international sensation when such civil rights leaders as Al Sharpton take up his cause. “We’ve been here before,” says Sharpton. “The Jews wouldn’t listen to Tawana Brawley, either.” At age seven, Wolfie is the youngest person ever to be interviewed by Larry King.

Make a Great MovieHe 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 doesn’t mean he was wrong.”

Make a Great MovieBut back to Hollywood. Scorsese has to make a dozen of the most brilliantly original films of all time and wait until he’s an old man before he gets his Oscar, and Al Gore gets one the very first time he narrates a documentary! It must be Gore’s bubbly delivery, so reminiscent of Robert Preston merrily panicking the River City rubes in The Music Man. I don’t know how else to explain it.

Make a Great MovieAnd now the news media are reporting, with their usual good taste, that Anna Nicole’s remains are “decomposing” (except for the implants, presumably). Good work, folks! That’s the way to keep the American public fully informed. Now on to Iran.

Joseph Sobran

Copyright © 2007 by the Griffin Internet Syndicate,
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