The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

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The Blackbird

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The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostSat Aug 26, 2017 5:38 pm

http://ew.com/movies/2017/08/26/gone-with-the-wind-theater-canceled-screening/

So, er, the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, as part of its "stated mission" to "entertain, educate and enlighten the communities it serves," has decided to prove it by trying to pretend history never happened and tossed GONE WITH THE WIND into the trash bin after getting some complaints about its content by some people whose mind-set can be adequately summed up by one spokesperson's stated aim that "slowly but surely, we will rid this community of all tributes to white supremacy." Certainly a gun is being held to patrons' heads to force them to go into the theater and see it. I like how one poster on the theater's Facebook page brilliantly observed GONE WITH THE WIND is "racist." Thanks for pointing that out, pal. You may remember I mentioned IMDB commentators were enraged about Peter Sellers playing Charlie Chan in MURDER BY DEATH or STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS being "racist" because none of the lead actors in it happen to be Asian.

Well, we all knew this was coming, and it will only be the beginning. For quite some time, I've been thinking about starting a discussion about how to deal with the fact that classic films are sadly loaded with embarrassingly racist moments that are completely offensive to modern sensibilities, but goodness knows recent events have been moving so fast I was thinking I for one couldn't even keep up.

I gotta say, I've been surprised there hasn't been a movement to get TCM itself banned for years now....
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostSat Aug 26, 2017 8:42 pm

The Blackbird wrote:So, er, the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, as part of its "stated mission" to "entertain, educate and enlighten the communities it serves," has decided to prove it by trying to pretend history never happened and tossed GONE WITH THE WIND into the trash bin after getting some complaints about its content by some people whose mind-set can be adequately summed up by one spokesperson's stated aim that "slowly but surely, we will rid this community of all tributes to white supremacy."


There seems to be an ascendancy by history revisionists. I just don't know why people have to completely judge the past with the viewpoint of today. No doubt in our present time we have made a dog's breakfast of something or another that will be frowned upon in another 50 or so years.
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostSun Aug 27, 2017 5:06 am

My only regret, Binky, is that I won't be around to watch their smug, astonished faces. I certainly don't much enjoy the world our smug generation has cobbled together, Studio Ghibli aside.

To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to live the life of a child forever. For what is a man's life, unless woven into the life of our ancestors by the memory of past deeds?

-- Marcus Tullius Cicero

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostSun Aug 27, 2017 6:02 am

Sad, but that is how our world is in 2017.

As an archivist I censor nothing. My only guideline is...is it legal.
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostSun Aug 27, 2017 6:50 am

TCM banned! What a concept. That's when I move to Mars.

:lol:
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostSun Aug 27, 2017 7:39 am

Last week the elementary school teachers association of Ontario passed a motion calling on the government to remove the name of Sir John A. Macdonald from schools in the province.

Why? Because he encouraged the assimilation of Indigenous people through the system of "residential schools", in which Indigenous children were taken from their families and put in schools run by the Catholic church in order to turn them into "white" folks.

Macdonald wasn't alone in instituting this system, but it happened under his watch. And what was his watch, you ask? Why, nothing more impressive than being the founder of the country of Canada and its first Prime Minister.

One commenter explained that George Washington -- founder of some other large nation near ours -- had slaves, but he didn't institute slavery. Macdonald allegedly instituted residential schools, so his case is far more reprehensible than Washington's.

One Indigenous politician stood against the teachers' demand, saying that "Everybody has warts!"

I think all of this comes, at least in part, from the fact (which I lamented in the "millenials don't care" thread) that people under 40 or so simply have no interest in or knowledge of history. It isn't relativism to explain that Macdonald's thoughts about assimilation were merely part of the common beliefs of his era; it's an understanding of history.

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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostSun Aug 27, 2017 8:55 am

Jim Roots wrote:Last week the elementary school teachers association of Ontario passed a motion calling on the government to remove the name of Sir John A. Macdonald from schools in the province.

Why? Because he encouraged the assimilation of Indigenous people through the system of "residential schools", in which Indigenous children were taken from their families and put in schools run by the Catholic church in order to turn them into "white" folks.

Macdonald wasn't alone in instituting this system, but it happened under his watch. And what was his watch, you ask? Why, nothing more impressive than being the founder of the country of Canada and its first Prime Minister.

One commenter explained that George Washington -- founder of some other large nation near ours -- had slaves, but he didn't institute slavery. Macdonald allegedly instituted residential schools, so his case is far more reprehensible than Washington's.

One Indigenous politician stood against the teachers' demand, saying that "Everybody has warts!"

I think all of this comes, at least in part, from the fact (which I lamented in the "millenials don't care" thread) that people under 40 or so simply have no interest in or knowledge of history. It isn't relativism to explain that Macdonald's thoughts about assimilation were merely part of the common beliefs of his era; it's an understanding of history.

Jim


I think that indigenous folk were treated in much the same way throughout the Empire. Right up until the 1970's Aboriginal children in Australia were separated from their families and fostered by whites in order to better assimilate them.

The nation has formally apologised in the last few years.

You might get some idea of what it was all about from the film "The Rabbit Proof Fence" which came out a few years back.

(At the moment the national day - "Australia Day" on 26th January is being lambasted because it is seen as "Invasion Day". Recently statues of Captain Cook have been defaced. Whilst we can acknowledge now in hindsight that evils and wrongs were done in the past, I believe we all just have to now muck in and get on with things the best way we can. )
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostSun Aug 27, 2017 10:11 am

Did you see the comment on the bottom of the link for this story?

THIS LINK: http://n.mynews.ly/!EB.Gmbnn

About sums it up....we have two extremes of fascism extant today--both equally wicked.

If only these "critics" would PAY ATTENTION TO THE STORY:

Hattie McDaniel's character RAN THE HOUSEHOLD, SHE WAS THE WISEST CHARACTER IN THE ENTIRE MOVIE and
on top of it all, SHE WON THE ACADEMY AWARD FOR HER PORTRAYAL AND PERFORMANCE!!
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostSun Aug 27, 2017 11:39 am

I disagree. This is not "war" on classic film. This is a theater group's management listing to its audience. They didn't say that the film would never be programmed again. It just won't be on the schedule next summer. I'm willing to bet that a number of the film series' patrons will request it again and it is back on the schedule in 2019.

Gone With the Wind can still be shown to classic film audiences. The issue of race and the Confederacy is pretty much a open wound right now in this country. The theater has to stay in business and not piss of its audience. I don't think GWTW is that racist compared to many other films from Birth of a Nation through the 1940s. In 2015 the Kansas Silent Film Festival showed Birth of a Nation (1915), but they had a discussion of the racial attitudes afterward, including Kevin Wilmott, an African-American film studies professors from Kansas University. You can't dance around the racism of the film. There were no protests or complaints that I saw.

This isn't much different from parents protesting Mark Twain's books because they were "racist". Mark Twains' book drew attention to the problems of slavery and racism. They were also written for audiences in the late 1800s, not 2017.
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostSun Aug 27, 2017 12:27 pm

A neighborhood theater that is a for profit business isn't required to provide historical context or educate its audience. Its only aim is to entertain. If people don't want to see a movie, they don't come and no popcorn is sold. There are different venues for education- universities, special screenings with panel discussions, film societies, etc. I'm really not too worried about Gone With the Wind because there are millions of copies of it out there on VHS, DVD and blu-ray, while there are thousands of films that aren't in wide circulation that could offer just as much to students of film. We can thank Ted Turner for making sure Gone With The Wind wasn't swept under the rug. I think it's time for new battles to save other worthy films.
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostSun Aug 27, 2017 12:38 pm

This situation isn't much different than TCM scheduling, then pulling, BOAN in October 1995 in the wake of the O. J. Simpson verdict:
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1995-10-15/news/9510150300_1_turner-classic-movies-jim-weiss-racial

...and the film is still available for viewing on DVD, Blu-Ray, and goodness knows how many places online.

GWTW is famous, so it's relatively low-hanging fruit. There are a number of films from that time period that are arguably more problematic, but few enough people watch them that they don't attract much controversy, and those who do watch them probably know what they're getting.

Now, a campaign to get something permanently withdrawn would be clearly wrong, IMO, and more akin to censorship, but unless that happens, I'm not going to let one theatre's decision on GWTW bother me very much.

-HA
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostTue Aug 29, 2017 7:53 pm

From the Memphis Flyer:

Nobody's Banned "Gone With The Wind" in Memphis — Even if the Commercial Appeal Says So

by Chris Davis
August 29, 2017

From the Memphis Commercial Appeal:

Orpheum president 'truly underestimated reaction' to 'Gone with the Wind' decision
John Beifuss, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostWed Aug 30, 2017 2:02 am

silentfilm wrote:I disagree. This is not "war" on classic film. This is a theater group's management listing to its audience. They didn't say that the film would never be programmed again. It just won't be on the schedule next summer. I'm willing to bet that a number of the film series' patrons will request it again and it is back on the schedule in 2019.

Gone With the Wind can still be shown to classic film audiences. The issue of race and the Confederacy is pretty much a open wound right now in this country. The theater has to stay in business and not piss of its audience. I don't think GWTW is that racist compared to many other films from Birth of a Nation through the 1940s. In 2015 the Kansas Silent Film Festival showed Birth of a Nation (1915), but they had a discussion of the racial attitudes afterward, including Kevin Wilmott, an African-American film studies professors from Kansas University. You can't dance around the racism of the film. There were no protests or complaints that I saw.



The "Open Wound Right Now In This Country" is the key phrase here. and Bruce has to be absolutely right. While there are similarities with the BOAN situation, with Charlottesville so recent, showing GWTW now would surely be more akin to showing The Towering Inferno with the Twin Towers still smouldering. No-one is saying not screening it again ever.....just that right now is inappropriate.
I could use some digital restoration myself...
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostWed Aug 30, 2017 4:23 am

Penfold wrote:
silentfilm wrote:I disagree. This is not "war" on classic film. This is a theater group's management listing to its audience. They didn't say that the film would never be programmed again. It just won't be on the schedule next summer. I'm willing to bet that a number of the film series' patrons will request it again and it is back on the schedule in 2019.

Gone With the Wind can still be shown to classic film audiences. The issue of race and the Confederacy is pretty much a open wound right now in this country. The theater has to stay in business and not piss of its audience. I don't think GWTW is that racist compared to many other films from Birth of a Nation through the 1940s. In 2015 the Kansas Silent Film Festival showed Birth of a Nation (1915), but they had a discussion of the racial attitudes afterward, including Kevin Wilmott, an African-American film studies professors from Kansas University. You can't dance around the racism of the film. There were no protests or complaints that I saw.



The "Open Wound Right Now In This Country" is the key phrase here. and Bruce has to be absolutely right. While there are similarities with the BOAN situation, with Charlottesville so recent, showing GWTW now would surely be more akin to showing The Towering Inferno with the Twin Towers still smouldering. No-one is saying not screening it again ever.....just that right now is inappropriate.
Exactly.
I'm glad at least some others saw through the whole thing. In pure isolation, it would be absolute nonsense to blame the film. Or even to stop showing it if it was 'wrong'.
But we don't live in a neutral vacuum. There's a lot of problems right now that are for many linked to confederate symbols. The film might get drawn in. No use pretending that it isn't so.

Under any other circumstance I would have said it was madness and stupidity. It's an overreaction of course for political correctness. An innocent film is the victim. But even so, I squarely blame the racists for this, and certain people silently encouraging them. Specifically, a certain orange toddler turned back the clock, and is in my view responsible for reheating all the tensions that time was slowly healing, making a normal view or a normal debate impossible.



And as you can see from the links posted, the whole story is being misrepresented anyway, to make it into a martyr that it isn't. And guess by which kind of people...
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostWed Aug 30, 2017 2:43 pm

Marr&Colton wrote:Did you see the comment on the bottom of the link for this story?

THIS LINK: http://n.mynews.ly/!EB.Gmbnn" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank

About sums it up....we have two extremes of fascism extant today--both equally wicked.

If only these "critics" would PAY ATTENTION TO THE STORY:

Hattie McDaniel's character RAN THE HOUSEHOLD, SHE WAS THE WISEST CHARACTER IN THE ENTIRE MOVIE and
on top of it all, SHE WON THE ACADEMY AWARD FOR HER PORTRAYAL AND PERFORMANCE!!
PS Also, I am sorry to see this kind of remark (in bold) here. Both sides are to blame, is that it then? I hope you do not really think that PC-gone-too-far and racism are basically compatible or that both amount to actual fascism.
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostWed Aug 30, 2017 3:06 pm

Okay, this is starting to smell like politics in here, and rule number one is that we are as neutral as Rick Blaine...



Anyway, one thing about this moment is that it's damned hard to get away from political rancor on social media, but we should try and keep this place a refuge from it, a Shangri-La of old movies. So... let's not get into debating the relative merits of sides. If you have something to say about Gone With the Wind, and you really think it hasn't been said, go for it, but let's keep it at an arm's length from politics, and remember that there's nothing but other places to fight about that on the internet, but this isn't one.
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostWed Aug 30, 2017 11:24 pm

Wow, refreshing to see a movie site where the mods don't want it to stink to hell of politics.

Thank you. :)
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostThu Aug 31, 2017 11:07 am

MoviecollectorOH wrote:Wow, refreshing to see a movie site where the mods don't want it to stink to hell of politics.

Thank you. :)


We're still smarting from all those nasty McKinley/William Jennings Bryan posts from last year... :D
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostThu Aug 31, 2017 11:45 am

silentfilm wrote:We're still smarting from all those nasty McKinley/William Jennings Bryan posts from last year... :D


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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostThu Aug 31, 2017 12:12 pm

Rick Lanham wrote:
silentfilm wrote:We're still smarting from all those nasty McKinley/William Jennings Bryan posts from last year... :D


Free Silver!!


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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostThu Aug 31, 2017 5:35 pm

Rick Lanham wrote:
silentfilm wrote:We're still smarting from all those nasty McKinley/William Jennings Bryan posts from last year... :D


Free Silver!!


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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostThu Aug 31, 2017 5:46 pm

as the Title says:
http://www.express.co.uk/comment/column ... son-remake
i believe they also are taking out the Dog's name (and replacing it with a PC name).
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostThu Aug 31, 2017 7:38 pm

Now that one, I understand.
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostThu Aug 31, 2017 8:09 pm

goalieboy82 wrote:
Rick Lanham wrote:
silentfilm wrote:We're still smarting from all those nasty McKinley/William Jennings Bryan posts from last year... :D


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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostFri Sep 01, 2017 3:56 am

goalieboy82 wrote:as the Title says:
http://www.express.co.uk/comment/column ... son-remake" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank
i believe they also are taking out the Dog's name (and replacing it with a PC name).
You mean with a normal name, well, by today's standards anyway, one that wouldn't cause far too much distraction.


That is, it seems wrong to insist at all cost that the name should remain unchanged. Especially since peter jackson will probably mess around with the story anyway, if previous work is anything to go by.
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostFri Sep 01, 2017 8:06 am

I completely agree if they're going to change the dog's name in a remake. I recently re-watched Dam Busters and cringed whenever his name was mentioned. It was downright painful to hear, marring an otherwise almost perfect movie.

Peter Jackson's retort about overzealous fanboys is classic. I imagine if there's one person who has been subjected to near fatal amounts of civilian nitwittery, it's him.
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostFri Sep 01, 2017 8:40 am

oldposterho wrote:I completely agree if they're going to change the dog's name in a remake. I recently re-watched Dam Busters and cringed whenever his name was mentioned. It was downright painful to hear, marring an otherwise almost perfect movie.

Peter Jackson's retort about overzealous fanboys is classic. I imagine if there's one person who has been subjected to near fatal amounts of civilian nitwittery, it's him.

his grave is still there on the base by the way.
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostFri Sep 01, 2017 9:40 am

I look at things like Nitrateville to get away from politics, which I see an overabundance of on Facebook. I also love old cars and have left several groups about them when politics entered into the mix.
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostFri Sep 01, 2017 12:46 pm

oldposterho wrote:Peter Jackson's retort about overzealous fanboys is classic. I imagine if there's one person who has been subjected to near fatal amounts of civilian nitwittery, it's him.
Hmm. I'm not so sure he always knows best. Twice now he has wiped his ass with a favourite book of my childhood, bringing unnecessary "improvements".
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Re: The Dam Bursts: War Officially Declared on Classic Film

PostFri Sep 01, 2017 2:54 pm

I rarely Quote so much text - but it's good to see so much cool common sense.

BOTH sides of the current debate here in the States need to see that there is a VERY great difference between saluting the founder of the Klan in a permanent public display, and the one-time screening of a vintage piece of fiction.

-Craig


Spiny Norman wrote:
Penfold wrote:
silentfilm wrote:I disagree. This is not "war" on classic film. This is a theater group's management listing to its audience. They didn't say that the film would never be programmed again. It just won't be on the schedule next summer. I'm willing to bet that a number of the film series' patrons will request it again and it is back on the schedule in 2019.

Gone With the Wind can still be shown to classic film audiences. The issue of race and the Confederacy is pretty much a open wound right now in this country. The theater has to stay in business and not piss of its audience. I don't think GWTW is that racist compared to many other films from Birth of a Nation through the 1940s. In 2015 the Kansas Silent Film Festival showed Birth of a Nation (1915), but they had a discussion of the racial attitudes afterward, including Kevin Wilmott, an African-American film studies professors from Kansas University. You can't dance around the racism of the film. There were no protests or complaints that I saw.



The "Open Wound Right Now In This Country" is the key phrase here. and Bruce has to be absolutely right. While there are similarities with the BOAN situation, with Charlottesville so recent, showing GWTW now would surely be more akin to showing The Towering Inferno with the Twin Towers still smouldering. No-one is saying not screening it again ever.....just that right now is inappropriate.
Exactly.
I'm glad at least some others saw through the whole thing. In pure isolation, it would be absolute nonsense to blame the film. Or even to stop showing it if it was 'wrong'.
But we don't live in a neutral vacuum. There's a lot of problems right now that are for many linked to confederate symbols. The film might get drawn in. No use pretending that it isn't so.

Under any other circumstance I would have said it was madness and stupidity. It's an overreaction of course for political correctness. An innocent film is the victim. But even so, I squarely blame the racists for this, and certain people silently encouraging them. Specifically, a certain orange toddler turned back the clock, and is in my view responsible for reheating all the tensions that time was slowly healing, making a normal view or a normal debate impossible.



And as you can see from the links posted, the whole story is being misrepresented anyway, to make it into a martyr that it isn't. And guess by which kind of people...
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