Boycotting Ridley Scott movies

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Animalmother
 
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Re: Boycotting Ridley Scott movies

Postby Animalmother » Mon Feb 29, 2016 4:14 pm

Just watched his video about Donald Trump :lol:

Then I watched the one about Televangelists :(

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Re: Boycotting Ridley Scott movies

Postby Wrathbone » Mon Feb 29, 2016 4:42 pm

Praise be.
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Re: Boycotting Ridley Scott movies

Postby Stormbringer » Wed May 04, 2016 11:19 am

And again, BUMP! Sorry guys, I'm just trawling through the old threads that I missed over the past few years!

Okay, so I have two things to say. Firstly, about this whole ethnicity issue....

I'll start by declaring that I mean no personal offence to Achtung Englander; if you want to boycott a film or director for any reason at all -- fine, that's up to you. But, I really don't know why people in general are so up-in-arms about the ethnicity of the casting on this one particular film. Rightly or wrongly, people have been playing the roles of characters from other ethnicities for decades. What is it in particular that offends people this time? So we have Caucasians playing ancient Hebrews and Caucasians playing ancient Egyptians. I'm no expert (and I'm willing to be corrected), but I've gathered that defining the exact ethnicities of those ancient people groups is quite a murky "science". We're talking about 3000+ years of breeding and migration from the time of Ramesses II to the present day. There are various hypothesis put forward by experts on these matters, and the studies are not conclusive. To take a modern day citizen of Egypt to play Ramesses or a modern-day Jew to play Moses is not necessarily going to be an accurate depiction of the historical ethnicities from the period, and if anything it would only be pandering to modern political agendas. Imagine the number of people who would have boycotted the film if an ISRAELI actor had played Moses! I also don't remember anyone complaining about the fact that Russell Crowe, an Australian with "English, German, Irish, Italian, Māori, Norwegian, Scottish, Swedish and Welsh ancestry", was playing a Spaniard in Gladiator!

Secondly, as to Exodus: Gods & Kings itself...

Seeing as how I'm a Bible-thumping maniac these days, I love any big-budget Hollywood production that attempts to retell Bible stories on the big screen. I liked Noah. I liked The Last Temptation of Christ and I really liked The Passion of the Christ. Unlike other Bible-thumping maniacs, however, I don't get upset when a biblically-inspired film deviates from, elaborates, or "re-imagines" the original text. I think this is an absurd position to take. Hollywood, not being a religious organisation, is not obliged or expected to make 100% accurate portrayals of Biblical narratives. If you want to find out what happens in the Bible, read the Bible. Films are only for entertainment. Obviously.

Personally, I love Bible-stories. And, for the most part, I love Ridley Scott's filmography. I admit that none of his "historical" epics in recent times have ever lived up to Gladiator, but Scott has a certain unique visual style which I have always adored. Thus, I was expecting to enjoy Exodus. And you know what? I did. It had many weaknesses, which I've also come to expect from Scott these days. Most of them, I believe, are simply that he does not seem to be able to effectively tell a story in two hours. I don't know much at all about the film industry, but it seems Scott always finds himself bowing to the will of studios and butchering his own films. In the past he's always managed to counteract this in the long-run by releasing his famous 'Director's Cuts', which I've always enjoyed waiting for, but apparently we're not going to get one of those for Exodus. This is highly regrettable to me, as apparently the original, non-theatrical version is some four hours long. Now that is a viewing experience I would love to have.
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Re: Boycotting Ridley Scott movies

Postby Achtung Englander » Wed May 04, 2016 1:47 pm

The same reasons why Asians (from the Orient) are pissed off that Tilda Swinton is cast to play an Asian in the new Doctor Strange film. Now I love Swinton but I do not see why she was cast. Actually I know exactly why she was cast. Hollywood is run by white people and their target audience will be predominately for white people. The whole racism thing during the Oscars is testament to this fact. The reality is whenever I go to LA or New York I see black and Hispanic people every where but in film - they are still the token black guy. It really still is a thing. Arabs are now scared to speak Arabic on planes in case they get thrown off. In the States there have been multiple news stories of innocent Arab people getting victimised simply because they are Arab. It is like saying every European is a Nazi because Hitler was a Nazi.

The fact is I am getting seriously pissed bored of seeing the same 20 actors getting almost all the roles. The same faces all the time. In a continent that has over 300 million Arabs Ridley Scott could not find authentic Egyptian looking person to lead the film ?. So no one there gets a break because all we see are the same faces.

Once again I post this as it sums it up perfectly



I know for you it is not a big thing, but the problem of casting real non white people as white really is fucked up.
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Re: Boycotting Ridley Scott movies

Postby Stormbringer » Wed May 04, 2016 3:58 pm

Achtung Englander wrote:In a continent that has over 300 million Arabs Ridley Scott could not find authentic Egyptian looking person to lead the film ?


This is my point. Modern Arabs are not the same ethnicity as ancient Egyptians. What is an "authentic" Egyptian-looking person? Nobody knows. We're speaking about Nineteenth Dynasty ancient Egypt -- 1200 BC -- not modern day Egypt. There have been so many migrations and invasions of Egypt since those ancient times. To get a modern day Arab to play an ancient Egyptian is just as inauthentic as a white person would be in the role. There is no "authentic-looking" ancient Egyptian. Like many other people-groups of the ancient world, it is an unknown and highly disputed historical ethnicity.

See Ancient Egyptian Race Controversy


In regards to the John Oliver video:

The way that the video presented the casting in Exodus -- "...that was a guy from Australia and a guy from England, pretending to be from Egypt, a country in AFRICA" showed a map of MODERN Africa, with each country coloured the same on the map as if there is some kind of cultural and ethnic hegemony between African states. That is not true today and it was even less true in the ancient world, when most of those states did not exist. Also, the states of England and Australia did not exist in 1200 BC, so it's a complete joke to try and criticise the nationality of the actors as being at fault. You may remember that Arnold Vosloo, an ethnically "white" man, played the role of the Egyptian Pharaoh Imhotep in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. Well, guess what, Arnold Vosloo is actually guy from South Africa -- a country in AFRICA -- pretending to be an Egyptian, a country in AFRICA. Nationality is not the issue.

Yes, it is true that white people have played characters from other ethnicities throughout cinematic and theatrical history, with some cases being more ridiculous than others. That being the case, maybe you should just stop watching Hollywood films altogether?
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Re: Boycotting Ridley Scott movies

Postby Achtung Englander » Wed May 04, 2016 5:43 pm

no I like movies and some of the churn from Hollywood can be good, at times, but your argument really is not justifiable. To ascertain that ancient Egypt or Rome or Greece have no hallmarks of modern day nationhood and then cast someone who is even further afield and has recent heritage that is white European holds no wash. In the wiki link you sent there are augments the ancient Egyptians were black, which makes the casting of whites even more ridiculous. You are making your case that "anything goes" because we just do not know what people looked like in the past sound utterly ridiculous when we are talking about a region of the world that is bathed in sun all year making skin colour dark. They even darkened the skin of the actors in Scott's film to stay consistent with this fact.

I really don't care about Exodus: Gods and Kings because, rightly so, it tanked. What I do take issue with is the need to cast the same white people, to play historical people who look nothing like them, on the justification that the box office will only respond to names and faces we know. In that way new talent is stifled and what we get is something that is even further from the truth. Its all entertainment, one can shrug, never mind authenticity. By the way finding "Arab looking" extras and background people....not a problem at all

your go..
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Re: Boycotting Ridley Scott movies

Postby Mantis » Wed May 04, 2016 6:46 pm

Achtung Englander wrote:What I do take issue with is the need to cast the same white people, to play historical people who look nothing like them, on the justification that the box office will only respond to names and faces we know. In that way new talent is stifled and what we get is something that is even further from the truth. Its all entertainment, one can shrug, never mind authenticity.


So how would you react if they cast different white people in big roles? Suddenly Hollywood is flooded with excellent new acting talent, but they're all white.

Are you sure your argument isn't so much the poor representation of ethnic minorities, but more just the fact that you're bored of all the top Hollywood actors?

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Re: Boycotting Ridley Scott movies

Postby Achtung Englander » Wed May 04, 2016 7:01 pm

er...no..it would have been prudent to have cast Middle Eastern actors for the main parts in the film that is set in the Middle East
The fact I am arguing that we see the same faces is epidemic of the fact that Hollywood system is really controlled by a select few who are utterly risk adverse. I understand their predicament because their motive is the bottom line and nothing else but that does not make it right

It does not bother me that much because I am pretty selective on what I watch anyway. Racism is such a hot topic at the best of times and there are many arguments to claim that Hollywood is actually better in diversification than other parts of the media or in industries. What I take umbrage to is the feeling that they need to cast white people in roles that predominately should not be white. It is not even a subtle argument but one that is pretty simple to understand. We are no longer in the 1950s when such a thing was the norm. We are now in 2016 and it is still happening. Let us go forward and recognise that there is talent out there, real talent that never gets the chance, because attitudes are stuck in the past
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Re: Boycotting Ridley Scott movies

Postby Stormbringer » Wed May 04, 2016 8:35 pm

Achtung Englander wrote:In the wiki link you sent there are augments the ancient Egyptians were black, which makes the casting of whites even more ridiculous.


Of course there are arguments, but there's no conclusion -- that's the point. There are also arguments that they were Caucasian, or even Asian. You'll notice that one scientist tested the actual mummified corpse of Ramesses II himself and found evidence that he was of fair skin with red curly hair. None of these claims can be absolutely verified, so I don't think it's really worth getting upset about.

Image
Contemporary carving of Ramesses II

Image
Actual corpse of Ramesses II -- he lost a bit of weight.

Achtung Englander wrote:You are making your case that "anything goes" because we just do not know what people looked like in the past sound utterly ridiculous when we are talking about a region of the world that is bathed in sun all year making skin colour dark. They even darkened the skin of the actors in Scott's film to stay consistent with this fact.


Their skin was tanned. Fair skin tans in sun-all-year-round locations; the sun doesn't change one's ethnicity.
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Re: Boycotting Ridley Scott movies

Postby Achtung Englander » Wed May 04, 2016 8:51 pm

OK

....Still bored of seeing the same actors
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Re: Boycotting Ridley Scott movies

Postby Achtung Englander » Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:30 am

interesting analysis

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Re: Boycotting Ridley Scott movies

Postby Subway Diet » Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:01 pm

I'll always wince at that Muppet waggle he does during his introduction.

He harps on a bit about casting roles for fictional characters. And, in those cases, creators are pretty much free to put whomever they want in those roles. Want to reinterpret a character from a comic book when adapting it for a movie? Go for it! If anything, that'd be a good chance to up inclusivity in film casting. Also, "localising" an existing film isn't exactly white washing either.

It's when they're playing fast and loose with actual people and races that I'll start to roll my eyes.

I'm also not sure what the end of his "You've done it before" line of reasoning was.
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Re: Boycotting Ridley Scott movies

Postby Stormbringer » Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:05 pm

I think he does a good job highlighting the inconsistency of folks who attack particular films for so-called white-washing while happily letting other examples slide.
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Re: Boycotting Ridley Scott movies

Postby Subway Diet » Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:47 am

Well, we're all fallible. So long as the conversation is taking place, I'm not going to hold it against anyone for not demanding Aladdin be re-dubbed with region appropriate actors.
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Re: Boycotting Ridley Scott movies

Postby Nethlyn » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:14 pm

Stormbringer wrote:In the past he's always managed to counteract this in the long-run by releasing his famous 'Director's Cuts', which I've always enjoyed waiting for, but apparently we're not going to get one of those for Exodus. This is highly regrettable to me, as apparently the original, non-theatrical version is some four hours long. Now that is a viewing experience I would love to have.


It's true that more recent Scott films tend to leapfrog with the director's cuts now so American Gangster, Robin Hood (extended straight to DVD), The Counsellor and now the Martian (+10mins) all got director's cuts in the old style and the films surrounding them didn't.

I would still Google the 3D version of Exodus (or High Def Digest, somewhere like that) and find out just how much deleted scenes footage you get, if it's like Prometheus you'll get a decent chunk of footage it will just stay apart from the theatrical cut of the film. You won't get all four hours but check that version out, waiting for the price to crash on it as like you said, you can just read the book in the meantime. :)
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