It’s A Funny Business: A Case Study In Comedy

For all the passion and skill and talent and blood and sweat and tears and risk that producers bring to the mix the one most often looked over yet is the most important is that of business person. Because when the lights go out, the talent and crew go home the business of film and TV really starts. Like all businesses the goal is to make money. It is something that ‘creatives’ don’t like to talk about because their driving force is the ‘art’ or ‘craft’. In the pilot of ‘Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip’, Aaron Sorkin writes ‘…there’s a struggle between art and commerce. Well there’s always been a struggle between art and commerce and now I’m telling you art is getting its ass kicked.’ In the scene the producer of a Saturday Night Live style sketch comedy show angrily laments the way in which the network panders to their conservative, vocal, right-wing, Christian minority audience in an effort to not offend anyone while simultaneously limiting the breadth of creative input the show requires to be appreciated by the masses. Continue reading “It’s A Funny Business: A Case Study In Comedy”

A bleep Victory for bleep Common bleep Sense

Recent bleep decision by the US Appeals Court that states bleep ‘fleeting expletive’ on live TV is NOT an bleep offence is a major slap in the bleep face for the very vocal, highly bleep visible, ultra bleep conservative, increasingly bleep minority, Christian bleep right wing movement of American politics. While this article focuses on the bleep impact upon bleep reality television the major impact is actually in the presentation of bleep live broadcast news. In debate speak, it’s not an bleep offence to broadcast a designated bleep expletive word.

The problem was dealt with extremely bleep well in the drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip when a fictitious TV broadcaster has a bleep massive fine levied against them by the bleep Federal bleep Communications bleep Commission because a bleep soldier swears while being interviewed under bleep fire in bleep Iraq.

The matter deals with the bleep right to free bleepbleep speech and thus the censorship of bleep news. It may seem minor on the bleep surface but has bleep massive implications for broadcast bleep media.

If we had the same bleep laws in bleep Australia, ABC2 wouldn’t have to bleep bleep out a lot of The Daily Show with John Stewart or The Colbert Report when replayed here. I’d bleep actually be bleep able to understand what the bleep they’re talking about instead of having all the gags punctuated by bleep bleep.

Salo – The Most Disturbing Movie Ever Made

Salo: 120 Days of Sodam is not a new movie. Released in 1975 it tells a story based on a novel by the Marquis de Sade. It’s like this; WWII is fast coming to an end in Italy and four old buddies think they’ll go out with a bit of a party. There’s The Bishop, The Magistrate, The Duke and The President (of what, I’m not sure). What better way celebrate the end of the war than to round up all the teenagers in the town by force and subject them to the most inhumane and sexually depraved acts a mind could ever conceive. This movie is like a roller coaster without the ups; it just goes down. It is so gut wrenching that I had to turn away as the final act was carried out by The President upon a young man while The Bishop looks on… and masterbates.

Salo was banned in Australia – twice. First in 1975 and again in 1998 after being approved in 1993. It’s just been re-approved for DVD distribution in Australia and not everyone is happy about that. Especially the Christians. And for the first time, I don’t think they’re wrong.

I can’t remember exactly when I saw it (some where between 93 and 96) but I will never forget it. Two friends and I had discovered the Red Eye Cinema in Surry Hills. It made for an artsy change to the mega cinemas up on George Street. A couple of weeks earlier we had seen Andy Warhol’s ‘Frankenstein’ in 3D and that was hugely entertaining with livers and hearts being dangled right in front of your face and blood squirting onto the person next to you. Brilliant ’70s schlock. Salo however, makes Tarantino look like he isn’t even trying.

Salo is not entertaining nor thought provoking. It’s a demonstration of how to make a movie to shock. Obviously the blood from the stabbing, shooting, raping, murdering, butchering and slaughtering is not real. Nor any of the other activities just mentioned. The DVD versions comes with 3 hours of additional material as sort of a rationale for the movie. I haven’t seen it so I can’t comment but it sounds to me more like a 3 hour excuse when it should really be a 3 hour apology.

Please don’t see this movie. Your life will be complete enough without adding it to your 1000-films-to-see-before-you-die list.