“Forgotten Hollywood”- When Hollywood and History Collide..

Posted on December 17, 2014 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

   The premise of the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series is that Hollywood history and American history intersect in what I metaphorically call Hollywood-and-Vine moments. The year 2014 will be remembered for its holiday season as Sony Pictures pulled the plug on a film release due to cyber and personal threats on our freedom to make satirical comment, and even, to simply attend a movie with your family on Christmas. The cyber threats were quite real, laying waste to Sony Pictures Entertainment as they were internet hacked. First-run movies and employee’s private emails were illegally distributed to the public. The implied 9-11 style security threats on movie theaters remains conjecture as of this writing.

   Under the threat of terrorist attacks and with the nation’s largest multiplex chains pulling the film from its screens, Sony Pictures took the unprecedented step of pulling the December 25th release of The Interview. Sony cancelled the motion picture release in light of the decision by the majority of exhibitors not to show the film. AMC Entertainment, Regal Cinemas, and Cinemark Theatres — the three top theater chains in North America — announced they were postponing any showings of the comedy about a television host tasked by the CIA to assassinate North Korea leader Kim Jong-un. The cancellation, announced Wednesday, was a startling blow to the Hollywood studio shaken by leaks and intimidation over the last several weeks by an anonymous group calling itself Guardians of Peace.

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   Sony Pictures, which distributes much of Columbia Pictures classic film library, had acquired Lorimar Studios, previously on the MGM lot in Culver City. Many in the industry saw this brazen movie lot acquisition as an expansive purchase, like vultures picking at the dead bones of a formally mighty creature. With recent e-mail revelations from the moguls who run Sony regarding negative personal opinions about President Obama and actors, such as Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio, little capital sympathy exists from insiders in Hollywood.

   Yet, the bigger picture is clear. Sony’s announcement was met with widespread distress across Hollywood and throughout many other realms that followed on what amounted to one of the most significant hacking attacks on a corporation. With a modest budget of $40 million, The Interview was predicted to earn around $30 million in its opening weekend. Should the film not be released theatrically, Sony would also lose tens of millions in marketing costs already incurred. The Asian market had previously cancelled the release of the flick, another massive monetary blow to the movie studio.

The_Great_Dictator   Duck_Soup   Dr__Strangelove_poster

   Cinematic political satire has a long and rich tradition. French and Italian filmmakers have never shied away from such drama. Duck Soup, The Great Dictator, To Be or Not To Be, Dr. Strangelove, and Fail Safe are noteworthy examples of classic cinema that has tackled the notion about rogue-countries-doing-unsettling-things-against-an-oppressed-people.

   Our freedoms have been compromised in a startling way. Newt Gingrich tweeted:  America had lost its first battle in the war of cyber terrorism. A former senior national security official in the George W. Bush administration commented that Sony made the wrong decision. SAG Award nominee Steve Carell called it:  A sad day for creative expression. Jimmy Kimmel also surmised:  (Sony’s decision) validates terrorist actions and sets a terrifying precedent. These are not over-statements, in my estimation.

Kim_Jong-un_sketch  The truth… America’s long running military conflict remains in tact. The Korean War began in 1950, and it never really concluded. It has been seen as both a civil war and a proxy conflict in the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. While not directly committing forces, Soviets have provided strategic planning, weapons, and material aid to North Korean and Chinese armies. The United States keeps a military presence in the area as an effort to uphold the armistice between South and North Korea.

   In the final analysis, the ultimate power of making movies remains viable on all levels of global culture and society. Let’s hope this art-form will always be a courageous way of individual expression. The Sony Pictures decision to buckle from bully threats should be the exception, not the rule.   KIM JONG-UN —–>

   I hope I never fear the opportunity to express my opinion over this or any other controversial issue.

   Just sayin’

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 at 5:06 pm and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.


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