Oh, big city critics loved them some “Borat,” which spent 95% if its screen time manipulating, editing and boiling down average, working class, not-bothering-anyone Americans (and Romanian peasants) into the worst possible caricature imaginable. How they laughed and found genius and insight into the machinated savaging of everyday folks just minding their own business. But listen to some of them squeal and squawk now that the satire is turned on someone other than us. Here’s a sampling:San Francisco Chronicle:
Imagine if a white comedian went into the Deep South, disguised in a very convincing blackface and started acting like Stepin Fetchit.
Consequently, the character’s gayness reads false. Baron Cohen needs to spend more time in certain gay bars if he wants to learn how to do “flamboyant” and “fabulous.” It’s a ghost of the real thing.
The New Yorker:
You can’t honestly defend your principled lampooning of homophobia when nine out of every ten images that you project onscreen comply with the most threadbare cartoons of gay behavior.
New York Post:
Not to get all PC on you, but the straight, outrageously dressed Baron Cohen camps it up in what has legitimately been criticized as swishy gay equivalent of blackface.
So here’s the lesson: Preying on unsuspecting everyday people, misleading them, manipulating them, pushing them until you get the reaction you desire and then editing them into something even worse, is a-okay. But… An obvious, over-the-top satire of gay men crosses the line.
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Saturday, July 11, 2009
From Big Hollywood: