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"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."

- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

"Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."

- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"

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Tuesday, 23 March 2004

Topic: World View

A note from France regarding Hollywood. Mel is not welcome in Paris?

This from the Hollywood Reporter - that's the trade newspaper out here, not me. And they are somehow associated with Reuters. I am not.

See French theater chain labels Mel's film "fascist"
Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Here's the deal.

PARIS (Hollywood Reporter) - One of France's leading independent cinema groups has refused to program Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," which it has branded "fascist propaganda."

"I refused to program the film in my network of theaters," MK2 president Marin Karmitz said in a written statement forwarded to The Hollywood Reporter. "I have always fought against fascism, notably through my exhibition activity. For me, 'Passion' is a film of fascist propaganda."

Karmitz's MK2, which also is involved in film distribution, runs one of Paris' leading art house circuits with 58 screens across 10 cinemas.
Well that's not nice.

We are told that Mel's film is to be released March 31 in France by Quinta Distribution, the new firm of Franco-Tunisian producer Tarak Ben Ammar. Ben Ammar's Paris office declined comment on Karmitz's view of the film.

We are also told that Karmitz, also president of the French Federation of Distributors, said Gibson's movie turns "violence and barbarity into a spectacle. For two hours, you see a man being tortured, nothing else." And it seems he goes on to say that the movie is revisionist in the way history is portrayed, with the sound of blows and cries displacing speech.

Finally we get this. "Lastly, given the representation of the Jews, anti-Semitism is the third element of this fascist ideology. But in America, the Jewish lobbies made a mistake by basing the debate solely on this point."

Finally we learn that Karmitz thinks it's actually okay that Mel's film will be shown in France. He thinks people should think about it. "Because, behind this 'Passion' . . . you can glimpse a whole internationale of religious fundamentalism, a martyrology based on violence, contempt for the body and hatred for the human element."

But the idea is to let this Franco-Tunisian fellow release it to his theaters. Karmitz won't touch it.

Oh my.

Now this last weekend Mel's film was finally displaced from the top of the box office receipts list - for the first time in weeks it's no longer number one. "Dawn of the Dead," a remake of George Romero's 1978 film, grabbed the top slot - $27.3 million worth of tickets, according to studio estimates issued on Sunday. That's about twice what Mel's film took in. As you might know, like the first version, "Dawn of the Dead," is set largely in a deserted shopping mall where a small group of frightened but really nice folks must defend themselves from masses of bloodthirsty subhumans infected by a mysterious virus. It's kind of a companion piece to Mel's film, without the Jews.

Will Karmitz distribute this second film, V.O., in France? No word on that.

Posted by Alan at 08:38 PST | Post Comment | Permalink

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