Friday, November 04, 2005

Hollywood Republicans.....could it be?

Brian Anderson, author of South Park Republicans has an article in the New City Journal this quarter about conservatives in Hollywood. It is a detailed and excellent read.

Here's just a part of it that intrigued me:
The size of the market for such conservative films first grew clear in the late sixties and seventies, when Hollywood nearly stopped making them. Swept up in the era’s revolutionary spirit, the industry junked its decades-old production code—which mandated respect for marriage, the military, and religion, and forbade cussin’ and nudity—and went in for movies geared to “a rebellious generation . . . challenging every cherished tenet of American society,” as leftist film scholars Seth Cagin and Philip Dray approvingly put it. Production-code-era Hollywood hadn’t ignored the darker side of human existence, but even its hardest-boiled noir films weren’t anything like this. The countercultural movies of “New Hollywood”—such as Arthur Penn’s violent, criminal-glorifying Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Robert Altman’s cynical antiwar comedy M.A.S.H. (1970), Hal Ashby’s sordid paean to the sexual revolution Shampoo (1975), and Martin Scorcese’s urban nightmare Taxi Driver (1976)—wowed critics, who shared their anti-establishment and anti-American attitudes.

But moviegoers turned up their noses. Weekly film attendance in 1967, the first year after Hollywood dumped the production code, plummeted to 17.8 million, from 38 million the year before (television had already eroded moviegoing from its late-1940s peak of 90 million a week). “In a single one-year period,” Medved notes, “more than half the movie audience disappeared—by far the largest one-year decline in the history of the motion picture business.” That audience then hovered around 20 million for the next three decades, despite a growing U.S. population.

There’s no mystery why so many stay home. Still dominated by countercultural types, Hollywood keeps churning out “edgy,” envelope-pushing movies—more than half of its films receive R ratings, for example—and Americans keep giving them thumbs-down, as the correlation of profit and ratings shows. Only five of the 50 top-grossing movies of all time have R ratings, and 13 of the top 100. A big 2005 Dove Foundation study examined the 3,000 most widely distributed Hollywood movies from 1989 through 2003 in each ratings category. It found PG- and PG-13-rated films between three and four times more profitable on average than R-rated ones—and G films, like this year’s hit nature documentary, March of the Penguins, more profitable still. The average R movie loses $6.9 million, the study showed; the average PG movie made nearly $30 million; the typical G movie made over $70 million. And a Christian Film and Television Commission study of the box-office receipts of the top 250 movies over the last three years found that films expres- sing a strong traditional moral message, whatever their ratings, earned four to seven times as much as movies pushing a left-wing cultural agenda.

Hollywood owes its best recent years—2002 and 2003, when it cracked the 30 million ticket mark again for the first time since 1966—largely to the massive box-office success of a handful of conservative, family-friendly movies, including the first two Lord of the Rings installments, Finding Nemo, and the low-budget smash My Big Fat Greek Wedding, virtually an ethnic Father Knows Best. The non-R movies draw more children to the theaters, as you’d expect, and more moviegoers 40 and up, too—their parents. “The largest consumer segment in America is mainstream families with traditional values,” emphasizes Dove chairman Dick Rolfe. National Association of Theater Owners head John Fithian concurs: “Family values sell tickets.”
Heh. So Hollywood liberals are stupid about economics too.

Actually last weekend was the Liberty Film Festival. A festival showcasing movies and documentaries with conservative themes. It was covered by
Govindini characterizes “conservative” movies today as being something more than just political statements on screen, but rather films containing humanisitic stories, characters, and scenarios. Humanism, she says, is primarily what is lacking in today’s nihilistic entertainment culture, and this deficit is most likely a major contributing factor in the recent box office slump. Audiences connect with stories with which they can relate – stories with characters that face moral challenges, emotional struggles, and immense physical pain that they overcome in the end. These are uplifting films that can make people love their country and each other when they leave the theater. Take the 1997 hit “Titanic,” for example. Crowds flocked to see the 3-hour epic 5, 10, even 20 times, and it wasn’t for the visual effects. It was for the love story and the deep personal connection that everyone felt with Jack and Rose.

Humanistic films dominated Hollywood since the birth of the studios, which, in case you weren’t aware, were entirely founded and operated by Jewish, conservative republicans, from Louis B. Mayer to Jack Warner. In fact, the majority of classic Hollywood was dominated by conservative republicans who directed and starred in many of the films that you and I adore from that era – John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Frank Capra, John Ford, Cary Grant, Barbara Stanwyck, Alfred Hitchcock, and Cecil B. DeMille to name a few.
There's a reason the old movies are the best. I personally cannot wait for Chronicles Of Narnia to come out. A movie that you might want to check out when it hits DVD is The Great Raid. It recieved very little press and some bad reviews because it had "military heros"....shocking!