Daily Archives: November 3, 2010

Surely the facts are of no interest whatsoever to Richard Cohen and Tina Brown

“The Academy’s honorary Oscar for anti-Semitic French director Jean-Luc Godard is more than a kerfuffle—it’s an outrage. Richard Cohen on how Hollywood, supposedly controlled by Jews, could be so cowardly.”

“Jean-Luc Godard, the maker of over-praised films and the utterer of under-reported anti-Semitic statements, is set to receive an honorary Oscar. “

Right from the start Coen displays the smug ignorance that has made him so popular with mass media bottom-feeders like Brown.

Across the course of his long and multi-faceted career Jean-Luc Godard has had a grand total of three box office hits — Breathless, Contempt and Pierrot le Fou. The last mentioned was barely seen in the U.S. and Contempt was not a hit here at all. The rest of his films earned precious ittle money and were rarely received with anything other than scorn, outside of a very small group of supporters.

“This has produced a bit of a kerfuffle, enough to catch the attention of The New York Times, which quotes the Academy vice president and governor Phil Alden Robinson, the writer of Field of Dreams, to defend the selection by, as The Times put it, arguing that “the art and the artist are separate.” Robinson said, “D.W. Griffith got an honorary Oscar in 1926 and the man was horribly racist.” Indeed he was.
But so was the rest of America at the time. Racial segregation was then both legal and ubiquitous, and casual racist utterances drew no attention at all, certainly not rebuke.”

Cohen’s complete indifference to white racism is typical of his class. Key to it is the notion that racism is primarily a verbal expression. The history of slavery, and even more important the impact of Jim Crow is to be discreetly elided as mere “bad manners.”

“One needs only to look at the pictures Hollywood made in that era to gauge the mood of the nation—everything from Charlie Chan’s ridiculous chauffeur, that racist caricature Birmingham Brown (Mantan Moreland), to the naïve film depiction of Margaret Mitchell’s historical atrocity, Gone with the Wind. Just listen to the original lyric of “Without a Song”: “A darkie’s born, but he’s no good no how, without a song.” The song was written in 1929, but it was recorded by a later-chagrined Frank Sinatra in the 1940s. Sinatra, no racist, later changed the lyric. It endures as a masterpiece.”

No it does not. It’s passable at best. Even with The Chairman in charge.

“I doubt that a whole lot of white people protested Griffith’s award. (Black people didn’t matter.) More to the point, Mr. Robinson, is whether Griffith would get the award today. His gifts as a filmmaker are no less apparent and, if anything, he has gotten increased recognition as the ur director—the man who showed everyone how it could be done.”

Griffith showed the Ku Klux Klan how it could be done. That terrorist group was on its last legs when The Birth of a Nation revived its fortunes — and made lynching fashionable.

Were aspersions cast on Griffith’s Oscar there’s no question that Andrew Breitbart and his cabal would loudly object.

“My guess is that Hollywood would not even consider such an award. After all, there is no way to give an award to a body of work. It has to go to a person, and the person in this case was a raw racist, an admirer of the Ku Klux Klan. I think there would be protests.”

And you would doubtless object to them as an attack on “Freedom of Speech.”

“How is Godard different? He has called the producer Pierre Braunberger a “filthy Jew”, lauded the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics (“before every Olympics finale, an image of Palestine [refugee] camps should be broadcast”), and several times equated Zionism with Nazism—the product of a mind pitted with the syphilitic hate we call anti-Semitism.”

Needless to say, context is all. Godard’s remarks re Braunberger were said in jest. His feelings about the Palestinian refugee camps would be shared by many more people were information concerning it were not embargoed by our mythically “Free Press.”

Here, for example, is is Jean Genet’s report on an Israeli massacre known of everywhere but the U.S.

“In his case, though, his Jew hatred is camouflaged as anti-Zionism, which is a respectable enough ideology but which is often the snowball that contains the solid rock of anti-Semitism. (Much of this material can be found on the Forward.com and Jewishjournal.com.)”

Here’s a link to the article that kick-started this Zionist jihaad.

And here’s my compatriot Bill Krohn’s response:

“The Academy referred Tom Tugend to my pan of Everything Is Cinema for his cover article on Jean-Luc Godard, but he seems to have missed a few things. For one, the Godard family neither collaborated nor sympathized with the Nazis — they actually hid a member of the Resistance who had fled to Switzerland. Your readers can find my review of Brody’s book at www.cinemascope.com/cs38/feat_krohn_brody.html.

As for your inflammatory cover, it’s a disgrace. Here is something Bernard-Henri Levy wrote recently on his blog, “La regle du jeu”: “It’s a problem that Godard’s relation to The Jew is complex, contradictory, ambiguous, as is his support at the start of the 70s, in Ici et ailleurs, for example, of the most extreme Palestinian points of view …. But to go from that to ‘Godard the anti-semite’ and to attempt to discredit the whole oeuvre on the basis of this supposed anti-semitism — a maneuver that is more and more common in this era of art- and thought-police — does an injury to a considerable artist and at the same time plays with a word, ‘anti-semitism,’ that should be used, I repeat, only with the greatest prudence.” My translation.

Respectfully,

Bill Krohn”

“Hollywood, though, is supposedly Jewland, this place of mansions and pools and shiksa goddesses where Jews are secure and powerful.”

“Not only can they afford to ignore the quaint anti-Semitism of the talented, but some of them are becoming more and more uncomfortable with the antics of Israel—its occupation of the West Bank, the occasional incursion into Lebanon or Gaza, the role of the ridiculous and embarrassing ultra-religious, dressed like a blessedly forgotten grandparent. They not only get all confused about how to separate the artist from his ideas (My God! The blacklist again!), but they do not want to seem too favorable to Israel, what with its barbed wire and black hats. They are cautious. Such caution is called cowardice.”

You want cowardice? HERE’s cowardice!

“Just as no one in the film industry could look a black person in the eye after giving an award to Griffith, so it should be just as hard to honor Godard and look history in the eye.”

I have yet to meet a white racist who has ever had one bit of difficulty in looking me in the eye. Hollywood films that deal honestly with white racism, however are as rare as hen’s death. The best of them all is —

“The victims of the Holocaust whom he has cruelly demeaned—“basically, there were six million kamikazes”—did not merely vanish. They were murdered, usually shot, by people who often said something like “filthy Jew” themselves
Given his utter disregard for the Academy and his notorious crankiness, it’s not likely that Godard will show up Nov. 13 to receive his award. If, though, he does, it’s appalling that anyone else would.”

What’s truly appalling is your stupidity, for which I have nothing but contempt.

I have embedded all six trailers as chances of of a U.S. release for Godard’s masterpiece are less than zero.