Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Odin's beard

I forgot to mention I saw Borat this weekend, which is pretty hysterical: the moments that truly hit are brilliant. I think the movie is being over-praised, if you can call it that, as a shocking revelation of American small-mindedness, hypocrisy, etc., but in general I was surprised by how patient and kind most everyone is with this madman. Sure, the old bigot at the rodeo advises Borat to shave off his moustache because it makes him look like a terrorist and then steamrolls on to his plans with dealing with "the gays." But that's hardly a surprise, given the man's age and upbringing. And the rodeo crowd loudly applauds Borat's exhortations on Bush's "war of terror," but quickly turns on him as he grows ever more provocative, booing him heartily. The crowd in the redneck Arizona bar sings along with Borat's "Throw the Jew Down the Well," but most seem bemused, like they're aware something is up. One woman, though, does appear completely into it. It's those moments that carry the barbed zing of the film. As for the rest of the movie, it's relentlessly scatological, energetic, and just plain funny.




The first rejection of my memoir yesterday. Woe!


A. D. said...

Is your memoir finished, or are you sending out chapters?

bp said...

I think a lot of the reaction to Borat is overstated. There are certainly a number of moments where people show their ignorance, but more common than that was people showing how far they will go to seem polite. When he asks the Humvee dealer about the "pussy magnet," for example, or when he asks the gun dealer for a gun to kill Jews -- it's not that those salesman endorse what he's saying, they're just kind of being excessively, nervously polite to a foreigner whom they assume to be a bit backward. It IS pretty ridiculous that anyone would actually believe that in Kazakstan that keep women in cages or any of the other outrageous things he describes, but cluelessness is a far lesser crime than bigotry, which too many of the people in that movie seem to be. (However, the guy who ran the rodeo was pretty clearly a hateful, messed up guy.)

If I were going to marry Pamela Anderson, I would have gone about it pretty much the same way. But with a Hefty bag (cheaper, easier to hose off).