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Anne Summers

Films from not that long ago that seem a bit "off" these days

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I watched True Romance for the first time in probably 20 years the other day. While I still thought it stood up well as an entertaining film there were a few moments that I thought would cause a bit of controversy if they happened in a Hollywood movie that was released today. 
The first is Clarence's casual and unironic use of the word "fag" - "I'm not a fag, but if I had to fuck a guy, I'd fuck Elvis". 

The second one is when Clarence asks Alabama to list her dislikes, and her first thought that comes to mind is "Persians", then Clarence laughs in a conspiratorial way, like he agrees its perfectly normal to dislike Iranian people. 

Of course I wouldn't want to see this film, or others written by the same person and well known for use of non-PC language, censored - but I do think its interesting to note where attitudes about what is acceptable have changed. I definitely wouldn't have thought twice about either of those examples 20 years ago. 

I'm sure there are plenty of other examples of this - particularly in the 80s/90s action film genre that clearly ran with the idea that the largest audience demographic would be straight white men. Anyone else done a double-take due to something like this recently?

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There's loads. Probably just about everything in some way. True Romance has way more problems than the ones you mention. 

 

Toy Story 3 actually felt a bit questionable last time I saw it - some of the jokes at Ken's expense are probably homo/trans-phobic to be honest.

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Would he though? The script is the way it is because he's a bit of an arsehole, no? If it changed it would probably be someone else forcing moderation.

 

All that stuff about his treatment of Uma Thurman on set made me reappraise his 'qualities'.

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From the title I thought this thread might be about the way films have looked and felt subtly different since the introduction of digital shooting, colour grading and non-linear editing, and the way that the pace and style of editing has changed over the years. Can we have that discussion too? :P

 

 

This is much further back than the examples you're looking for, but one scene that I rewatched recently that comes across as dubious nowadays is the original Rocky. There's the scene where Adrian and Rocky's courtship is first beginning, and she visits his home for the first time, and she's shy and uncomfortable and wants to leave... and he locks the door and blocks her way. Even with the knowledge that they go on to be one of the solid long-term couples in any popular film series, it still comes across as more threatening than romantic!

 

We could fill the thread with hundreds of movie examples (not just from Bond films!) of women seeming resistant to a man's advances but melting in his arms as soon as he embraces and kisses her. Most of those examples would be from decades ago, but there are probably lots to be found in more recent movies too.

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Two films I thought were really 'woke' when I first saw them were Chasing Amy and Tape. Chasing Amy had an actual lesbian in it and Tape is about a guy accusing another guy of rape. Watching em back now it's amazing how 'male gaze' they feel. So much of the dialogue in Tape is just two guys who see the woman in question as an object, with neither of them actually seeing her or considering her as a person. That may have been the point, but even when she finally gives her own account, so much of it feels like what a man (who wrote it) might imagine a woman to say in that situation. Tape is from 2001, which means that a film I thought was really progressive less than 20 years ago has already dated hugely. 

It might explain why so many older people have so much trouble with no progressive liberals. The programming is so deep. 100 years of cinema of white male heroes, women who need rescuing and violence and revenge being celebrated.

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10 minutes ago, kerraig UK said:


Strangely I don't have any problems with True Romance at all. Clarence grew up with a racist dad (remember his speech about Italians?) and is poor white trash. He would say 'fag' and would laugh at mildly racist jokes. Its true to his character. 

Are we not allowed to enjoy films about flawed characters anymore? Can we only commend films that share our politics? That seems pretty scary to me.

 

 

I think it's that at the time, this wouldn't really have been flagged as a sign of a 'flawed character' for most of us - as that kind of language wasn't really called out then, so when you watch the movie back with modern eyes you notice it more.

 

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12 minutes ago, kerraig UK said:


The Daniel Craig one I saw was probably the rapiest one of all. Especially compared to Brosnan. When he tells that prostitute that he knows all about her life of sexual trauma, then later joins her uninvited in the shower its just about the creepiest thing I've seen in the last 10 years.

 

Also, when he starts sucking that woman's fingers (again, in a shower) after she just witnessed people being brutally murdered.

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11 minutes ago, kerraig UK said:


The Daniel Craig one I saw was probably the rapiest one of all. Especially compared to Brosnan. When he tells that prostitute that he knows all about her life of sexual trauma, then later joins her uninvited in the shower its just about the creepiest thing I've seen in the last 10 years.

 

Yeah that is a fair point.  

 

Edit: As is Delargey’s above.

 

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4 minutes ago, Delargey said:

 

 

I think it's that at the time, this wouldn't really have been flagged as a sign of a flawed character for most of us - it wouldn't have stood out as something as that kind of language wasn't really called out then, so when you watch the movie back with modern eyes you notice it more.

 


Thats definitely fair. We weren't all as empathetic as we are now. Which is a good thing fo society. But it's still not a flaw in the film as the characters are indeed trailer trash. We have to be careful not to be too 'woke' and lose sympathy for characters as soon as they display ignorance. Half the world is ignorant. That doesn't mean they're bad people. As you just said, when True Romance came out we were all more ignorant than we are now.

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22 minutes ago, kerraig UK said:


Thats definitely fair. We weren't all as empathetic as we are now. Which is a good thing fo society. But it's still not a flaw in the film as the characters are indeed trailer trash. We have to be careful not to be too 'woke' and lose sympathy for characters as soon as they display ignorance. Half the world is ignorant. That doesn't mean they're bad people. As you just said, when True Romance came out we were all more ignorant than we are now.

 

Yeah, I don't think the OP is saying it's a flaw in the film, or that characters in films should be censored.

 

It's more about the surprise when you watch something back and think "wow, I used  to think that was entirely normal!"

 

Though, for the record, I thought Bond's creepy, shower fetish was weird the first time I see them.

 

 

 

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44 minutes ago, Delargey said:

Also, when he starts sucking that woman's fingers (again, in a shower) after she just witnessed people being brutally murdered.

 

That Casino Royale scene is (for once) not presented in a sexualised way though; he's genuinely attempting to comfort and reassure Vesper after she was traumatised.

 

Of course it's not a realistic thing for any normal person to do, and it definitely infantilises her (metaphor of a parent kissing their injured child better!). But in the context of "movie reality" if not real life, I think it comes across as genuinely affectionate and tender, especially compared to most other things Bond does - not a weird shower fetish at all! (Unlike the Skyfall shower scene, which is creepy as it's purely there as part of his Bond Girl seduction.)

 

The Casino Royale scene again, for context:

 

 

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I think I misremembered it, in my head, that scene was a prelude to them having sex!

 

I think the attempt of Bond trying to comfort her is an nice idea, but the way they chose to do it is so bafflingly odd that it only comes across as disturbing to me. I think it's because Bond *really* goes for it, like Greg Wallace devouring a starter.

 

 

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Clarence's dad isn't racist though. He's saying the most insulting and offensive thing he can think of to the racist people about to kill him in the way that will be most effective. At least that's how I always took that scene. 

 

RE: Tropic Thunder

 

 

 

You want a real example of highly fucked up then I think Soul Man is on Amazon Prime.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Darwock said:

Would he though? The script is the way it is because he's a bit of an arsehole, no? If it changed it would probably be someone else forcing moderation.

 


Yes, that was my point, I just made it badly! I believe QT would write the same words now as he did then.

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Fast Times At Ridgemont High.

 

Mike Spicoli's tv interview "Those guys are fags!". It's groanworthy.

 

Then again, lots of the Jihn Hughes films have objectionable shit in them : Long Duk Dong? Rapey Nerds?

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I watched Poltergeist for the first time recently and there were a few things in it that were a bit odd. It's heavily implied that the Dad was a nonce and that he was noncing his wife when she was 15 or 16. This might have been a plot point I missed but I think it was meant for the Dads in the audiance to think 'nicccce'.  And there's loads of weird bits with builders in the house leering at the teenage daughter - I think she's meant to be 15 or something. And they're all 'yeah, I'd love a slice of that'. And her parents just laugh and close the curtains. 

 

 

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