If you’ve seen Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, you may have noticed something a little weird about the semi-Biblical, semi-apocalyptic cast of the movie: they’re all white. Even the extras.
In an interview with The Higher Calling, Noah screenwriter Ari Handel spoke about the reasoning behind the lack of racial diversity in the cast.
“From the beginning, we were concerned about casting, the issue of race. What we realized is that this story is functioning at the level of myth, and as a mythical story, the race of the individuals doesn’t matter. They’re supposed to be stand-ins for all people. Either you end up with a Bennetton ad or the crew of the Starship Enterprise. You either try to put everything in there, which just calls attention to it, or you just say, ‘Let’s make that not a factor, because we’re trying to deal with everyman.’ Looking at this story through that kind of lens is the same as saying, ‘Would the ark float and is it big enough to get all the species in there?’ That’s irrelevant to the questions because the questions are operating on a different plane than that; they’re operating on the mythical plane.”
In summary, white people are stand-ins “for all people,” and no other race could possibly qualify for “everyman” status. Ari Handel’s reasoning is that the only way to dispense with the issue of racism is to remove everyone who isn’t white. Asking what happened to all the other races is akin to nitpicking about whether the arc would float or not. It’s just silly, OK? “The race of individuals doesn’t matter,” which is why they made absolutely sure that all of those individuals were white. Or something.
Unintentionally, Handel managed to illustrate everything that’s wrong with the ongoing attitude towards casting actors of color in major Hollywood movies. White people are the norm, and everyone else is just a distraction. God forbid anyone attempt to be as diverse as the cast of the Star Trek, which debuted in 1966 and included a grand total of two non-white characters.
Who really benefits from the pink ribbon campaigns: the cause or the company? In showing the real story of breast cancer and the lives of those who fight it, this film reveals the co-opting of what marketing experts have labeled a “dream cause.”
Everyone should take the time to watch the documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc.
Watch it on
Youtube (for now…) (x)
Really, a very well researched, fascinating and powerful documentary. It’s especially horrifying/interesting when they discuss how the breast cancer movement became de-radicalized and divorced from its feminist and queer roots. One of my favorites and I highly recommend.
Asked by Anonymous
the Triplets of Belleville is about an elderly woman searching for her son who was kidnapped in the middle of a Tour de France race. It’s largely free of dialogue, but the sound effects and such are wonderful. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature—it lost to Finding Nemo.
A Cat in Paris is about a young girl and her cat who discover mysteries in the course of one night. It was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature, but it lost to Rango.
Persepolis is based on an autobiographical graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi about her early life in Iran. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, but it lost to Ratatouille.
the Illusionist is about an aging magician and an imaginative young girl who form a father/daughter relationship. It was also nominated for a Best Animation Oscar, but lost to Toy Story 3.
The Rabbi’s Cat is a story about a cat who swallows a parrot and gains the ability to speak like a human. It is set in 1920’s Algeria.
Ernest & Celestine is the adorable story about a big bear and a little mouse who forge an unlikely friendship. It was also nominated for an Oscar in Best Animated Picture, but lost to Frozen.
Kirikou and the Sorceress is a story inspired by West African folklore that tells the story of Kirikou, a boy who was born with the ability to walk and talk, who saves his people from an evil witch. The film was popular enough to spawn sequels and a stage adaptation.
A Monster in Paris is a 3D animated musical film that is reaaaaalllly loosely based on the Phantom of the Opera. It’s set in 1910 and is about, surprisingly, a monster that lives in Paris, and his love for a young singer.
The King and the Mockingbird is an 80’s film about a cruel king titled Charles V + III = VIII + VIII = XVI, who is obsessed with a young shepherdess, and whose attempts to capture the young girl are thwarted by a mockingbird whose wife the King had previously killed.
Those are probably the most famous of the feature length animated films.
But the animated short films are just as glorious. Here’s a compilation of a bunch of short films and I can link you to others as well.
Sorry for the long answer but I just really love French animation.
“Nevertheless, Kermit’s working notes for The Muppet Movie, felicitously discovered by this author while capturing field recordings of Emmet Otter’s jug band in a swamp in the Deep South, reveals that Kermit was intimately familiar with Robert Bresson’s book, quoting it at length—often in playful disagreement, pitting the pragmatic and anxious to please Amphibian-American mind against the more theoretical French version. (To characterize this battle of minds as Frog vs. Frog would be a joke in bad taste… So, naturally, it has to be made.) Just as often, however, we see Kermit using Bresson’s insights as hopping-off points for his own unique philosophy of filmmaking.
How Bresson’s notes came into Kermit’s possession will for now remain a mystery, but one less remarkable than the revelations apparent on each leaf of Kermit’s logbook. Like Bresson’s, Kermit’s meditations reveal the workings of a lightning quick and penetrating intelligence, one prone as much to gnomic utterance as to the delightfully aphoristic aside.* Kermit’s grasp of his fellow Muppets’ characters, both in their individual and universal aspects, reveals a capacious mind, one seemingly at odds with the apparent simplicity—some might say gullibility—of the frog’s on-screen persona.
In addition to his grappling with Bresson’s stringent aesthetic principles, Kermit also confronts head-on in these pages pressing existential issues. In fact, quoted on the front flap of the notebook is Camus’ dictum: “The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.” (Just beneath this is a line by Dostoevsky written in another hand, one can easily surmise the hoof responsible that reads: “On our earth we can only love with suffering and through suffering.”) It would be indecorous to say that the turbulent late 1970s brought Kermit to the brink of a crisis, but the previously unrippled surface of his personality seems to have been broken by some unknown event or series of events. Speculation proves idle given the scant biographical details of that era—even his memoir, the Kierkegaardianly titled Before You Leap, glosses over these years with sunny affirmations—but the fact remains that throughout the notebook Kermit quotes a steady diet of deep (and sometimes murky) thinkers: Sartre, Camus, Dostoevsky, Kafka, Simone Weil, and E.M. Cioran, among others.”
—Stephen Sparks, "A Frog Escaped" (Issue #4, September 2013)
(To read the rest of this essay, download the Bright Wall/Dark Room app to your iPhone or iPad for free, or purchase a copy of this issue for $1 to receive immediate access to the entire issue online.)
making your primary secondary doesn’t really work but there’s an xkit extension that makes switching while reblogging really easy
Yeah, that’s what I’ve got going on right now. Guess that’ll have to be good enough.