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  1. 30 Dec '17 19:36
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/25/christmas-film-wizard-oz-die-hard

    "All I want for Christmas is a film that doesn’t preach capitalism"
    --Tanya Gold

    "Christmas films – those set during Christmas, and those we habitually
    watch between Christmas and the new year – are as reactionary.
    They preach social conservatism and the compassionate possibilities of capitalism.
    Meanwhile, if you aren’t chosen for wealth and good fortune, they preach
    acceptance and gratitude."

    "Scrooge mutates from neoliberal cartoon monster to the kind of paternalist
    who will not actively murder a child with poverty, and who buys a turkey for
    his friends once a year. The bar for cinematic Christmas saviours is quite low."

    "May your Christmas season dreams be conservative dreams."

    Why cannot people who like to make a public show of their compassion and
    generosity once a year be more compassionate and generous more often?
  2. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    30 Dec '17 20:06
    Bad Santa.
    Blackadder’s Xmas carol.
    Full Metal Jacket.

    Really excellent Xmas movies without a capitalist message.
  3. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    30 Dec '17 21:09
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/25/christmas-film-wizard-oz-die-hard

    "All I want for Christmas is a film that doesn’t preach capitalism"
    --Tanya Gold

    "Christmas films – those set during Christmas, and those we habitually
    watch between Christmas and the new year – are as reactionary.
    They preach social conservatism and the com ...[text shortened]... w of their compassion and
    generosity once a year be more compassionate and generous more often?
    I'm assuming the Gold piece is meant to be somewhat humorous; imagining that Dickens was "preaching capitalism" in A Christman Carol is whimsical at best.
  4. 30 Dec '17 21:29
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    I'm assuming the Gold piece is meant to be somewhat humorous; imagining that Dickens
    was "preaching capitalism" in A Christman Carol is whimsical at best.
    'A Christmas Carol' was only one of many films cited by Tanya Gold.
  5. Subscriber mchill
    cryptogram
    30 Dec '17 22:20 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/25/christmas-film-wizard-oz-die-hard

    "All I want for Christmas is a film that doesn’t preach capitalism"
    --Tanya Gold

    "Christmas films – those set during Christmas, and those we habitually
    watch between Christmas and the new year – are as reactionary.
    They preach social conservatism and the com ...[text shortened]... w of their compassion and
    generosity once a year be more compassionate and generous more often?
    Why cannot people who like to make a public show of their compassion and generosity once a year be more compassionate and generous more often?


    Americans do quite a bit of charity work in the non Christmas months, and giving to the less fortunate. Sadly, Christmas has become more of windfall for merchants, rather than celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
  6. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    30 Dec '17 22:44
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    'A Christmas Carol' was only one of many films cited by Tanya Gold.
    If the article is meant to be taken seriously, then it commits the cardinal error of equating "social conservatism" with support for capitalism. The type of traditional social conservatism epitomized by a film like It's a Wonderful Life consists of recognizing the importance of concepts like community, family and self-sacrifice in aid of them; a reasoned leftist critique of capitalism is that capitalism is destructive of and indeed at war with those concepts. The "economic Man" of Smith or the even more self-absorbed heroes of Rand put their own personal self-interest above all others; they'd hardly like George Bailey refrain from following his life's ambitions in order to stay in his hometown to run a savings and loan because the alternative would be it would be taken over by Potter, who has no interest in continuing its policies of reinvesting in the community.

    Since Casablanca is one of my favorite films (though it isn't a Christmas one), I take issue with the idea that Ilsa merely meekly follows the dictates of Rick. In fact, in the famous airport scene, Rick has to convince her by rational argument that it is best not for her or for him that she leave with Laszlo (the leader of the European underground in WWII) but for the movement against Nazism itself:

    Inside of us, we both know you belong with Victor. You're part of his work, the thing that keeps him going.

    http://www.filmsite.org/bestspeeches8.html

    And I just can't imagine John Galt saying "but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. "

    The values epitomized by these films are antithetical to the values of laissez faire capitalism.
  7. 30 Dec '17 23:12
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    If the article is meant to be taken seriously, then it commits the cardinal error of equating "social conservatism" with support for capitalism. The type of traditional social conservatism epitomized by a film like It's a Wonderful Life consists of recognizing the importance of concepts like community, family and self-sacrifice in aid of them; a ...[text shortened]... The values epitomized by these films are antithetical to the values of laissez faire capitalism.
    Ten years ago while completing my PhD, I was asked to teach on an "Introduction to Film Studies" course in which Casablanca was one of the set texts.

    I grew quickly frustrated that the students seemed to have primed by their textbooks (I hope not by their previous teachers) not to take the film seriously. They insisted that since it had been made as Hollywood "entertainment" it must function only to tell a diverting story. Eventually, I said, "But the entertainment is asking us to make up our minds about how much we would be willing to sacrifice our own personal happiness in an ethical or political cause. And there can be few more important questions than this in life."

    Tanya Gold, unlike my students, is willing to credit Casablanca with an ideological stance, but her oversimplified reading overlooks the fact that the film was made in a context when there were world issues that seemed of vastly more pressing importance than the outcome of a single romance. The film of course is well aware of this, which is why it satisfyingly violates the most common feature of Hollywood cinema, the romantic happy ending, in order to supply us instead with a political happy ending.

    No1's other comments are equally apt in pointing out the catastrophic oversimplification in Tanya Gold's misinterpretation of Capra.
  8. 30 Dec '17 23:19 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    'A Christmas Carol' was only one of many films cited by Tanya Gold.
    I'm afraid the article displays an ignorance of cinema, the way films construct meaning, the complexities of the ideologies expressed through popular film, and of many other things. In addition to the comments I made above, The Wizard of Oz is perfectly conscious of the fact that many viewers would find Oz preferable to Kansas (that's why it neatly subverts the alleged "happy ending" by having Dorothy's "There's no place like home" answered by an emphatic orchestral reiteration on the soundtrack of "Somewhere over the rainbow" ). Tanya Gold's question, "Who wouldn't be happier in Oz?" is telling - that is, precisely, the question the film itself is asking, but Gold is unable or unwilling to see this.
  9. Subscriber Suzianne
    Misfit Queen
    30 Dec '17 23:43 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    Why cannot people who like to make a public show of their compassion and
    generosity once a year be more compassionate and generous more often?
    Yes, need knows no holiday.
  10. Subscriber Suzianne
    Misfit Queen
    30 Dec '17 23:56
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    If the article is meant to be taken seriously, then it commits the cardinal error of equating "social conservatism" with support for capitalism. The type of traditional social conservatism epitomized by a film like It's a Wonderful Life consists of recognizing the importance of concepts like community, family and self-sacrifice in aid of them; a ...[text shortened]... The values epitomized by these films are antithetical to the values of laissez faire capitalism.
    Casablanca (1942) is my favorite film of all time.
  11. 30 Dec '17 23:59
    Originally posted by @teinosuke
    I'm afraid the article displays an ignorance of cinema, the way films construct meaning, the complexities of the ideologies expressed through popular film, and of many other things. In addition to the comments I made above, The Wizard of Oz is perfectly conscious of the fact that many viewers would find Oz preferable to Kansas (that's why it neatly subver ...[text shortened]... precisely, the question the film itself is asking, but Gold is unable or unwilling to see this.
    I never claimed that Tanya Gold's a perceptive film critic or that I necessarily agree with her comments.
    I suspect that Tanya Gold and I would have many differences about many films.
  12. 31 Dec '17 00:02
    Originally posted by @teinosuke to No1Marauder
    Ten years ago while completing my PhD, I was asked to teach on an "Introduction to Film Studies" course in which Casablanca was one of the set texts.

    I grew quickly frustrated that the students seemed to have primed by their textbooks (I hope not by their previous teachers) not to take the film seriously. They insisted that since it had ...[text shortened]... in pointing out the catastrophic oversimplification in Tanya Gold's misinterpretation of Capra.
    As a historian, my review of the film 'Casablanca' would be influenced by its historical distortions and embellishments.
    I know, of course, that it was not a documentary. Indeed. it served the cause of wartime propaganda.
  13. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    31 Dec '17 00:12
    Casablanca???

    Bloody hell.
    It was okay, can’t see what makes it so good, to be honest.
  14. Subscriber Suzianne
    Misfit Queen
    31 Dec '17 00:15
    Originally posted by @shavixmir
    Casablanca???

    Bloody hell.
    It was okay, can’t see what makes it so good, to be honest.
    "Search your feelings. You know it to be true."
  15. 31 Dec '17 00:19
    Originally posted by @suzianne to No1Marauder
    Casablanca (1942) is my favorite film of all time.
    While I can find much to enjoy in 'Casablanca', I have to say that it was made as a wartime propaganda film.
    I am not very impressed by the cartoon stereotypes of all the Germans as villains.