Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

My moustache still smells of your testes!

Today we watched Borat - and enjoyed it, bizzarely enough. Somehow, much like Team America: World Police I don't think I or my friends were the intended audience. You know the plot: Borat - uncivilised representative of a backward East-European nation - comes to America to improve his country and learns all the wrong lessons. Along the way, he uncovers much of what is wrong with that society and humanity in general; not to mention recieving lawsuits from many of the real people who he unwittingly reveals.

So what did I learn from Borat? Honesty. The people who came off worse were ones with pretentions, inhibitions and prejudices. Lulu, the overweight prostitute (was she a member of the cast from the start, or an unknowing extra who they got on the payroll at a later date?); the black youths who teach him to speak like a homie; the gay pride parade; even the members of the uber-evangelical church - who yes, were scary, but also came out of the movie very well.

There was still smiles to be raised about the Christians and homosexuals - it's a comedy, not a serious examination of society - but the people we saw did not embarass themselves. Even the fake Kazak village - amusing, but also open and friendly.

Contrast that with the uptight dining society, or my goodness the feminists! To be fair, he provoked them. But still - it was mainly the, shall we say, middle class of American who could not accept him.

On the other hand, honesty wasn't the best policy for the headman at the rodeo. Although, with my natural dispensation to think the best of everyone, I like to think his advice he shave his tash to look a bit less Muslim was friendly and well meant, not shameless bigotry. Lets put it this way - I've attended a proper Texan rodeo, and its awesome fun. But I wouldn't like to be the only Muslim in the audience, because it was also quite scary.

Another character (can I call him a character? He's a real person after all...) who has undergone a lot of flack was the fun salesman who recommends a certain gun for killing Jews with. To be honest, the casual racism would have shocked me more

I understand permission to carry a weapon is a basic right in America. It's also bloody stupid. If no one is allowed to have a gun, then you don't need a gun to protect yourself from people with guns. If you are attacked, you are far less likely to get hurt if you don't pull a gun (and if you don't believe me, try the woman in the car from Reservoir Dogs as an example). When I was on holiday there, there was a school shooting - quite an unpleasant one. We watched it on the news, as it was reported with that exploitative enthusiasm that American news programs tend towards. They interviewed a representative of the gun lobby. He said the way to stop school massacres was to let students arm themselves - that way, if someone did start attacking them, they could defend themselves. No comment, asshole.

I like America, honest. I'm not one of those Europeans who assume they're all fat and stupid - that annoys me more than anything. It just happens that I'm talking about two things I really hate about the country - the gun culture, and the television.

Anyway, back to Borat - specifically, those who accuse this of being racist, anti-semetic or offensive? Well it certainly is offensive. But it's unfair to peg it as deliberately unpleasant to any one group is unfair to the myriad of other targets. It picks fun on America and Kazakstan equally.

As for the Jews? It's a mockery of centuries of pointless persecution, not persecution itself. I don't enjoy taking things seriously - and you don't get much more serious than racism. One of my favourite sequences in the film, and certainly the best expose ever of the idiocy of race-hate, was Azimir and Borat realising they are boarding with a Jewish couple. As they hide in terror, spooky threatening music is layed over shots of the family...slowly walking up the stairs...coming closer to the door...with a gorgeously well prepared supper with hot chocolates and brownies.

There is one thing I'd like to know - how did he survive not getting arrested? The movie industry is powerful, but not enough to rescue a star from jail for either indecent public exposure or attempted kidnap.

Incidentally, one way to tell if you are watching Borat with a group of girls or boys - the reaction to the bear. Much like my younger sister's statement that the puppy was the best part of Apocalypse Now, we all loved the bear.

It's also only the second day so far I have adhered to my "one movie a day" mantra - but I do intend to watch Easy Rider later this evening. So maybe that'll make up for days missed...


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