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Sawney Bean invites you to a warm, home-cooked meal. Dinner conversation is encouraged. Say what you will - at your own risk. Horror, History, Media, Scotland - and much, much more.

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Hollywood History

Oh, I think you are being too, too kind. Hollywood is already congratulating itself over A Beautiful Mind and other stuff, telling themselves, and us, that "See, we ARE making good films. Really" - while at the same time spewing out un-endingfilth like this new "film" about two black rappers who get into Harvard. Or something. Kill them first, then hang their scalps up on the marquees of theatres all over country. A symbol of justice - and a warning.

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I sort of agree and mostly disagree. Yes, hollywood studio movies are an entertainment-first medium. And yes, if you really are interested in a subject, you should get your nose into a book, not a box of coagulated popcorn for your information, BUT...

IF a movie is going to attach itself to and sell itself as a "true-life story" or historical event, there needs to be some accountability for factual misrepresentation. Where to draw the line for content shortcuts is hard to pin down of course, but somehow, there must be SOME way to account for "dramatic license". People can't naively walk into a movie that purports to be a "biography" of some historical figure or celebrity, then have key events changed, dropped, compromised (or in hollywood's most contemptible rationalization "composited". Who would even be interested in examining factual history, if a figure is presented at the multiplex as a cartoon?

I would propose some sort of informational labelling system on movie credits, along the same lines of warnings on food products.

No, scratch that. Too weak and nobody would pay attention. Better yet: mandatory jail time for each producer, star and director, and writer for each inaccuracy found by a court-appointed panel of historical authorities. A second offense would be a mandatory slicing off of ponytails. Third strike punishable by death.

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Well, I think we're missing the point here. Hollywood has never been about accuracy. Movies are about entertainment, and we know what that means -- pitching everything to the lowest possible common denominator. If you want accuracy, watch the History Channel. I do. What's really dismaying is that so many people depend on movies, and nothing else, to inform them about history. This may be heresy in this computer age, but doesn't anyone READ anymore?

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