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Subject: Portrayal of Communists Vs. Other Political Ideologies rss

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Kenneth Bailey
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I haven't seen the new Che movie or the Motorcycle Diaries but I get the impression that both are rather romantic portrayals of a murderous thug. I wonder what the reaction of the world would be if there were a movie that was made about a certain Bavarian dude while he was in art school? Would the critics be as favorable towards that as they are towards the generally favorable portrayal that communists receive?

I remember a few years ago when Downfall came out and people were upset at the portrayal of Hitler in that because he was portrayed as human (an unbalanced human....). Why is that not okay but portraying communist murderous thugs as human okay?
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Jess i TRON
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Thugs aren't usually genocidal?
 
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Richard Hefferan
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mikoyan wrote:
I haven't seen the new Che movie or the Motorcycle Diaries but I get the impression that both are rather romantic portrayals of a murderous thug. I wonder what the reaction of the world would be if there were a movie that was made about a certain Bavarian dude while he was in art school? Would the critics be as favorable towards that as they are towards the generally favorable portrayal that communists receive?

I remember a few years ago when Downfall came out and people were upset at the portrayal of Hitler in that because he was portrayed as human (an unbalanced human....). Why is that not okay but portraying communist murderous thugs as human okay?


I can't say any portrayal of a human as human would offend me. Now Cats and Dogs, that's just an abomination.
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William Boykin
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Actually...the Movie 'Max' has a very 'human' Adolf Hitler.

So is the portrayal of Hitler in 'Downfall'.

Now..do either movie make out Nazism to be 'good?' No..but they do help try to convey why so many people were able to 'believe'.

Now, its another question of whether or not Che was anywhere close to being like Stalin or Hitler. Heck, bad as Castro is, I dont see him on that stage.

THAT SAID-
Marxism does get slightly better 'press' in some fashionable intellectual circles.

Darilian
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Kenneth Bailey
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TheLightSarcastic wrote:

Hitler is probably not a good choice for comparison purposes.

As for your first question, I think it has more to do with the mythic folk-hero qualities of the characters in question, rather than Communism as a whole. A plucky ashtmatic guerilla fighter is a great story, no matter what misdeeds he may have done. The fact that del Toro is so excellent in the lead role makes things even murkier.

I'll agree that Hitler is probably not a good choice. But it's not just Hitler. Anytime WWII Germans are portrayed in a movie, there are always the gleeful shooting at civillian types. Don't often see that with Soviet soldiers (although Soviet soldiers in a movie are rare).
 
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Kenneth Bailey
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Darilian wrote:

THAT SAID-
Marxism does get slightly better 'press' in some fashionable intellectual circles.

I think that's my bigger point. For instance, I was walking around in Ann Arbor last week and there is a gift shop and standing in the window was a smiling Mao statue. Mao has lots of blood on his hands (I think Hitler or Stalin levels of blood) yet this is acceptable. You can wear a Che T-shirt with no problem.
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Jorge Montero
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mikoyan wrote:
I haven't seen the new Che movie or the Motorcycle Diaries but I get the impression that both are rather romantic portrayals of a murderous thug. I wonder what the reaction of the world would be if there were a movie that was made about a certain Bavarian dude while he was in art school? Would the critics be as favorable towards that as they are towards the generally favorable portrayal that communists receive?

I remember a few years ago when Downfall came out and people were upset at the portrayal of Hitler in that because he was portrayed as human (an unbalanced human....). Why is that not okay but portraying communist murderous thugs as human okay?


This post tells a lot more about you than it does about Guevara. Pretty much every revolutionary, regardless of their cause, can easily be labeled as a murderous thug.

Many people love to live in a simple black and white world, and just resort to turning others into caricatures. But reality is not so simple.People that kill and that order others to kill are still people, with motivations, hopes and dreams. We might find their dreams objectionable, and we might think that they still deserve a shot between the eyes, but that shouldn't let us completely dehumanize them.

I actually like to see art that makes me see things from an unconventional POV. Larger than life heroes tend to have their feet made of mud. Most people that I would consider evil don't consider themselves evil at all. Telling the other side of the story, is just appealing, because it makes us think. If every piece of art had to be even handed, I don't think there's half a dozen movies based in historical characters that I would consider acceptable.

If you think that most of what is out there about history is even remotely even handed, you need to read some more.
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Richard Hefferan
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Same major ideological problem with the adaptation and mass marketing of Monopoly, but that didn't stop PB.
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Kenneth Bailey
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hibikir wrote:

This post tells a lot more about you than it does about Guevara. Pretty much every revolutionary, regardless of their cause, can easily be labeled as a murderous thug.

Many people love to live in a simple black and white world, and just resort to turning others into caricatures. But reality is not so simple.People that kill and that order others to kill are still people, with motivations, hopes and dreams. We might find their dreams objectionable, and we might think that they still deserve a shot between the eyes, but that shouldn't let us completely dehumanize them.

I actually like to see art that makes me see things from an unconventional POV. Larger than life heroes tend to have their feet made of mud. Most people that I would consider evil don't consider themselves evil at all. Telling the other side of the story, is just appealing, because it makes us think. If every piece of art had to be even handed, I don't think there's half a dozen movies based in historical characters that I would consider acceptable.

If you think that most of what is out there about history is even remotely even handed, you need to read some more.

No, I agree with you. I watched the "Downfall" for that precise reason and quite honestly, I think potraying Hitler as a human makes his acts that much more incredible. Monsters have no control over what they do but humans do. But then again, Hitler wasn't romantacized in that movie. Nor were you given the option of feeling sorry for him.

I'm talking more in general. Communists tend to get a more favorable portrayal in Hollywood than other ideologies (unless you're talking the Rambo movies).
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Richard Hefferan
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mikoyan wrote:
I'm talking more in general. Communists tend to get a more favorable portrayal in Hollywood than other ideologies (unless you're talking the Rambo movies).


Don't forget Rocky IV, the most awesomeful Stallone movie evah
 
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Richard Hefferan
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On a more serious note I think the Communists get a far worse wrap in hollywood than the IRA. I don't think I've ever seen a movie where they were really portrayed negatively. Then again, us Irish get the short end a lot, so I guess it's kinda nice that at least hollywood loves us
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William Boykin
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Well, I'll admit....

I have a soft spot in my heart for Russia because of WWII.

Bearing the brunt of the German assualt on civilization for as long as they did, and coming out triumphant, to me, is an amazing acheivement that was won at a cost of lives unimaginable. So despite my loathing of Communism, I do view it a WEE bit more favorable than I do Nazism.

But Revolutionary Theology, and the Fellow Traveller Marxism of intellectuals in the West unwilling to face the horror that that Soviet Union had become, I have absolutely no time for- other than to mock.

(Ok, Gramsci has some interesting ideas. But he's still wrong.)

Darilian
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William Boykin
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Natascha Richardson was pretty sane in Ronin...but Jonathon Pryce was pretty whacked, so I guess its a push.

Then again, NO ONE comes out looking like a 'hero' in THAT film.

(Which just reminds me how much I miss John Frankenheimer. You have to admire a man who in this digital age refused to digitize a single car chase.....He spent almost 5 million dollars in CARS. Rest of the film is a solid B. But some of the best car chases in recent movie memory. You don't see better unless you go to Bullit or (the very best of all time) The French Connection.

Darilian
Do you still pick your feet?
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pronoblem baalberith
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hibikir wrote:
This post tells a lot more about you than it does about Guevara. Pretty much every revolutionary, regardless of their cause, can easily be labeled as a murderous thug.


Samuel Adams was a terrorist...
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pronoblem wrote:
hibikir wrote:
This post tells a lot more about you than it does about Guevara. Pretty much every revolutionary, regardless of their cause, can easily be labeled as a murderous thug.


Samuel Adams was a terrorist...


"Terrorism is like a unicorn...It means many things to all people."
-Moammar Qaddaffi....

Darilian
Man, I loved that quote my Senior year in HS Debate..

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pronoblem baalberith
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Darilian wrote:
Man, I loved that quote my Senior year in HS Debate..


High school... I bet you were king of the world back then!
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pronoblem baalberith
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Oh, and the quote is pretty accurate...
 
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William Boykin
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pronoblem wrote:
Darilian wrote:
Man, I loved that quote my Senior year in HS Debate..


High school... I bet you were king of the world back then!

Naw, I was a dweeb. Just like now.

There's a LONG story about that quote though. One day if you're ever in Austin, I'll take you to Veggie Heaven and tell it to you.

Darilian
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mikoyan wrote:
TheLightSarcastic wrote:

Hitler is probably not a good choice for comparison purposes.

As for your first question, I think it has more to do with the mythic folk-hero qualities of the characters in question, rather than Communism as a whole. A plucky ashtmatic guerilla fighter is a great story, no matter what misdeeds he may have done. The fact that del Toro is so excellent in the lead role makes things even murkier.

I'll agree that Hitler is probably not a good choice. But it's not just Hitler. Anytime WWII Germans are portrayed in a movie, there are always the gleeful shooting at civillian types. Don't often see that with Soviet soldiers (although Soviet soldiers in a movie are rare).


Which is sometimes my main beef with the American perspective in a lot of moviemaking retelling of WWII, certain recent ones excepted. It's the "Charlie don't surf" problem in moviemaking: a lot of war movies are just really glorified Westerns -- which is OK, since a lot of them are excellent, and some are even brilliant. (Saving Ryan's Privates comes to mind. Yes, I'm 12.)

But give me a newer-vintage Eastwood war film, or a Kubrick war film, or a German-made war film any day. (Stalingrad, in particular, is in some sort of personal war film top 3.) Everybody's human in those movies, and they all die like human beings.
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Darilian wrote:
Natascha Richardson was pretty sane in Ronin...but Jonathon Pryce was pretty whacked, so I guess its a push.

Then again, NO ONE comes out looking like a 'hero' in THAT film.

(Which just reminds me how much I miss John Frankenheimer. You have to admire a man who in this digital age refused to digitize a single car chase.....He spent almost 5 million dollars in CARS. Rest of the film is a solid B. But some of the best car chases in recent movie memory. You don't see better unless you go to Bullit or (the very best of all time) The French Connection.

Darilian
Do you still pick your feet?


Not to turn this into a Chit Chat thread, but:

The Blues Brothers
To Live and Die in LA
(to me, the super-80s Wang Chung soundtrack is a selling point).
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chiddler wrote:
bbenston wrote:
mikoyan wrote:
TheLightSarcastic wrote:

Hitler is probably not a good choice for comparison purposes.

As for your first question, I think it has more to do with the mythic folk-hero qualities of the characters in question, rather than Communism as a whole. A plucky ashtmatic guerilla fighter is a great story, no matter what misdeeds he may have done. The fact that del Toro is so excellent in the lead role makes things even murkier.

I'll agree that Hitler is probably not a good choice. But it's not just Hitler. Anytime WWII Germans are portrayed in a movie, there are always the gleeful shooting at civillian types. Don't often see that with Soviet soldiers (although Soviet soldiers in a movie are rare).


Which is sometimes my main beef with the American perspective in a lot of moviemaking retelling of WWII movies, certain recent ones excepted. It's the "Charlie don't surf" problem in moviemaking: a lot of war movies are just really glorified Westerns -- which is OK, since a lot of them are excellent, and some are even brilliant. (Saving Ryan's Privates comes to mind. Yes, I'm 12.)

But give me a newer-vintage Eastwood war film, or a Kubrick war film, or a German-made war film any day. (Stalingrad, in particular, is in some sort of personal war film top 3.) Everybody's human in those movies, and they all die like human beings.


I hate Kubrick's war films. they are so clumsy and obvious. Awful over-rated stuff. The man who made 'Strangelove' was capable of much much better


Paths of Glory AND FMJ? You must die now.
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Chief Slovenly
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chiddler wrote:
bbenston wrote:
chiddler wrote:
bbenston wrote:
mikoyan wrote:
TheLightSarcastic wrote:

Hitler is probably not a good choice for comparison purposes.

As for your first question, I think it has more to do with the mythic folk-hero qualities of the characters in question, rather than Communism as a whole. A plucky ashtmatic guerilla fighter is a great story, no matter what misdeeds he may have done. The fact that del Toro is so excellent in the lead role makes things even murkier.

I'll agree that Hitler is probably not a good choice. But it's not just Hitler. Anytime WWII Germans are portrayed in a movie, there are always the gleeful shooting at civillian types. Don't often see that with Soviet soldiers (although Soviet soldiers in a movie are rare).


Which is sometimes my main beef with the American perspective in a lot of moviemaking retelling of WWII movies, certain recent ones excepted. It's the "Charlie don't surf" problem in moviemaking: a lot of war movies are just really glorified Westerns -- which is OK, since a lot of them are excellent, and some are even brilliant. (Saving Ryan's Privates comes to mind. Yes, I'm 12.)

But give me a newer-vintage Eastwood war film, or a Kubrick war film, or a German-made war film any day. (Stalingrad, in particular, is in some sort of personal war film top 3.) Everybody's human in those movies, and they all die like human beings.


I hate Kubrick's war films. they are so clumsy and obvious. Awful over-rated stuff. The man who made 'Strangelove' was capable of much much better


Paths of Glory AND FMJ? You must die now.


First half of FMJ, actually pretty good, second half, worthless.

Paths of Glory - Kubrick's second worst film after Eyes Wide Shut - just so so obvious. War is bad. Really? Wow!


Eyes Wide I'll give you as total crap. (At least he tried, though. And I love the final scene.)

FMJ: first half, brilliant. A vet I talked to said the Parris Island stuff is 90% true. Second half, simply good, but not trash. (I'm thinking in particular of the "get your ass and your head wired together" scene.)

PoG: you're wrong. Simply wrong. Factually wrong. Wrong from Planet Wrong in the outer spiral arm of Wrong Galaxy.
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Kenneth Bailey
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Darilian wrote:
Well, I'll admit....

I have a soft spot in my heart for Russia because of WWII.

Bearing the brunt of the German assualt on civilization for as long as they did, and coming out triumphant, to me, is an amazing acheivement that was won at a cost of lives unimaginable. So despite my loathing of Communism, I do view it a WEE bit more favorable than I do Nazism.

But Revolutionary Theology, and the Fellow Traveller Marxism of intellectuals in the West unwilling to face the horror that that Soviet Union had become, I have absolutely no time for- other than to mock.

(Ok, Gramsci has some interesting ideas. But he's still wrong.)

Darilian

I'd be willing to bet that Stalin killed more Soviets than the Germans did. The best thing that could have happened in the Eastern Front is they beat each other up.
 
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Kenneth Bailey
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pronoblem wrote:
hibikir wrote:
This post tells a lot more about you than it does about Guevara. Pretty much every revolutionary, regardless of their cause, can easily be labeled as a murderous thug.


Samuel Adams was a terrorist...

He made a wicked brew....Che didn't make squat...
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chiddler wrote:
War is bad.


That's what you got from Paths of Glory? That's it?! The setting (war) is irrelevant to the message. Boy, have you got your lines crossed.
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