Friday, January 26, 2007

Your Senator As, uh, Editor

Senator Phil Berger, the head of the North Carolina State Senate, wants the government to review and approve film scripts before shooting begins on films made in his state. This would apply to all films applying for the state rebate program, which offers a 15% incentive for filmmakers to shoot in North Carolina. His proposal comes on the heels of Hounddog, the movie in which Dakota Fanning, at age 12, plays a rape victim. It's always sticky when government starts playing art critic. I can picture it now: "Can't we have a bit more character arc for Sally?" "Well, Senator, her growth is more subtle and internal." "Can we change goddamn to goddang then?"

When I was doing research for my soccer script, set in WWII Ukraine, I came across a section talking about how Stalin would personally oversee final cut on many films made in the Soviet Union. However bad we think we've got it, imagine having Stalin over your shoulder, observing your work and twirling his mustache. I wonder if their guild protection covered being shot and left in a mass grave.


Hunter said...

That's really scary....

lgodbout said...

Honestly, I have a lot to say about this whole situation. My first problem is with what the media has done to this girl. I am willing to bet (even though I haven't seen the film) that the scene is not half as bad a what the media have portrayed. They are focusing on the fact that she is "only 12". I was a 12 year old girl once and I have a 12 year old daughter. I can not even imagine my daughter doing the things I was doing at 12. But we are different people. I was drinking and smoking and kissing boys at 12. My daughter won't even admit to thinking a boy is cute or take a sip of my wine at the dinner table. The media should not have made such a big deal about this. If anything, the role she played will not be nearly as psychologically damaging as all of the negative press. If everywhere this child turns she sees her name associated with tag lines like "it was wrong", "it was child abuse", etc. then that is what she herself is going to start believing. There are plenty of children who are living this REAL LIFE nightmare everyda. Maybe the press should spend a little more time bring attention to that!

Dakota strikes me as a mature child who should not be stereotyped. She also should not be used as a cause for political figures to step in and try to put futher controls on artistic expression under the guise of doing what is best for "so and so".