Thursday, October 26, 2006


'Borat' Screenings Slashed in the US
British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's controversial new comedy movie has been cut from more than half the 2,000 US cinemas it was supposed to debut in this weekend over fears film fans won't get the comic's Borat character. In the film, Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Great Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan, Cohen plays an offensive Kazakhstan TV journalist trying to get to grips with life in America. The movie has already upset politicians in Kazakhstan, who insist the comedian's character paints a terrible picture of their country, and now film distributors in the US fear cinemagoers will find the movie more offensive than funny. The film was scheduled to open in 2,000 cinemas across America on Friday, but it will now bow in only 700. Movie executives at Twentieth Century Fox pulled the plug on the wide opening after the film tested poorly. Distribution official Bruce Snyder tells the Los Angeles Times newspaper, "Our research showed it was soft in awareness." Fox bosses hope to add cinemas a week after the film opens.

Is this another one of those "Middle America just doesn't get it" reactions? Is Middle America really as stupid as people in New York and L.A. think?

If not, why do the coasts have such an aura of superiority?

If so, why can't we do something to educate these yokels so we don't have to destroy our cultural institutions because they're simply "too sophisticated"?

I mean, we can find 3,000 screens for "Big Momma's House 2" and every stupid Hilary Duff vehicle, but can't get 25% of that for a movie that actually looks funny?

I'm either really pissed off at Middle America for being so dumb, or pissed off at New York and L.A. for thinking it's so dumb. Can we get some sort of state-by-state I.Q. test so we can put this to bed?

Either we better educate Middle America, or force media executives in NY and LA to watch "Deuce Bigalow 2: European Gigolo" on endless repeat until their brains shrink to the size of peas and then spontaneously combust.


Blogger Richard Cooper said...

Well, originating from the most literate state in America--Iowa--I'm offended that someone would pull a movie release to avoid offending some mythical sensibility. There are more judgmental-morons per capita in NY or LA than in all of the midwest.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Michael Northrop said...

I also think that there are differences in regional entertainment preferences that have nothing to do with intelligence. That goes for movies, music, sports, and so on. Borat plays well with an educated urban audience, and I think that people outside of a few metropolitan areas may not be familiar with him and just may not like that brand of ambush comedy. (I've got to say, it sort of makes me wince sometimes, like "crowd work" at comedy clubs.) It doesn't mean they're not educated, it doesn't mean they're not intelligent, it just means they have different tastes in entertainment and have never heard of Borat. The idea that people in New York shoot mental lightning bolts out of their enlarged craniums while everyone else is some sort of slackjawed yokel is simple provincialism.

12:04 PM  
Blogger anne frasier said...

uff da!

1:25 AM  

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