Posted by: karlcd | October 15, 2012

Out of Touch

In 2006 when George Clooney was accepting the award for best supporting actor at the Academy Awards he said he was glad that Hollywood is out of touch with America.  It was the year that Brokeback Mountain won three academy awards and The Academy was accused of passing a gay agenda and not representing American values.  During his acceptance speech he spoke eloquently about how his industry addressed hard social issues ahead of others.   An industry that in 1993 talked about gay relationships and AIDS in Philadelphia, or in 1967 tackled racism in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.
Brokeback Mountain was such a powerful movie because all the characters in the movie were mulit-dimensional and anyone could relate to them. While the story’s protagonist was a gay man, the viewer could relate to the parents that worried about their child, the spouse that does not understand their partner, or the pain of being in love with someone who could not commit.
Great movies have the ability to expose us to new worlds. These worlds could be in another galaxy, country or decade, but for 90 minutes we are right there beside the characters living their dreams and fears.  While the best movie can inspire us to rethink ourselves, or show us a new point of view there is another side to motion pictures.  An industry that reinforces negative stereotypes and movies where hatred, homophobia, sexism are rewarded.

Do movies make society more accepting of differing social issues or do they reinforce negative stereotypes?

George Clooney at the 2006 Oscars (minute 2:20)

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