Rightwing Film Geek

Zeit fur Funkyzeit

To quote G-Money: “We’ll be seeing a lot more of these.

Sacha Baron Cohen is working on a BORAT sequel, based on Bruno, a garishly gay Austrian fashionista who is the only one of Cohen’s three principal characters who hasn’t had a movie yet (Ali G had a British-made film ALI G INDAHOUSE that went straight to video in the US). And some MMA fans reportedly were not amused as a supposed fight turned into a gay sex scene. Nor was a Dallas-area audience last month, lured out for a talk-show that turned into public gay passes and a 2-year-old “gay baby.”

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July 15, 2008 Posted by | Homosexuality, Sacha Baron Cohen | Leave a comment

I can fantasize, can’t I?

“Academy Award Nominee Borat”?

Too much to hope for? Maybe not after last night, when Sacha Baron Cohen won the Golden Globe for Best Actor. Admittedly it was the comedy/musical category and Academy voters are notorious for insensitivity to comedy, particularly of a style as aggressively and determinedly lowbrow as BORAT. While the Golden Globe win is not nothing, I’m only 50-50 that Cohen will even get nominated (and he has no chance of winning … I’m no Alex Fung, circa 2000, but Forrest Whitaker looks to be in a “Dead Girl or Live Boy” situation).

Cohen might get completely passed over, partly as I say because BORAT is a comedy, but also partly because the aesthetically-conservative Academy voters might not even consider BORAT a movie, but rather a gonzo reality-TV episode or a kind of documentary; JACKASS with a fake foreign accent. Admittedly, BORAT does resemble a very long (and very very funny) CANDID CAMERA episode and is one more example of the disintegrating division between documentary and fiction. But I don’t there can be any real question that what Cohen does in it should be called “acting.” He’s not a Kazakh journalist. If Cohen “breaks character” as Borat onscreen, the whole schtick becomes an offensive effort at giving offense (I now realize this is largely why I so despised the first JACKASS movie). In my opinion, BORAT didn’t even feature Cohen’s best 2006 performance — that would be his scene-stealing supporting performance in TALLADEGA NIGHTS, though I plan on voting for both performances in a certain movie-nerd poll. Still, no matter what … Cohen stole the whole Golden Globes show with his acceptance speech here.

I was listening closely, trying to write down the best quote lines live for our paper’s Golden Globes story, while trying to keep a straight face while mentally censoring for “what can be printed in a daily newspaper,” while Cohen is bringing down the house, both in Hollywood and in Washington. My favorite line not in the paper: his walkoff when he thanks every American who hasn’t sued him.

On reflection, I also think that part of the reason for the Golden Globe is admiration for everything that happened during the fall runup to the release of BORAT, which all that became part of the movie. With the exception of THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, I can’t think of a movie that wasn’t obviously a commercial hit but was so successfully “sold” by the single-handed efforts of one man. DA ALI G SHOW was a cult-hit at best, but Cohen did a superb job of “building buzz” (the premiere at Toronto, Cohen staying in character for interviews for months, visiting the White House, baiting the Kazakh government, and so on — creating buzz for his own movie. It was the classic “little film that could,” entirely on Cohen’s back.

January 16, 2007 Posted by | Actors, Golden Globes, Sacha Baron Cohen | Leave a comment

More offense for make benefit glorious nation of Kazakhstan

BoratHeadBorat apparently already has caused one breakup — Pamela and Kid Rock or whatever rock star she was doing that week. And speaking of morally dubious pleasures, here are some ideas for extras on the DVD for BORAT, from the “New Yorker,” though I’m guessing the writer didn’t like the film as much as I did.

“GANGSTA” SECTION: The scene where Borat says something intentionally offensive to the inner-city black guys—where is that scene? I have been unable to find it. Here I definitely suggest a reshoot. In the attachment, I have provided a list of common racial slurs that Sacha could try out on “the brothers,” just to see what they do to him. My thought is, that seems to be the ethos of the rest of the film—i.e., Sacha saying/doing the most offensive things possible, in order to elicit a reaction—so I sense a little inconsistency here. Thoughts?

PENTECOSTAL SECTION: The scene where those wacky Pentecostals offer to take Borat into their homes, as Jesus would have done, and as, in fact, per Josh, many of them actually did? And also, didn’t they, like, take up a collection on Sacha/Borat’s behalf or something? Guess they really walk the walk! This moving-in-with-some-Pentecostals would be good, especially if, once in their home, Sacha could mock one of their children for, say, his/her overly prim table manners. That would really go a long way toward puncturing the sanctimonious posturing of the neocons.

November 28, 2006 Posted by | Sacha Baron Cohen | Leave a comment