They Hate Us a Lot

The Zman takes his recent viewing of Casablanca as an occasion to meditate on a subject that I have often opined about myself.


Here's the Zman:
My generation was probably the last to grow up seeing these old films on television. They would turn up on the UHF channels at night or on weekends. In the 70’s, black and white movies looked almost as good as the color television shows, so the old films seemed to hold up OK, at least to a ten year old.
I decided to fire up the Kodi and watch Casablanca, while I was catching up on some office work. I was a bit surprised at how well it holds up today. Being in black and white probably makes it work by tricking my brain into viewing it through the eyes of my youth, rather than as a jaded old man. The acting is the part that does not work as well today, as the old films were acted like stage plays, which required the audience to use their imaginations. Modern technology lets the audience drop into a coma while watching a film.
Anyway, Casablanca is a classic film for a reason. The story is well done and even 70 years on, the stars are still stars. Maybe it was how they made the movies back then, but Bogart fills the screen in his scenes. Of course, Ingrid Bergman was a stunningly gorgeous women, but even the lesser stars seemed to have a presence. Peter Lorre has a small role early in the film, but you remember it. It’s probably due to how they made movies back then, but the stars don’t have the same screen presence today.
I suspect that part of the reason why Casablanca still leaves such an impression on audiences even after 70 years is that it is the film which is most often cited as having originated the Hollywood Formula. As for why contemporary movies fail to achieve the same lasting appeal, my strong suspicion is that film makers have forgotten why the formula worked in the first place.
Of course, Hollywood in that age made movies that celebrated the higher values of their intended audience. There were some commie writers trying to work their message into films, but by and large the industry liked its customers and sought to appeal to their better natures by celebrating America and American values. The point of movie making in those days was to get people to the theater. That meant making movies that appealed to the majority population, which meant the native stock. No one bothered with virtue signaling.
There was also a degree of respect for the audience. It was assumed that the people in the theater could use their imagination. They did not need a 20-minute sex scene to know that Bogart and Bergman were having a physical relationship. The audience was treated like adults, rather than teenagers. Hollywood often relied on high-brow culture in their films, even though their audience was mostly working class. People read more and they were expected to know about classic stories and characters from Western culture.
It's more than a little ironic that the cultural Marxists in academia have rendered their students too stupid to understand movies written by Marxists in Hollywood.
Today, the people making movies largely despise the native stock of the country and they really hate the white men. A remake of Casablanca would most likely have the story set at Ellen’s Place, rather than Rick’s Café Américain. The proprietor would have to be a gender fluid lesbian of color, hounded by white males trying to oppress her. The whole thing would be a carnival of degeneracy intended to rub the nose of viewers in a steaming pile of cultural Marxism, as a reminder of who is in charge now.
It could be worse. It could be the comic book industry.
The world view of the people in charge of movie making is different too. When they made Casablanca, they knew those honkies taking their dates to see Bogie were going to be relied upon to save Western civilization from itself. The people running Hollywood today are convinced they would be better off if the honkies would hurry up and die off. It’s not just that foreign audiences are so important either. There’s a real visceral hatred that screams through the product pumped out by Hollywood today. They hate us a lot.
No comment necessary.



  1. Brian

    Thanks a good meditation that I concour with. We're ruled by our inferiors who revel in thei willful ignorance and crass vulgarity. They're the pigs who ate the pearls.
    I'm sure that fans or ordinary people with a desire to tell stories will make superior productions.
    Alot of it will be art naif but very fun to read and watch.
    Video technology is getting cheaper and the barrier to entry is lowering. So soon ordinary people produce fun movies

    1. You're welcome.

      I know a few indie film makers based in the Midwest. They've told me that we're at the point where a couple of college roommates can rent a Red cam for a weekend and produce a short film that beats anything coming out of Hollywood for story and craft.

      The problem is money and distribution. Indie film makers face a Catch-22 where they need to have their movies shown at festivals to attract distributors, but investors don't want the movies shown until a distribution deal is in place.

      Some enterprising company desperately needs to do for the film industry what Apple did for music and Amazon did for publishing.

  2. They think we're stupid too, but it's the hate that makes my hair stand on end.

  3. Brian

    How could a film distribution company pull an ITunes or an Amazon equivalent?
    Is it even possible to create a parallel distribution network that bypasses the gatekeepers?

  4. Brian

    Thanks. I guess that'she how new fortunes will be made:)


  5. We already know what a modern remake of Casablanca would like like - it's called Barb Wire and featured Pamela Anderson playing Rick :p