While there is the liberal bent, though apparently not as lefty as some think it should be, there is room for some conservative thinking.
What I think we see with guys Eastwood, is that they are human first — which can be seen in Million Dollar Baby — an ideologist after that.
Hollywood tries to run middle of the road, because to paraphrase Michael Jordan, “Republicans watch movies, too.”
My point on Milius, is that he’s never shied away from his political beliefs and that may have hindered his attempts to get some films made.
“Didn’t he write Apocalypse Now?”
He came up with the idea of adapting Heart of Darkness to the Vietnam War, and wrote the first draft of the screenplay. which is quite different from the final film. Coppola rewrote it, then Michael Kerr was hired to write the voiceover narration.
With Milius I think it was just a matter of a couple of consecutive unpopular films—Farewell to the King and Flight of the Intruder—that finished him as a prominent Hollywood director, followed by and original screenplay for the equally unpopular Geronimo: An American Legend.
Though, at this point it seems like the sort of military/historical stuff that seem to be Milius’s primary interest is maybe better suited for the made-for-cable market ala his Rough Riders mini-series.
Can you give an example of the sort of thing that would appear in Milius films?
You can have pro-military elements in Hollywood films, and particularly you can claim that invasions of privacy are acceptable in the name of fighting criminals/terrorists, but one thing you can not have is social conservatism. “Anybody who isn’t Christian is evil”, or “Homosexuality is immoral”.
Clint Eastwood is clearly pro-military and very nationalistic, but he keeps his social conservatism to himself in his movies.
I think the idea that Hollywood is liberal has come solely based on sexual and religious freedoms issues.
Milius is similar in his military views and nationalism, but doesn’t shove any social things in people’s faces. I think Big Wednesday is a good example of his work just showing people being people.
I think too many are prepared to shoot daggers at just the word “conservative” because they view it too narrowly as a social form of being, the homophobic, women haters that get on the news all the time — and there are way too many of them, anyone who thinks there is not a clique Ipossibly larger than that) in the GOP who is waging on a war on women is not really paying attention — but Milius is kind of an old school conservative, with bombast and his NRA card. His hero is Teddy Roosevelt.
I think with the end of the Cold War, Milius’ strong American bent wasn’t in vogue.
It would be helpful to distinguish some terms here. If we look at political ideology movies along a spectrum from left to right (or right to left), we might see something like this:
Left wing authoritarian (Stalinist Russia)
Leftist (Kenji, Blue, Occupy Movement)
Liberal (Hollywood, MSNBC)
Left leaning moderate (President Obama, me)
Moderate (Most of the American people)
Right leaning moderate (Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzeneger)
Conservative (Reagan, Fox News, John Milius)
Right Wing (Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Tea Party)
Right Wing authoritarian (Nazi Germany)
While its true that finances trump ideology in Hollywood, its also true that the vast majority of the infrastructure is liberal (but Kenji and Blue are correct that they are not leftist, which is distinct from liberalism.) There is certainly tolerance for right leaning moderates who make them money, but look at the causes most stars get behind and candidates they support and its hard not to see a pattern. There’s no conspiracy here. The culture of the business establishment is equally conservative, but you can find some liberal business leaders (but no leftist ones.)
Well, then I guess I fall somewhere between Hollywood and Obama, and with that I better get back to watching Fox and Friends.
“I think too many are prepared to shoot daggers at just the word “conservative” because they view it too narrowly "
Always a danger when one tries to use a single word to describe the entire network of beliefs, ideas, preconceptions, predispositions, etc., that a given person holds (or in this era of “corporate personhood”, I guess one has to extend the same to corporations. Ugh.).
Y’all can try and classify it in many ways, but Eastwood endorsed Mitt Romney- either he’s senile or just out of touch with the 99%. -out of touch in the same league as left-wing blowhards like Sean Penn, Robbins, Sarandon etc. all Green Party slugs.
I admire John Milius’ work, and I think it’s not fair to place him on the same group a Fox News. Faux Newt is just pure garbage.
The old romantic Teddy Roosevelt type of conservative gentlemen would be drowned out in this era of tea-baggers, birthers, swiftboaters and all lyin’ liars who are running amok just because there’s a Negro in the White House.
>> Eastwood endorsed Mitt Romney- either he’s senile or just out of touch with the 99%.<<
Or he’s a Republican, which we pretty much knew already. Look, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives will always find reasons to be pissed off at each other (often justifiably so). Before getting too working up, remember that you probably have family, co-workers, neighbors and maybe even friends that are in the opposing camp.
“The old romantic Teddy Roosevelt type of conservative gentlemen would be drowned out in this era of tea-baggers, birthers, swiftboaters and all lyin’ liars”
Precisely why he carried a big stick. What ever happened to Scorsese’s Roosevelt picture? Seems like a natural fit for Milius.
“Eastwood endorsed Mitt Romney- either he’s senile or just out of touch with the 99%.”
Well, yeah, that announcement came at a $25,000-a-plate fundraiser, so . . .
i like brad’s spectrum :)
@"Before getting too working up, remember that you probably have family, co-workers, neighbors and maybe even friends that are in the opposing camp."
Well, I served in the armed forces so yeah, as a liberal I’m part of the ‘silent majority’. We all get along just fine. Even here many Republicans think the idea of openly endorsing Rmoney is nauseating.
Brad, I agree with your post, except for the Fox News bit ha-ha.
I really don’t like Romney. But when he won the nomination I breathed a sigh of relief, because compared to Santorum and Gingrich he’s downright sane. Romney’s major problem is his obsessive favoritism toward the already-rich, all the other republican candidates had all that and a heavy helping of fundamentalist social values.
You can’t really reduce politics to a one dimensional spectrum, as views on social freedoms, views on economic freedoms, and views on security versus privacy don’t correlate that highly in individual views. Hollywood tends to be high on social freedoms, low on economic freedoms, and in the 00’s it’s taken a huge turn toward taking the security side of freedom versus security.
So now, you can say in a Hollywood film that evil people are just evil and we need strong manly gun owners to protect our silly naive bleeding hearts, but you can’t say that there’s anything wrong with anyone’s race, gender, religion or sexual preference.
That’s really where America is right now, high on social freedoms, moderate to high on economic freedoms, moderately edging toward security over freedom. (I tend to agree on the first two but believe heavily in freedom over security).
@Uli³Cain. Seeing as that most celebrities donate thousands, if not millions to Democratic presidential nominees and support a number of their programs, I would call that oppressively liberal. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon, etc.
Doesn’t the word ‘oppressively’ imply that they are somehow preventing people from donating to republican candidates?
The perception of “Hollywood” as a political whole probably not very helpful anyway (unless one has radio or television program and some air time to fill). You see stuff in the to-the-right blogosphere about “closeted Conservatives” (like Robert Downey Jr.), by it’s political hypochondria.
As much as I admire and enjoy some of his work, Millius seemes to be an uneven writer. He wrote one of the best movies of the 70s, Apocalypse Now and one of the worse, 1941. His credits as director are as uneven, The Wind and the Lion versus something like Conan The Barbarian. In terms of box office he never made too much money for the studios. A few years back he made a TV movie about Roosevelt and San Juan Hill that was sub standard for a director with as much experience as him. But to be fair, in the seventies he changed the way movies are written.
About his politics I do not know if they could be considerd right wing as much as Ultra Macho. He could make a film about Stalin fighting Hitler as easily as one about Rommel.
1941 is awesome!
Hollywood is socially liberal and economically conservative. Always has been and always will be.
Speaking of Milius, I loves me some Dillinger and Red Dawn. But he lost his edge.
KENJI summed up my thoughts almost perfectly in his first post. To us Europeans, even most of the Democrats are right wing leaning and WAY too religious (Clinton was heavily, which reflected in many of his policies), people like Kucinich are to me left wing, and they’re branded as fringe and “unelectable” among Dems, here they’de be moderates. USA has shifted way too much to the right, so much that the republicans can continue moving to the right and STILL almost win elections (even with extremely conservative candidates who oppose abortion, gay rights, women’s reproductive rights to the full extent) while the dems are almost forced to move to centre if not further to right to win votes, making compromises where they never should (gay rights, freedom of choice, universal health care etc) which is particularly sad. As for Hollywood, it certainly isnt homophobic, due to many of its stars and filmmakers being gay in the first place (compared to general population in a vastly bigger percentage too) so that’s a practical reason why they’re not gay bashers. But in other departments Hollywood is conservative. The annoying patriotism (flag waving for minutes even in movies like Superman), censorhip and MPAA Rating system which is a joke (Blue Valentine getting an NC17 for basically nothing, just hinting at going down on a woman), glorifying the military (documentaries dont count as them being critical is a rule of such a genre), glorifying violence against countries you invade etc.
The “violence is ok, sexuality, full frontal nudity should not be shown” policy is a trademark of a conservative and sexually repressed studio system, Europe always was much more liberal in that regard (and why i prefer French and Spanish movies dealing with sexuality far far more). Arnie can butcher people and kids can go see his movies, yet Ryan Gosling simulating going down on Michelle Williams gets the movie a limited release and no chance of serious exposure in cinemas. It’s just an example, but a very indicative one. So i laugh when i see people calling Hollywood liberal. Just as CNN is far from liberal (or the hawk neocon Wolf Blitzer would have never stepped into their studios). When it will be as liberal there will be far less american arthouse movies in the “Limited” domain getting killed by the stupid MPAA ratings, among many other things.
“Hollywood is socially liberal . . . Always has been and always will be.”
Don’t tell the Hollywood Ten that.
“Don’t tell the Hollywood Ten that.”
That wasn’t a normal situation, nor was it a Hollywood-directed witch-hunt. For every scumbag trying to save his career (Bogart), there was stand-up guy telling Washington to go fuck itself. (Ford)
Sure, but for every stand-up guy (and gal) in Hollywood there are a dozen opportunists who are going to go whichever way the wind blows.
Milius is similar in his military views and nationalism, but doesn’t shove any social things in people’s faces.
I disagree vehemently. Red Dawn and the two Clancy movies, at the very least.
I believe that actors (like most artists) tend liberal, esp. if raised middle working or middle class. Producers are a different story. I think Participant Media is an exception, Joel Silver, Scheisshelmer, I mean Bruckheimer, Simpson et al may be the rule.
I believe the left to center are wayyy more disorganized than the center to right. The Heritage Foundation The Cato Institute, and others work together with Fox and others to provide a unified Conservative front. Except for the lower level Tea Partiers, who are an incoherent, yet mobilizable lot.
Also, imho, Brad should have listed Fox as “extreme far right”. This does not mean that I believe that I think that the other networks are “commies” or even liberal. God. what a stupid thought. CBS has a conservative editorial bent, as does ABC, while NBC is slightly more liberal in tone.
On Libertarian Bill Maher’s show, the panel last week there was a Texas billionaire who said “Hey, sometimes I vote Republican” – so he’s center, then there was an MSNBC columnist – lIberal, last there was CNN columnist would not stop yelling until the fourth guest came out and said “First, you need to calm down!” – conservative.
HIs masculist militarism and approach to manliness had much to do with overcoming a sickly childhood.
Who know about where the feminism came from.
“Viewed purely in the abstract, I think there can be no question that women should have equal rights with men.”…“Especially as regards the laws relating to marriage there should be the most absolute equality between the two sexes. I do not think the woman should assume the man’s name.”
“The Practicability of Equalizing Men and Women before the Law”
“Much can be done by law towards putting women on a footing of complete and entire equal rights with man – including the right to vote, the right to hold and use property, and the right to enter any profession she desires on the same terms as the man.”…"Women should have free access to every field of labor which they care to enter, and when their work is as valuable as that of a man it should be paid as highly.
On FDR…HIs masculist militarism and approach to manliness had much to do with overcoming a sickly childhood. Who know about where the feminism came from.
TDR, I think you mean- why do you imply that maculinity/militarism and feminsim are diametrically opposed? They have shared each other’s beds for the duration of human history.
Linden, It’s the other Roosevelt that was being talked about
Oooooh…That’s very different.
“The old romantic Teddy Roosevelt type of conservative gentlemen would be drowned out in this era of tea-baggers, birthers, swiftboaters and all lyin’ liars”
No. I do not feel that masculinity are inclusive nor femininity and militarism in opposition.
Boadicea would kick macho my ass all the way back to Rome.
7,000,000,000 people = 7,000,000,000 genders.
Which renders the entire concept of the word “gender” meaningless. Would you like to offer a replacement word so that “it” can be studied and reflected upon meaningfully?
The sad thing about the Tea Party is that the original founders were genuine libertarians, then they got hijacked by the Fox News psychos who started taking over the TV cameras and screaming racist slurs, scaring all the normal libertarians away from the movement.
I don’t believe Hollywood has always been economically conservative. It is now, clearly, but in the 90s it was downright bleeding-heart. Rich people were always the villains, greed for the sake of greed was the enemy, and Star Trek: The Next Generation was one of the highest rated shows on television, a show whose premise is that the human race evolved beyond the need for money.
It’s interesting the correlation between the economic liberalism of the US and the strength of its economy.
One thing I don’t like is when a lot of liberal leaning people automatically accuse anybody against tax hikes or entitlement programs of being greedy and callous. Sure, some of them are, but there’s also solid economic theory that states higher tax rates are detrimental in the long run to the people they’re meant to help.
Just out of curiosity, what are these entitlement programs?