Today: April 19, 2024

Reviled & Working In Hollywood

In Hollywood an established name and an interesting private life goes a long way. Due to this stars, such as Robert Downy Jr and Micky Rourke have been rightly afforded second chapters in their once flagging careers

Part 1

In Hollywood an established name and an interesting private life goes a
long way. Due to this stars, such
as Robert Downy Jr and Micky Rourke have been rightly afforded second chapters
in their once flagging careers. Now it seems controversial figures such as Mel
Gibson – who can be seen in the lead role of Jodie Foster’s The Beaver later
this month – prove; not even anti-Semitic drunken rages can keep a man down in
Hollywood regardless if it is an industry founded and run by Jews. With this
thought in mind, FilmJuice decided to take a look at some industry figures that have a
questionable place in Hollywood; whether it’s because of their unhinged
personal lives or a downward spiral at the box office.

Mel Gibson

Hey Day : In his hey-day New York born
but Oz raised Mel was the leading man of choice – handsome – and yet
attainable, masculine and a loveable family man. He burst onto the
scene in apocalyptic movie Mad Max and went on to star in another forty films
and direct five, including hits such as Lethal Weapon (all four of them),
Braveheart (which he won an Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director), We Were
Soliders
and The Patriot.

Where did they go wrong? Mel’s monumental
fall from grace started in 2006 when he was arrested for driving under the
influence and reportedly told the arresting officer that Jews were responsible for
everything wrong in the world. He was consequently shunned by Hollywood. Later,
in 2010, several tapes were exposed of Gibson allegedly using racist names and
phrases, including calling Jewish Winona Ryder an “oven Dodger”. Shades of Gibson’s anti-Semitic views were evident in his 2004 film
Passion of the Christ. No-one in Hollywood would touch the script because of
its anti-Semitic undertones, but this didn’t deter Gibson and he wrote,
directed and produced the movie to huge financial success; he invested $30 million of his own money but reaped $300 million back. Later in 2006 – after his DUI arrest – he released Apocalypto on his own production label. It bombed at the box office and
also raised questions about his portrayal of the Mayan people, which is what the
film is about.

And Now?

Gibson was recently dropped from a bit part in the
Hangover 2 because some members of the cast refused to work with him.
Nevertheless, as aforementioned, Gibson plays a depressed middle-aged
man who uses a hand puppet to express his feelings in The Beaver, directed by
Jodie Foster and released next week. When it debuted at Cannes, Gibson didn’t
speak for himself – much like his character – but his long-term friend Foster
did say: “I can’t excuse Mel’s behavior.
Only he can explain that, but I do know the friend that I know, who’s been a
friend for many, many years. As a friend, he is kind and loyal and
thoughtful.” The film has apparently bombed at the box office in the US
but this won’t stop Gibson. He has
already proven himself to be a resourceful, albeit controversial, independent
filmmaker with The Passion of the Christ and even now he has two more movies in
the pipeline: How I Spent My Summer, which he co-wrote and stars in, and
Sleight of Hand. He may be reviled in Hollywood but with money, ability and
some forgiving friends in high places anything is possible – all he needs to do
now is convince the movie going public.

Mel and Jodie on the red carpet at
Cannes

Lars Von Trier

Hey Day? Von Trier has had a long and
experimental career, most notably as part of the Dogme 95 set which makes films
according to 10 rules. During this
time he made the controversial and debate sparking film called The Idiots in
1998, about a group of adults who act as if they are developmentally disabled;
it was nominated for the Palme D’Or award at Cannes. Von Trier actively courts
controversy and critics and audiences tend to either love or hate his films.
For example his last movie Antichrist split reviewers with some lauding him as
an important director of our time and others calling him intentionally
offensive. He also won the Palme D’Or for his 2000 film Dancer in the Dark.

Where did it all go wrong? This year he was
expelled from Cannes film festival for saying ‘I understand Hitler’
among other ramblings at a press conference for
his film Melancholia. Unlike Gibson’s Von Trier’s statement was made coherently
and can, in a way, be interpreted in different ways – for example Danielle Berrin in her blog for Jewishjournal.com stated
that: “Lars von Trier is not an anti-Semite.”

And now? We wait and
see the real fall out. He won’t be going back to Cannes but we predict Von
Trier – in the long run – won’t be greatly affected by this episode. As we have
seen, it takes a lot to keep a well known and established director or star from
making movies. And, unlike Gibson, Von Trier’s comments were not made
aggressively or with malice. He once thought he was a Jew but discovered he was
in fact a German and instead of being malicious he seems to be grappling with
some personal issue. But needless to say we shall certainly be watching this
space!

Kirstein Dunst Squirms At Controversial Cannes Press Conference

M Night Shyamalan

Hey Day: Shyamalan got movie goers
tongues wagging in 1999 with his third movie, The Sixth Sense, starring Bruce
Willis, which he wrote and directed. Film fans were enthralled by its shocking
plot twist and the boy who saw dead people. His next feature film, Unbreakable,
was eagerly awaited and although it didn’t reach the hysteria of his previous
film it was still well received. His last respectable film was Signs in 2002,
starring Mel Gibson before his own career took a monumental dive.

Where did it all go wrong? After Signs the once celebrated
director’s films have taken a steady downward trajectory to rubbishness. The
Village, released in 2004, was a financial success but was slated by critics.
Subsequently none of his next four films – The Lady in the Water, The
Happening, The Last Airbender – were financially or critically triumphant. TIME
magazine film reviewer, Richard Corless, said of The Last Airbender: “Please,
Hollywood, if there’s to be another Airbender movie, hand the job to some
efficient hack, and not to a once mesmerizing artist who’s lost his way.” Even
his fans have had enough; Chris Baker, a copywriter and author has even set up a campaign on a crowd-sourcing website to raise money in order to send Shyamalan back to film school!

And Now? It’s a surprise
Shyamalan was given funding for his last two films considering the poor
reception of the prior two. Nevertheless, it seems Hollywood prefer their
recognisable names – no matter how poor – instead of new talent and Shyamalan
is reported to be making a new film starring Will Smith and Smith’s son Jaden set 100 years in the future. Shyamalan must be the cat
of Hollywood, although he appears to be running out of his nine lives.

The Last Airbender Trailor

Want more? Next week, FilmJuice brings you Part 2 of Reviled & Working In Hollywood

Marcia Degia - Publisher

Marcia Degia, who has worked in the media industry for more than 20 years, is the Publishing Editor of KOL Social Magazine. See website: thekolsocial.com

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