Thursday, November 09, 2006

More at Borat

(This is a follow-up to my Borat post on 3 November.)

Tony Karon at Rootless Cosmopolitan gives a very smart analysis of Cohen's bigotry in Borat from the perspective of a Jewish person. And xymphora gives a succinct analysis as well. I'm relieved to find others writing about this.

I've also recently learned from an article on About.com that Universal will begin filming a Bruno movie next summer. No no make it go away! Another article quotes a source as saying "Borat set the cat among the pigeons but Bruno will push things much further. He'll be going into the heart of the US redneck community to ask about really personal things." If that's actually true, then it may be that some of the motivation for Cohen's work is to enlighten the public to prejudice. Although, since Cohen's deal with Universal is rumored to be $42 million, I think we understand Cohen's real motivation. If he could make that much with an anti-Jew/pro-Muslim movie, he'd do it. Say, a nephew of Linda Richman named Benyamin who exhibits Borat-class bigotry, but toward Muslims, and an equal degree of cultural ignorance regarding anything non-kosher.

How about it, Sacha? Interested in creating a new character? Of course you'd make big bucks with it. With that in mind, it should be easy to skewer Jewish stereotypes with the same degree of enthusiasm and vindictiveness you skewer other stereotypes, right?

Regarding Linda Richman, I learned only recently that Mike Myers isn't Jewish. With a name like Myers—what, you think maybe he's Portuguese? [Big shrug] Aren't Meyers, Meyer and Mayer Jewish names? Anyway, knowing that Myers isn't Jewish dims his portrayal of Linda Richman a bit. I thought he was a Jew skewering Jewish stereotypes. Never mind.

I also read recently that Cohen is engaged to Isla Fisher, and Wikipedia reports that "Fisher pledged to convert to Judaism before the wedding, and received the blessing of Baron Cohen's devout Jewish parents." Now, I wonder if it occurred to anyone involved to consider Cohen converting to Fisher's religion? Or both Cohen and Fisher converting to no religion?

Wikipedia continues: "Baron Cohen is also himself devout; [producer] Roach told reporters that Baron Cohen keeps kosher and will not use the phone on the Sabbath." Don't get me started...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isla announced quite some time ago that her family has never been religious. Sacha's faith is important to him and his family, so she said it made sense for her to convert. She also said they'd be getting married in Australia which is important to her, rather than the places Sacha has serious ties to (England and Israel). Looks like a rational compromise to me.

Bruno has been a longstanding character on the Da Ali G Show. Long before there was any possibility of big money Sacha was in the UK walking into nazi skinhead events, etc as Bruno with a tiny camera crew and no protection.

John said...

Shoot. I thought it was a comment from the Sacha himself, since Site Meter indicated that a visitor to my blog from London spent 11 minutes yesterday on one page of my blog. But the above comment was left today by someone in Canada.

Anyway, it definitely makes *financial* sense for Isla to convert. But from a personal standpoint, did she have a deep religious experience and now is converting to a religion because of her new-found faith? Of course not. A compromise, yes. Rational, no.

How does Sacha's using Bruno to antagonize skinheads establish that Bruno is a character who is both pro-gay and pro-Austrian? Yes, skinheads are as stupid as rednecks, but Bruno is as inaccurate and insulting as Borat. That's being a cultural ambassador??

I suppose I would like Cohen to be a lot less private and honestly establish that he is a pro-Black, pro-Muslim and pro-gay person with no personal prejudice against any group. The *only* thing we know about Cohen for sure is that he's pro-Jewish.

kelso said...

wow- i came across this blog by accident; what antisemitic smut! your ignorance is radiant.