Are we condoning the conduct of Hollywood’s tyrants by watching their films?


Xan Brooks in The Guardian:

If modern day Hollywood has a Harry Lime figure, it is surely Harvey Weinstein, another hubristic monster who played by his own rules. Weinstein, sources say, would typically explain his volcanic temper and voracious appetites as being all part and parcel of his “passion for movies”. This implied that the ends always justified the means – even if the means were compulsive sexual harassment, and allegedly worse; even if the end was a film like Madonna’s W.E. Ultimately, he was no more a great artist than smirking Lime. And yet Weinstein’s fall has cast the whole industry in an ugly light. It’s like directing a UVA lamp at a crime scene. That gleaming interior is thick with thumbprints, blood and semen.

Weinstein’s disgrace is still rolling news. It remains to be seen where more evidence is uncovered and which other film-makers get caught in the net. Beauchamp hopes that the repercussions will prompt a wider societal shift. Failing that, it may result in a few repeat offenders being abruptly scared straight.

“Fear is the operative emotion in this town,” she says. “And the priority is always the next quarter’s bottom line. Right now, after Weinstein, everybody’s floundering, looking over their shoulder. If it’s because of fear that some people will stop intimidating other people, then that’s good, I’ll accept it. At least it means that they’re stopping.”

So what should we choose – cuckoo clock or Renaissance? Alternatively we could agree that the distinction is false.

More here.