Where Will An Anti-Trump Film Come From?



Rebuilding Satire

Who will be the first to satirise this almost-unsatirisable change in America before Trump – who has already started banning reporters from briefings, so far CNN, the Guardian and the New York Times – starts the kind of censorship that always accompanies rising warmongers?

So far Hollywood appears toothless, although they require a lot of lead-time and someone brave enough to risk their career. Instead, in entertainment terms we’re heading into an unprecedented period of reruns, remakes and retreads of ideas we’re over-familiar with. There are around 30 film remakes coming our way, with new versions of everything from ‘Mary Poppins’ to ‘Don’t Look Now’ on the cards. I am avoiding any mention of Sherlock Holmes here, who was worn thin with overuse before I was born.

The 1960s and early 1970s produced a range of both serious and comic looks at the USA’s slide into disaster under Nixon. Surely it will happen again? TV is quicker to respond to the changes which are occurring in this lightning-fast administration, the first Twitter presidency in which real politicians are being replaced with Beverly Hillbillies. The Honeymonster President will scream and shout but he can’t shut everyone down.

Remaking Horror

This made me think about how remakes so often miss the point of the originals. Although nobody remakes SF movies well – The ‘Omega Man’ remake with Will Smith was a horrible travesty of the book and first film (see elsewhere on this site) – there have been a few decent remakes of horror films. Not that I’m thrilled to hear that there’s to be a remake of ‘Suspiria’, Dario Argento’s only truly perfect horror film. But ‘Evil Dead’, ‘Night of the Living Dead, both versions of  surprisingly political ‘We Are What We Are’, and ‘Let The Right One In’ were all great, and very nearly every remake of Jack Finney’s ‘Body Snatchers’ has been worth seeing.

Now we have yet another pointless big monkey film coming with ‘Kong: Skull Island’ or whatever the thing is called, and frankly who cares? The reason why the original worked becomes clear when you see it projected. The ape, stop-motion puppet with wiggling fur he may be, is bigger than the audience – that’s where his power lies. But in successive remakes size is rendered unimportant or dropped in favour of fast cutting techniques. Check out the first and best in a rep house if you don’t believe me.

For now, though, it seems that original horror films and novels are dead, dystopic science fiction has been overtaken by world events, and we may all have to settle for upbeat lightweight comedies until Trump is impeached – assuming he is.


4 comments on “Where Will An Anti-Trump Film Come From?”

  1. James W says:

    The internet is awash with Trump satire but while it’s very entertaining we’ve got to remember that he’s not funny, he’s dangerous. Unfortunately the Vice President isn’t going to be any better and with his extreme evangelicalism is possibly going to be even worse. I fear that the GOP were always planning on Trump being impeached sooner rather than later and replacing him with Pence.

  2. Vivienne says:

    I don’t want Trump impeached, I just want him to come to the realisation that he’s not up to it and throw in the towel in a temper. Otherwise he’ll always see himself as a hero.

  3. Chris Webb says:

    Satire is the most effective weapon ever invented. People don’t like being made to look stupid, and people don’t like supporting those who are – the ridicule rubs off. Fortunately Americans don’t like being told what to do, possibly a particulary Republican trait but no doubt Democrats/liberals can be equally “bolshy” when necessary.

    Regarding remakes, just what the hell is the point? If a film is good it stands up on its own, and a remake can only be worse. If the original is mediocre or bad a remake isn’t going to be any better. They are just a cynical attempt to cash in on an existing film’s name and reputation. Most absurd example is the “re-imaging” of Psycho. Absolutely dreadful and a disgrace to all involved. (Just realised that sounds as if it was written by Victor Meldrew. Sorry, I’m not usually that cantankerous!)

  4. Brooke says:

    “The Honeymonster President will scream and shout but he can’t shut everyone down.” Perhaps…but he and his minions can sue; no Hollywood CEO will risk his job.

    Mr. Trump is not the problem; he is doing what US citizen voted for. It is however a question of the mentality of people of the United States. The propaganda machine has anticipated the “liberal” impeachment strategy. The cover of the National Inquirer (the original supermarket tabloid) for this week announces “Obama’s strategy to impeach Trump!” You can see the obvious at work here–sells big.

    BTW– congress votes on the articles of impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors– the kind of crimes that only the president can commit (like treasonous relations with the Russian emperor) and there has to be sufficient proof. Given the existing majority– the articles would not get the vote needed. Even if the articles passed, then there is a trial of the president. Only if found guilty at the end of this long process, can the president be removed.

    I’m with Vivienne–a temper tantrum would be better.

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