Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bad conservative movie coming soon!

A movie that I hadn't heard of until today is allegedly coming soon to a movie theater near you. It's called "An American Carol," and it sounds horrendous. IMDb lists the release date as October 3 of this year. It's not completely surprising that I haven't heard of it, but I do try to keep up on these things. It's going to have an IPO on HSX next week. The IPO price is H$6.00, which I think is optimistic. That price means that the folks at HSX think it might make as much as $6 million in the first four weeks of release. The lowest possible price for an IPO is H$3, which is usually reserved for documentaries and foreign movies that are going to make a few thousand at most.

So maybe the H$6 price means that they're being nice.

Unfortunately, the Liberty Film Festival, my source for all things conservative-film related, is on hiatus (I know the founders). The closest I can come to a conservative review is this review from Reason, which is technically a libertarian rag.

I've thot a bit about why conservatives don't make good movies. It's not that they don't want to. And it's not as if there aren't conservatives who aren't talented.

I think the problem is that making great movies requires a strong sense of empathy, and conservatism, as an ideology, is not strong on emphasizing empathy. As individuals, conservatives are perfectly capable of being good, sympathetic listeners. Conservatives can be just as compassionate in person as liberals.

Ideologically, however, conservatism tends to stress principles like competition, the rights of the individual to compete in free markets, etc. Every man for himself, that kind of thing.

I make a distinction between ideological conservatives, like William Kristol, who preach the virtues of the free market, and actual businesspeople, who are IN the free market. Many businesspeople have to be empathetic; salespeople in particular have to listen to and understand their customers. Business folks also have to make an effort to understand the world as it is so they can deal with it, rather than try to impose their will on it. Ideologues of all stripes, left and right, tend to want to shape reality and make it conform to their desires, rather than working with what's possible. Ideologues who make movies are making movies that they want to make, not that audiences want to watch.

In this respect, the free market is actually a blessing for liberals in Hollywood, because it forces them to compromise between making movies according to their political ideals and making movies that will attract audiences. While it may constrain a liberal's idealism to make movies in Hollywood, doing so also forces them to make good movies.

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