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November 02, 2007

Anti-War Bomb Lambs For Lions May Inflict Collateral Damage on MGM's Ability To Secure Financing

You know you've made a crap movie when it threatens your ability to make other crap movies.

The initial negative reception to "Lions for Lambs" - the first movie to come out under Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner's resurrected United Artists label - could harm parent studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's own attempts to raise money for film productions.

MGM had enlisted Goldman Sachs to raise between $500 million and $1 billion before the credit markets crashed this summer, and several sources confirmed that while the credit markets are still tight, the investment bank is again making the rounds for MGM.

But with "Lions for Lambs" - which also stars Robert Redford and Meryl Streep - so far tracking the worst among audiences for any Cruise movie to date, the Nov. 9 release of the film is bound to dampen enthusiasm for MGM's fund.

I am big! It's the financing that's gotten small.

Related is this Roger L. Simon piece on whether or not there is a new Hollywood blacklist.


So I have not lost sleep worrying whether I have been blacklisted. Still I am sure this new form of Blacklist exists, but not nearly to the formalized extent of the original list of the forties and fifties with its Red Channels and dramatic hearings in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee, featuring ‘friendly’ and ‘unfriendly’ witnesses. Times are different and the system functions in a very different manner. Now it operates through an almost invisible thought control caused by a post-Orwellian “liberal” conformity so pervasive a formal Blacklist is not necessary, indeed would work against itself. In some ways, this new, less overt, list is more ominous than its predecessor, because there is nothing concrete to rebel against, no hearings, no committees, no protest groups pro or con, no secret databases that I know of. There doesn’t need to be. There is no there there, in Gertrude’s immortal words – only the grey haze of a mindless received “liberalism”, the world as last month’s New York Times editorials, half-digested and regurgitated, never questioned or even analyzed, going forth forever with little perceived chance of reform, as if it were the permanent religious text of some strange new orthodoxy.


If you don’t agree with this particular weltanschauung, even if you dissent from its orthodoxy just a tiny bit, you have but three choices: One, you can argue, in which case you are almost certain to be dismissed as a fool, a warmonger or a right wing nut (all three, probably) and therefore have little or no chance at the writing or directing job that brought you there. Two, you can shut up and ignore it (stay in the closet), in which case you feel like a coward and experience (as I have) a dose of existential nausea straight out of Sartre or, three, you can stop going to the meetings altogether, in which case you have blacklisted yourself.

I don’t know the size of that self-selected blacklist, but suspect it is substantial though not as large as the number of nausea victims – those in the closet.


There are many reasons for the failure of these movies, but chief among them is not what the right-wing blogs say – that they are out of touch with the public....

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posted by Ace at 05:44 PM

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