By Ben Pensant
Few things are as painful as a disappointing cinema visit, especially one you’ve avoided paying for by hiding under a seat pretending to be a shadow. Sadly, it’s a trauma all-too familiar to liberals, such is the volume of alt-right propaganda produced by the most left-leaning industry on earth. And while I haven’t paid for a film since 1999, there’s little consolation in knowing the racist trash I’m forced to sit through cost nothing. (Oh and fuck UCI and the fascist bouncers they hired for the opening weekend of Star Wars: Phantom Lord. I hope you choked on my bastard fiver.)
The sad thing is I was under the impression Hollywood had finally embraced modern progressivism and started allowing million-dollar decisions to be routinely dictated by outraged virgins on Twitter. Instead I regularly arrive at my local arthouse for the latest ‘wokebuster’ only to find it’s anything but. Even worse, most of what masquerades as SJW cinema doesn’t merely fail to espouse left-wing ideology: it pisses all over it.
Like cis-gendered wolves in non-binary clothing, Tinseltown has decided the best way to remain relevant is to churn out movies that appear stuffed with progressive values but on closer inspection brim with far-right fury. Exactly the kind of deception you’d expect from an industry run by Nazi Jews and faumosexual rapists.
And in 2019 this dark trend is spreading like cancer, with fresh dollops of fascist dogma stinking up multiplexes weekly. Hence this damning report, which is in no way whatsoever a lame excuse to paste together various stray observations too half-arsed to warrant a whole article.
Which brings me to Lady Marvel. After respectfully waiting a month in order to give the female comic-geek community of Newcastle a chance to see it first, I eventually took the plunge in April, satisfied that the fat goth from Presto and her ugly mate who wanked off my cousin on the X25 had seen it twice. As I made my way into the auditorium disguised as a cleaner I was giddy with excitement. And with good reason, as Mrs. Marvel ticked every box: female lead, women chinning blokes, and virtually no white men apart from that English baddy with the girl’s name. Star Brie Lawson also got me in the mood before the movie’s release with a series of interviews stuffed with brave, ballsy platitudes about gender and empowerment or something.
But having duped the usher with a soggy jay cloth and two popcorn cartons taped to my chest, what unfolded over the next two hours shook me to my core. Because far from being a switched-on celebration of victimhood, the film essentially says ‘up yours!’ to modern feminism. Indeed, the internalised misogyny of Lawson’s Karen Danvers finally confirms that summer blockbusters are now completely controlled by the Trump administration.
Consider this: After finding out Danvers isn’t a Martian, we learn that she became a brilliant pilot after working hard and proving herself rather than being parachuted into a job to satisfy diversity quotas. We then see her beating up men because she’s better at fighting than them, and not because they let her win for the sake of intersectionality. And most egregiously, after Danvers saves the day she has the chance to punish crap Caucasian villain Judy Law. Does she do what any self-respecting progressive would and pen a searing blogpost about toxic masculinity? Does she get him sacked because his foot brushed her fanny while she was kicking his head? Not quite. She decides the most fitting punishment for a space alien is to…send him into space. Wow. Why not just give him a farewell nosh while you’re at it?
This is Hollywood. A supposedly PC blockbuster with a female lead who makes her own luck without asking for special treatment and lets a privileged white supervillain off with a slap on the wrist. Basically, the complete opposite of everything modern feminism represents. And as if such tone-deaf chauvinism wasn’t vile enough, five minutes before the end I suddenly realised that Karen Danvers doesn’t have a cock. Yep, after giving leftists the come-on for two hours it turns out the film’s protagonist isn’t even a real woman: she’s a sodding menstruator. With tits and a functioning fanny. Way to alienate your audience, DC.
But this is typical of a film with the most ill-judged casting since HBO denied drug-dealing Maths teachers the opportunity to represent themselves by hiring Brian Cranston to star in Breaking Saul. And it started so well: I was initially blown away by how much the actor playing young Larry Fishbone looked exactly like young Larry Fishbone. “Wow” I thought. “They gave the role to someone who actually resembles the Reservoir Dogs star, rather than just hiring a teenager with the same colour hair!”
Sadly, it soon became clear that I wasn’t watching a member of the Larry Fishbone lookalike community at all. No, the DC suits had gaslighted the real Larry Fishbone into taking the white man’s dollar on the promise that they obscure his wrinkly face with cheap make-up and rubbish GCI. Needless to say I stormed out the second the credits rolled, not even pausing to spit on the usher like I usually do when I’m short-changed by a film I haven’t paid to watch. But the sad thing is, in any normal year a movie as eyepoppingly right-wing as Marvel Girl would be an anomaly, roundly mocked and boycotted by people who’ve never seen it. Things are far from normal in the post-Trump world however, as 2019’s roster of cinematic duplicity demonstrates.
Take Ian McKay’s The Vice, the Dick Chaney biopic that appears to hit all the right notes before disgracing itself in the third act by promoting the most luridly right-wing ideology this side of The Green Hornets. Which is a huge shame as the film gets so much right, spending most of its running time pretending the last two Democrat governments didn’t exist and ignoring the fact that their foreign policy was remarkably similar to the evil Bush regime’s. And naturally Bush and co. are held uniquely responsible for every bad thing the USA has ever done, even though their love of torture and bombing Muslim countries was adopted with gusto by St. Barack.
Chaney’s tyrannical use of executive orders to push through diabolical policies is also attacked, the film suggesting this directly lead to the obscene powers now enjoyed by President Pussy-Grab. Luckily the film avoids mentioning that no President has pursued executive power as hungrily as Obama, who made a hobby of extending his reach throughout his glorious 8 years as LOTUS. Indeed, in line with the modern liberal trend for pretending Obama’s presidency never happened, the script virtually ignores his two terms, McKay jumping straight from Dubya to Trump and standing up for liberal values by erasing one of the most important black men in American history. In fact, Obama and Mr. Hillary Clinton get so few mentions you’d think they’d never been in power. You’d certainly never guess they were responsible for a multitude of reckless interventions every bit as hawkish and warmongery as those carried out by the awful Republicans.
Elsewhere, the film makes much of Chaney supposedly advising his daughter not to back gay marriage when she ran for the senate, causing a longstanding rift with her gay sister. Naturally, we have no way of knowing if Chaney caused the fall-out by talking her into betraying her sibling for political capital. But that doesn’t bother McKay, who decides he must have done because well, as the director is somewhat keen to point out, Chaney was Satan. He even cheekily inserts a false ending which implies that if Chaney weren’t Satan he would have resigned years earlier and kept his daughter’s sexuality a secret. Perfect. And while it may seem strange for a liberal to argue that gay people should keep their gayness to themselves, one of the greatest things about modern leftists is our ability to wilfully contradict ourselves and still be the most progressive people in the room. This is also apparent in the film’s puritanism, with Chaney repeatedly shamed for being fat, unhealthy and – the horror! – liking a drink. A sure-fire sign of diabolical evil, as anyone who’s seen Nigel Farrage swig a pint knows.
Sounds great, eh? And it is. Until the film turns its attentions to terrorism and shits its brains out. Because in an act of cowardice on par with Steven Soderbergh depicting Black November as cold-blooded killers simply because they killed people in cold blood, McKay destroys his good work by suggesting that Islamic extremism is a bad thing. So while every proper leftist knows fine well that the jihad against the West is fully justified because of Islamophobia or something, McKay bottles it and merely blames the US for creating the conditions which allowed Islamic extremism to flourish, acknowledging that we created vacuums and grievances that were exploited by bad people but failing to defend those grievances or side with the bad people.
McKay even highlights the terrorist attacks that have occurred since the Iraq war but chickens out of saying that the victims deserved it. Pussy. He then pathetically tries to make up for it with a half-hearted title card stating that 600,000 deaths were caused by the Iraq War – wisely neglecting to mention that those nice Iraqi Resistance lads were responsible for a big chunk of them – but it’s too little too late. Depressing stuff but I’m not sure why I expected better from a director who put Gareth Bale in a fat-suit rather than giving the role to an actual porker.
A similar desire to court the alt-right pervaded U.S, the smash-hit horror that should have cemented John Peele’s reputation as the hottest new filmmaker in town but instead merely proved that he’s quite happy to betray his people if it keeps whitey happy.
I expected great things from Peele, whose disturbing debut Get Away pitted wealthy white liberals against a self-hating black determined to scupper their plan to empower African-Americans by implanting Caucasian brains into their heads. The thoroughly bleak climax saw Peele bravely eschew happy endings, as the deranged villain slowly wipes out the brave white family, before driving off in search of more middle-class leftists to slaughter simply because they value black people for their skin instead of their minds.
Sadly, U.S offers no such intersectional principles, with its tale of an abandoned underground facility teeming with a shambling army of uncultured, murderous clones desperate to experience life up top. Because what Peele is implying is that it’s not just race that divides America but class, as if social and economic issues affect all groups rather than just the ones the contemporary left have placed at the top of the Oppression League Table. But this is a filmmaker who sells out his brothers by demanding liberal audiences root for a black family who are best friends with a white couple. Sick. My guess is if you were to ‘Peele’ this so-called auteur there’d be nothing but vanilla ice cream underneath.
Still, at least he prepared me for If Beale Street Could Walk. Featuring an all black cast, directed by black Moonlight Mile helmer Barry Tomkins, and based on a book by black crime novelist Mike Baldwin, to all intents and purposes it’s the wokebuster to end all wokebusters. Until it takes a sharp rightwards turn halfway through, sticking two fingers up at #MeMe by suggesting that a man accused of rape might be innocent. Yep, in 2019 a movie is actually indulging the misogynistic myth that sometimes women lie. Subhuman. And to add insult to injury, despite copious black talent on both sides of the camera the film is piss-poor on representation. I mean, would it have killed Tomkins to cast an actual black rapist as the man accused of rape? It’s not as if there aren’t plenty to choose from.
But this is the new normal. As Marvel Woman illustrated, it’s the summer blockbusters that are raising the bar for right-wing messaging. Avengers: Ender’s Game raked in millions despite its rank fat-shaming and racist belief that the world’s problems can be solved by rich white men with magic spacesuits, while Godzilla: King Of The Munsters was a huge hit even though it demonised the entire green movement by making its baddies eco-warriors. Brilliant. Why not just have a 300ft Greta Funbag stomping skyscrapers and destroying the planet with her radioactive farts?
And don’t get me started on X-Men: Pat Phoenix, with its hateful lie that women are too flighty to handle superpowers without causing car crashes and killing their parents. Or Spiderman: Homeward Bound, which undermined its commitment to diversity by having progressive heroine Mary Joan spend the whole film swooning at a creepy white cis-boy in tights.
But the most disturbing part is that all of these films were box office hits despite uptight singletons complaining about them on social media, opening up the terrifying prospect that people who spend their lives moaning on the internet don’t have quite as much influence as we thought. And with Chris Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In LA about to open and offend decent liberals everywhere with its sordid orgy of bare feet, ‘bitches’ and bigotry, it seems the Ovaltine Window has significantly shifted: they’re not even pretending to be woke anymore. Shameful.
All we can do is pray that the few out-and-proud liberals who haven’t been banished from Hollywood will continue making their voices heard. So three cheers for the brave producers who put principle before profit and internet outrage before common sense by firing edgy comic Sarah Silverwoman after footage emerged of her dressed as Diane Abbott.
Much like Brie Lawson, Sarah had spent years fooling the world into thinking she was one of The Good People, though in this age of antisemitism smears and shady Zionist lobbies, one look at her surname should have been enough to tip us off. No doubt whoever binned Sarah will end up like Brian Epstein once the FBI find out but Christ, at least they did something.
Anyway, exposing all of this bigotry has made me quite nauseous. Time to take a break from the racism and sexism and occupy my mind with something altogether more progressive. Thank god I have a column to write on Carolyn Lucas’s all-white, women-only anti-Brexit cabinet. I hear her brother George is already planning a film about it. Now that’ll be worth hiding under a chair for.