Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Bleep! this, nitwit

AMC is running Bleep! Censoring Hollywood, studying a "controversial movement" of a small number of companies that sanitize Hollywood movies of sex, profanity, and violence. ClearPlay, for example, is software that automatically fast-forwards through, or mutes over, sections of the film.

The AMC site has quite a bit of streaming video, which doesn't seem to play right for me in Firefox (which is just another example of what's wrong with the entertainment industry). In one of them, Steven Soderberg is complaining about the edit of his movie Traffic,

It doesn't make me happy that some anonymous person sitting in a room somewhere can recut Traffic, and can essentially sell that version of it through this software, and it has my name on it and the implication is that I condoned it or that it represents what I did.

First of all, it's not like anyone is going to accidentally get a CleanFlicks (a NetFlix-like service) version of a movie and not realize that it's been edited. People seek these services out for a reason.

Secondly, and what Soderberg doesn't seem to get is that I don't give a damn about his artistic vision. It's my movie, and I'll do with it what I damn well want to. If I want to fast-forward through the rape scene in Showgirls, I damn well will. If I want to freeze-frame Russell Crowe's mostly naked scene in The Sum of Us, I damn well will (and have). I read magazine articles out of order too, and even tear out the heavy paper advertising inserts I find so annoying. Once you sell me a product, it's mine to do whatever I want with. You've lost control, get over it.

OK, yeah, cleaning up Hollywood movies is kinda silly. And, yes, I'm a bit disturbed that one of the things that one of these companies remove from movies is "homosexuality, perversions, and cohabitation." But it's not the director's decision in these matters, and it's not mine, either.

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