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Old 11-04-2006, 07:40 PM   #1760
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 8,907

I read the first part of the Salon review of Borat and found this interesting:

Great humor is often cruel, and by laughing, we -- the audience -- are complicit in that cruelty. "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," the faux documentary starring (and conceived by) English comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and directed by Larry Charles, is a pure example of the way good satire can never be clean, either for the perpetrator or for the viewer. The movie has already attracted some controversy: The Anti-Defamation League has released a statement about it, acknowledging that Cohen uses "humor to unmask the absurd and irrational side of anti-Semitism and other phobias born of ignorance and fear" before moving in for the clincher: "We are concerned, however, that one serious pitfall is that the audience may not always be sophisticated enough to get the joke, and that some may even find it reinforcing their bigotry."

But that, I'm afraid, is the way the knish crumbles. If the public needs to be protected from humor, then there's no way humor can do its job -- particularly if that job is sometimes a dirty one.
Oh and to put my two cents in on Billy Wilder, I've only seen Sabrina and Stalag 17 and loved them both. Obviously (well to me at least), Hogan's Heroes is a take on Stalag 17 but the movie does it much, much better (and there are funny parts which work very well in an otherwise dark movie).
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