Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One week away...Who are you choosing?

In one week, the November election will be old news. The United States will have a new president that will shake up a few things in Washington and history, regardless of the win. So if this is a filmmaking blog, why am I talking about the election?

As any mediaheads will tell you, political discourse dictates social discourse, which in turn, dictates how artists see the changing world around them. Depending on the outcome, many filmmakers will attempt to capture, in their own way, an interpretation of the results. And if you live in California, like I do, you are aware of many the propositions that could shake up the rest of the nation: such as the infamous Prop 8.

Some of our best films grew out of political discourse. Casablanca grew out of World War II. Apocalypse Now, although an adaption of the European Imperialism-era novel Heart of Darkness, was also inspired by the Vietnam Conflict. Then you have Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, which is a film many compare Obama's road to.

If Obama were elected, films like Head of State, which specifically points out the hilarity of having an African-American POTUS, will become seriously outdated. If McCain were elected, many films about vets and war might emerge. And with Sarah Palin in the mix, that short-lived show with Geena Davis as a VP who finally finds herself President might be given a second look.

Filmmakers are the most political people I know, but many are not as liberal as the general public would like to think. All in all, Hollywood, however risky, is a conservative machine, which resorts to the same working formula over and over (sequels, anyone?). Part of this working formula is to stay topical, but not too topical. However, given the stakes in this election, whatever happens next week will change the face of popular culture for generations to come.

Happy voting (and filmmaking)!

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