Attachment: Forbidden fruit

Well, this is my take on the Sony/North Korea/“The Interview” film. I think this movie is getting the greatest publicity of any film since Gone With the Wind. If a PR firm was or is behind it, congratulations! A few self-righteous people will refuse to go near the movie houses chosen to put it on their screens, but evidently, the selected small, independent movie theaters that released it on Christmas Day were all sold out.

Audience comments that it was just a so-so movie may squelch the compulsion to see it, but considering the indomitable passion of Black Fridays and similar bargain-fests, audiences will probably continue to flock to this forbidden-fruit film.

An unexpected result is the commercial confrontation it’s causing between the big movie house chains and the producers of digital entertainment. “The Interview” is available at $5.99 as a podcast or $14.99 as a DVD. What will this do to the future of cinematic viewing? Will it be a trend that will make going to the big-name movie-plexes   too costly? After all, you can watch “The Interview” as often as you like and show it to as many friends as you like for so much less money than seeing it once outside.

It seems that more movies are being made than almost ever before. A few are really wonderful. Many are really stupid. Computers have made fantastic special effects almost mandatory. Dysfunctional family comedy is often tragically unfunny. Yet, the film experience, the escape of it, the fascination of it, can be a couple of hours of vicarious life that feeds the imagination and revives the soul. Film as propaganda is something else.  Satire is an art as well as enlightenment when it’s done skillfully. Otherwise, it can be irresponsibly over the top.

Though situations like “The Interview” can evoke threatening ideas of censorship and freedom of the press, who knows if someday the whole thing will be revealed as a sleazy trick, a scam bordering on the sinister. It’s a shame that better entertainment doesn’t get the same attention.