Homeland Security at Work
The famed New York Film Festival draws attendees from all over the world. The 40 year-old event is a chance for people of all races and creeds to join together, share works of cinematic art, and engage in intelligent discourse. Unless you’re from Middle East, apparently. E! Online recently reported that famed Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami will be unable to attend the festival as the U.S. government turned down his visa request. Kiarostami, whose most recent film dealt with the emotional lives of women in Iran, is one of the world’s most respected filmmakers and has visited the U.S. numerous times. The government claims post-September 11 restrictions will keep him out.
Damn straight, you go Bush! Highlighting the emotional lives of women in an oppressive society like Iran obviously makes him a political dissident. And once a dissident, always a dissident. We can’t allow dangerous rabble-rousers like that into the country. Besides, that respected filmmaker image is obviously a facade, cleverly crafted to conceal Kiarostami’s true activities as an international terrorist.
Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki has a different take on the matter, saying he’ll boycott the Festival in protest. “If international cultural exchange is prevented,” the filmmaker told the New York Times, “What is left? An exchange of arms?” He must be a terrorist too.
The Surreal World
Have you ever laid awake in bed at night, unable to sleep because you desperately needed to know what it’d be like if rapper M.C. Hammer, Webster’s Emmanuel Lewis, The Facts of Life’s Mindy Cohn, and rocker Vince Neil got together and lived in a house? If you have, you deserve whatever misery fate sees fit to punish you with, but unfortunately your question is about to be answered. The WB is rounding up a plethora of C-list celebrities to be part of their upcoming reality series The Surreal Life. The Real World-esque show has them moving into a house for two weeks, where cameras will follow them round-the-clock.
So now you can sleep soundly at night. This is good, because it’ll make it easier for me to sneak into your house and tie you to your bed, thus ensuring this stupid show has no audience and tanks.
Nobody’s Lawn Ornament
Arnold Schwarzenegger recently wrote to a group in his hometown of Graz, Austria, kindly asking that they not place an 82-foot Terminator statue in the city’s park. The towering, globe-holding cyborg figure would have overshadowed more traditional statues.
“[Arnold] was flattered but he thought it would be better to spend the money on social projects and the Special Olympics,” the group’s manager told the Associated Press.
At least the group wasn’t going to put up statues honoring his roles in Last Action Hero or Planet Hollywood. Say what you want about his acting abilities, but at least Schwarzenegger has some sense of propriety and decorum.
Visit Beautiful Romania
The Romanian government, on the other hand, is plunging headlong into a $30 million Disney-esque theme park dedicated to everybody’s favorite bloodsucker, Dracula. The attraction will be built near the Transylvanian town of Sighisoara, despite widespread protests that it would ruin the medieval character of the area.
This well thought out venture will obviously take advantage of Eastern Europe’s reputation as a warm and friendly tourist mecca. Nothing says family fun like Vlad the Impaler, or the bloodthirsty nightspawn his legend inspired.
Archived article by Matt Chock