Two writers argue. In the Woods. For a Week. And they record everything. From this intriguing premise, David Shields and Caleb Powell produce a fascinating reality-show romp of a new book, and -- two years later -- a movie based upon the book.
Why did Sony decide to produce such a satirical, comedy about North Korea and its leader? That will be my perpetual question as stereotyping continues within the western world against Asians. This Orientalism and the concept that the East is weak, feminine, and seeking domination need to be eliminated from western mindset.
Between last episode and this one, The Interview went from a planned wide release to a cancelled release to a limited release to an online release. Phew!
I didn't find anything particularly funny despite being a Rogan fan. I like crude. Just last night I saw National Lampoon's Dirty Movie and ashamedly found myself howling. But The Interview's script didn't hit any of my bones.
What could possibly go wrong? An American movie about assassinating the leader of a nation which the U.S. had branded as part of the international axis of evil. The assassination movie is launched from a country with a long and shameful history of involvement.
As a drag queen, I play with gender roles and this has led me to develop a great respect for my transgender brothers and sisters who are not playing at anything, but are simply being who they were born to be.
Free speech in America may be a constitutional right but self-censorship is an American congenital habit. From government officials to corporation executives, from filmmakers to the media, it happens at great frequency and intervals.
In all our concern for "free speech" (a phrase that has been tossed around needlessly; the United States government did not censor The Interview), we've overlooked the people of North Korea, and how our American thirst for comedy erases them from our consciousness.
Some people are calling the attack on Sony an act of cyber-terrorism (which it clearly is). Some are calling it cyber-bullying, albeit by the best, most powerful cyber-bullies we have encountered to date. But this actually may be a new kind of warfare, empowered by our addiction to, and our accelerating reliance on, technology.
Sony is a weakened company today, more by their response than by the hack itself. They squandered a remarkable opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade and deny any win to the hackers while honorably admitting their mistakes in data security.
This week brought two very different goodbyes. First, we said adios to 54 years of Cuban isolation policy, with President Obama lifting bans on travel and trade and resuming diplomatic relations. The other goodbye was to The Colbert Report. After nine years and 1,447 episodes, Stephen Colbert signed off in appropriate fashion, with Santa, a unicorn, Abe Lincoln, and a chess match with Death. Then, he was joined by dozens of former guests -- including Big Bird, Henry Kissinger, George Lucas, Katie Couric, James Franco, Cory Booker, Willie Nelson, and myself -- for a bittersweet version of "We'll Meet Again." After nearly a decade of Colbert, it's clear that what's truly special about him isn't his amazing wit, incredible timing, or even how staggeringly funny he is; it's his heart. Underneath his blowhard character, his humor consistently came from a place of compassion and truth (in the guise of truthiness) -- exactly what we need in these polarized times. Thankfully, we'll all be resuming ties with Colbert again soon.
Aside from the North Koreans' lack of a sense of humor and perspective, I also think the writers and producers of The Interview messed up by deciding to have the plot center around an actual dictator.
It is easy to dismiss the whole Interview episode with some lighthearted head-shaking. But we should take a moment to remember that the reality of life in North Korea is no laughing matter.
The Interview does something few if any films before it have done: it depicts the commission of an international war crime against a real-world individual without using any readily identifiable filter to reassure viewers that the entire scenario is a farce.
What Sony has yet to recognize is the opportunity that was inadvertently handed to them by North Korea. Consumer awareness of the film has skyrocketed ever since Sony was hacked in retaliation for the film, which led to further threats to Sony, theaters and theater goers.
If indeed it was North Korea that hacked Sony Pictures? This is a massive cyber-crime carried out by a pariah state against a US company.