Plans for Sacha Baron Cohen to portray a character who is both mustachioed and flamboyant (a hybrid of Borat and Bruno, one might say) have fallen through.
Iraq is a mess, a cauldron of intra-Islamic conflict. Afghanistan is heading down the same tragic path, as the Taliban assert greater fundamentalist control. All those Muslims are nuts, right?
Then there's Azerbaijan.
Does comedy nullify hatred? Does comedy grant allowance to bigotry, racism and, most of all, anti-Semitism?
Nov. 3 began the opening weekend of the acclaimed "most hilarious movie ever": "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Khazakstan." After rushing to the movie theater on Saturday night, I was greatly displeased to find the show was sold out.
Fascinating, isn't it, to watch professors Stephen Walt (Harvard University) and John Mearsheimer (University of Chicago) attain near rock star status by resurrecting the tired and discredited canard that U.S. foreign policy is dictated by a devious, dangerous and disloyal cabal known as the pro-Israel lobby -- sort of a Protocols of the Middle-Agers of Zion. Of course, the good professors are convinced that any policies advocated by the cabal are anathema to the interests of this country.
Following the massive success of the movie "Borat," there is bound to be an equally massive deluge of punditry on what it all means.I defy you to watch the movie and not cramp up from laughter. And by all means, continue laughing when the pundits say "Borat" reveals something dark, ugly or frightening about America. Taking "Borat" seriously is seriously ridiculous.
Josef Avesar says of the Israelis and Palestinian Arabs that "each side demands that the other relinquish crucial aspects of its identity," and that therefore, some form of confederation would be a "pragmatic" solution to their problems ("Mideast Solution: A Confederation," Nov. 3). Both Avesar's diagnosis and prescription are wrong.
All Saturday evening screenings of "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" at the Sherman Oaks Galleria were sold out, but I snuck in on Sunday and will pass on two observations.
"Borat" release - will a mass, mainstream audience get the film's satiric sensibilities, or, rather, be offended by its political incorrectness and by its lead character.
According to advance hints, the film is guaranteed to enrage Jews, gays, blacks, women, cowboys, Christians and college boys -- not to mention Kazakhstanis.
Borat is a fictional Kazahkstanian reporter distinguished by his utter lack of social propriety who allegedly films segments on American culture for Kazakhstan television. Like the spectacularly stupid pseudo black rapper Ali G and the unashamedly vapid gay Austrian fashion reporter Bruno, Borat is a creation of British Jewish comic Sacha Baron Cohen. And, like the other characters, Borat uses his lack of shame to expose people's darker sides by asking them uncomfortable questions.