Monday, October 30, 2006

Borat

(BBC Online)
I have yet to see the film, and I yield to no one in having a warped sense of humour (well almost no one ;) ), but I do have my moments of disquiet and this is one of them!
I appreciate that Sacha Baron Cohen is being ironic, that sometimes the humour is used to bait various political groups, but not everyone's sense of humour is metropolitian and sophisticated (I am not even sure Borat is something metropolitian types find funny), so when his character signs a song like "throw the Jew down the well" and makes other similarly racial comments, then I am worried that some people will laugh for all the wrong reasons.

7 comments:

John said...

Hmm not so sure. True, he sold out and allowed the originally very subversive Ali G to be taken at face value, when the catchphrase brigade wanted to pay him shedloads for merchandise and the movie, but beyond a "throw the jew" ringtone, I don't think there's as much mainstream money in antisemitism as there is in 'yoof', so we might be safer here.
The ones that annoy me more on that score are Little Britain. After their characters were mistakenly adopted at face value by the press to take the piss out of vulnerable groups like young single mums, or the disabled, they've actively colluded in this by dropping all traces of irony from more recent characters (the old incontinent woman, or the shouting disabled woman), and putting out a programme that doesn't amount to much more than half an hour of playground bullying.

kris said...

I thought you might enjoy this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Va1ez8S_F6g

Paul Burgin said...

There is that fine line isn't there, as with all warped humour, and one has to tread carefully!

Annie Porthouse said...

yes, i agree it sort of makes me a bit freaked, but at the same time i do think the guy's so talented, and i kind of want to see the film!

Anonymous said...

Burgin,

If you dont like it, then don't bloody watch it.

Catherine Burgin said...

I saw it and thought it was really good, don't think I stopped laughing all the way through!! As with most things it needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, it is a satire and parody of life today, especially the public's percieved reactions to terrorism, what we percieve to be 'normal' social interraction and so on. It's true boundaries do have to be drawn on such close to the knuckle humour, but maybe if you saw it you would understand the purpose of the film and the message it tries to project instead of worrying what people may or may not think of it. Personally I think Tony Blair and George Bush have done more than enough to fuel racism (in a variety of fields) than satirists such as Sacha Baron Cohen could do in a hundred lifetimes!

Paul Burgin said...

Once again Catherine I take your point, however I am worried about where the boundaries are on near-the-knuckle humour!