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GreenCine Movie Talk
In The Theaters
I just saw it and boy does it...
318

Borat
Topic by: underdog
Posted: November 9, 2006 - 4:02 PM PST
Last Reply: December 4, 2006 - 8:21 AM PST

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author topic: Borat
underdog
post #1  on November 9, 2006 - 4:02 PM PST  
What, no one's talking about Borat here?

It's freakin' hilarious, brilliant and, most surprising to me - extremely disturbing. America comes off even worse than Kazakhstan.

I'll have a review of this one up soon. What did other people think?

Most squirmish moment?
hamano
post #2  on November 9, 2006 - 4:19 PM PST  
I like...
Cinenaut
post #3  on November 10, 2006 - 4:54 PM PST  
::possible spoilers::

I wonder which one of the three frat boys is not suing? Or maybe he's preparing a separate lawsuit?

> On November 9, 2006 - 4:02 PM PST underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Most squirmish moment?
> ---------------------------------

Too many squirmy moments to count! Certain portions of the naked wrestling scene would have to be right at the top of the list, of course.
kenalex
post #4  on November 11, 2006 - 10:04 AM PST  
You know how people kind of laugh when they're in an uncomfortable situation? That's what this whole movie was for me, and the more uncomfortable I became, the harder I laughed. The Nation magazine printed an editorial which complained that the audience was laughing at anti-Semitism, which shouldn't be a funny subject. But I really don't see why laughter can't be the right response to gross ignorance, and that's the brilliance of Sacha Baron Coehn.
underdog
post #5  on November 11, 2006 - 3:57 PM PST  
> On November 11, 2006 - 10:04 AM PST kenalex wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> You know how people kind of laugh when they're in an uncomfortable situation? That's what this whole movie was for me, and the more uncomfortable I became, the harder I laughed. The Nation magazine printed an editorial which complained that the audience was laughing at anti-Semitism, which shouldn't be a funny subject. But I really don't see why laughter can't be the right response to gross ignorance, and that's the brilliance of Sacha Baron Coehn.
> ---------------------------------


Yeah, especially since SB Cohen's Jewish! But obviously I can understand why people would worry why the less smart among us might think the film's depiction and satire of anti-Semitism could instead be construed as a satire of Semites. But people are smart, they know what he's doing. It's certainly uncomfortable to laugh at those moments - but like you said, the more uncomfortable parts are the funniest. The whole thing is squirmy.

I'm with Cinenaut though, the wrestling scene has gotta go down as the squirmiest.

I tell ya, the frat boys who are suing - if what they say is true (and it may not be) they may have a case - but no one put a gun to their head to say the horrible things they did. Drunk or no, I can't imagine ever even thinking those things yet alone saying them, but, yes, some people become other people when they're drunk so I can also understand the anger they might have.

I wonder how many scenes got cut in which the subjects were too in on the joke to make the film.
Cinenaut
post #6  on November 11, 2006 - 5:25 PM PST  
Yes, and there just has to be an outake somewhere where Sacha Baron Cohen cracked up at the wrong moment.

Borat is right there at the bleeding edge of satire where you wonder if some of the other audience members are laughing at the anti-semitic jokes for the wrong reason.
artifex
post #7  on November 13, 2006 - 9:34 AM PST  
I got your Borat right here.

Still funny?
woozy
post #8  on November 13, 2006 - 2:42 PM PST  
> On November 13, 2006 - 9:34 AM PST artifex wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I got your Borat right here.
>
Borat's on a mission from Glod?

(or was that awful pun [originally in Terry Pratchette's Soul Music actually part of the Borat character and in the movie?)
underdog
post #9  on November 13, 2006 - 3:57 PM PST  
> On November 13, 2006 - 9:34 AM PST artifex wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I got your Borat right here.
>
> Still funny?
> ---------------------------------


I think it's still funny. I mean they live in a town called "Mud" for God's sakes. It sounds like his description of such a place isn't that far off the mark - of course, it's Romania, not Kazakhstan, but hey, why carp?
artifex
post #10  on November 14, 2006 - 8:45 AM PST  
> I think it's still funny. I mean they live in a town called "Mud" for God's sakes. It sounds like his description of such a place isn't that far off the mark - of course, it's Romania, not Kazakhstan, but hey, why carp?

It's one thing to poke fun at the bigotry and preconceptions of others, but quite another to take advantage of a whole group of people whose only fault is collectively being being desperately poor and socially unsophisticated, like these people apparently are.

Cinenaut
post #11  on November 14, 2006 - 8:55 AM PST  
Have you guys seen the movie?
woozy
post #12  on November 14, 2006 - 9:44 AM PST  
> On November 14, 2006 - 8:55 AM PST Cinenaut wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Have you guys seen the movie?
> ---------------------------------

I have not. My "mission from Glod" pun was based solely on the name of the town in the news story.

I rather assumed from the comments that you, underdog, and kenalex have. (I assume hamano has as well, although his comment makes it less clear.)

On the other hand, this situation of the news story artifex posted-- (The villagers of Glod were misled about the portrayal of their village)-- can surely be commented upon on its own merits, without having to see the film, can't it?


woozy
post #13  on November 14, 2006 - 10:02 AM PST  
> On November 14, 2006 - 9:44 AM PST woozy wrote:
> On the other hand, this situation of the news story artifex posted-- -- can surely be commented upon on its own merits, without having to see the film, can't it?
>

Actually, I'm a bit confused by news article. It says the village "represented" the Kazahk home of Borat, but I don't understand what that means. It was filmed there? Part of the film took place there? Normally I'd assume the latter, but a Carpinthian village called Glod, is not a Kazahk village called Mud. So if the village in the film isn't the village in real life, how is the village misrepresented?
Cinenaut
post #14  on November 14, 2006 - 11:01 AM PST  
Seeing the movie would give you a more accurate idea of the validity of the villager's claims.

One thing's for sure... it's more publicity for Borat!

Hey, The Smoking Gun answered half my question about the frat boys.
woozy
post #15  on November 14, 2006 - 11:09 AM PST  
> On November 14, 2006 - 11:01 AM PST Cinenaut wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Seeing the movie would give you a more accurate idea of the validity of the villager's claims.
>
Are you claiming they are valid? Not valid? Don't know?
artifex
post #16  on November 14, 2006 - 12:25 PM PST  
> On November 14, 2006 - 11:01 AM PST Cinenaut wrote:
> Seeing the movie would give you a more accurate idea of the validity of the villager's claims.

Okay, so I should give someone money to find out for sure if he's someone I shouldn't give money to?

I've already heard from some people who had seen the movie and didn't mind the frat boy suit... but then got upset when they heard the villagers' story, and no longer like the comedian. I expect they remembered enough of the movie to make that decision with some cause. But then I've also heard from some people who said, who cares, they got their $5, they should have figured out what was going on and said no when things went too far.

Cinenaut
post #17  on November 14, 2006 - 3:47 PM PST  
Sacha Baron Cohen should definitely put some of his profits from this movie back into that village.

I don't know, if somebody asked by to tape a rubber fist on the end of my arm and high-five him while on camera, I think I'd have a pretty good idea that I was being made fun of.
underdog
post #18  on November 15, 2006 - 10:43 AM PST  
I agree there's some reason for consternation on the part of those villagers, but I also think they're making a little too much of it. And, as Cinenaut said, it had to have seemed pretty obvious that it was farce at the time. But maybe they were naive.

The frat boys I have even less sympathy for, but I can understand, too, why they're embarrassed.

All I know is as a farce, it's one of the funniest I've seen i n years - and, as I said before, no country comes off worse than our own.
woozy
post #19  on November 15, 2006 - 11:01 AM PST  
> On November 15, 2006 - 10:43 AM PST underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------

>
> The frat boys I have even less sympathy for, but I can understand, too, why they're embarrassed.
>
Um, he *did* sign a release form, didn't he? Um, you have the option to sign and/or recind them *after* the filming, don't you?

The villagers were clearly naive and I can feel kind of ... icky about it.
underdog
post #20  on November 15, 2006 - 1:24 PM PST  
They signed a release - though I think they're claiming they signed it while intoxicated? That would seem a little... ethically hazy, if the filmmakers did this, or maybe they did indeed sign after the filming? Not clear on that.
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