This is not perfect, but it’s really interesting. I go into a lot of depth about women, feminism, Hollywood and screenwriting in the context of telling a great story.
In these two videos, I go into great length about my personal views on Hollywood, screenwriting and storytelling. These videos are meandering and rambling, but pretty good, all things considered. It’s too bad that people aren’t willing to watch videos.
But, in short, I talk a lot about how Hollywood establishes traditional gender rolls and then plays with them for dramatic effect. I also talk about my movie concept that would be a homage to The Big Chill. Like I said, these two videos are really interesting if you’re into storytelling.
I have repeatedly questioned why instead of pretending to cut Donald Trump’s head off, why Hollywood doesn’t collectively turn its guns on Trumplandia. I am well aware that it takes time to conceive of, develop, write and produce a scripted drama of any sort. It just takes time. I get that.
But you’d think the little media bubble that I live in would be at least occasionally punctured by buzz that this or that anti-Trump movie or TV was being produced. And, yet, to date, I have heard of nothing. It’s all very odd.
I just don’t get it. Is it that Hollywood is too shook or is it that the executives that would be the ones to greenlight such things are complicit in Trumplandia and they simply won’t risk losing money on an obvious anti-Trump metaphor while events are actually happening. It’s just too soon for them to think about alienating that core 30% of the population that supports Trump no matter what?
And, remember, the last time that Hollywood actually went to war was, well, a war — World War II. And it could be that Hollywood executives with some institutional memory know that during Watergate people kind of tuned out of politics in pop culture. The only relatively contemporaneous piece of art to come out of Watergate was All The President’s Men.
But having said all that, here are my suggestions for movies to be remade in this age of Trumplandia. Given that Hollywood apparently has completely run out of ideas, Hollywood might be more receptive to remakes than original content.
This movie is so obvious in the age of Trumplandia that it seems like it would be greenlit the moment someone suggested it seriously. The book itself is apparently doing gangbusters again and it seems that there would be both a market and an audience for another remake.
The Caine Mutiny
The final scene of this movie might cut a little too close to home. The whole movie, with its mad captain might be something people would really get into. And it’s great source material it would be so obvious a metaphor for the Era of Trump that it probably would do quiet well.
This movie would require a deft touch. The reason is it would be too easy to re-interpret the source material as an angry diatribe against Donald Trump’s presidency. The movie is, in its own way, already a metaphor for Trumplandia, if albeit in a much more innocent manner than we are currently suffering. But if you updated it technologically, it would be really funny and tragic and scary. Kind of like our real world is right now.
This is such a perfect movie — especially in the context of Trumplandia — that the only reason to remake and update it is we live in desperate times and simply re-issuing it wouldn’t be as culturally significant. We really need this movie remade as soon as possible. But I would suggest doing something with it other than a shot-for-shot remake. That would just be dumb and unproductive.
Seven Days In May
It is temping to simply use the name and not do much with the source material. Events this May really were shocking enough that you could give them a narrative arc and go from there. But, really, you could simply do somewhere where by there’s a coup attempt against a mad president or some such.
This movie is about honor and the responsibilities of power and if you remade it, it could be a sly commentary on Donald Trump’s presidency. At least it makes a lot of sense to me.
Anyway, having said all that, let’s talk about some original concepts one might look into.
A Movie About The Mule</strong>
This one seems so obvious that it’s sad that generally no one listens to me and thus nothing will happen. It would be different if I had the rights to The Foundation Saga and, like, was a screenwriter of any note. I would just write a screenplay myself and pitch it. But HBO is supposed to have the rights right now, so you’d actually have to have some money to make that a reality.
A sequel to Idiotocry
This is pretty obvious. Just update that movie to today’s insane reality and run with it.
A movie about the Fall of France in 1940
The Fall of France was a lot like Election Night 2016, and I think people would really see the comparison being made if someone produced a movie about it.
Regardless, Hollywood needs to get its act together. It needs to address this really important subject as quickly as possible. If the gears are put in motion now, maybe a really cool movie will pop out about Election Day 2018. That’s all we can hope for at this point.
I have made similar appeals several times before, but the continuing epic silence on the part of Hollwyood when it comes to Trumplandia leaves me puzzled. I have not heard about any remakes of Being There, or 1984. I have no heard of any movies in product that would adapt The Mule portion of The Foundation Saga.
If there was a lot of buzz about such movies being produced, then I would at least have some sense that the shock and awe that Donald Trump evoked within civil society might finally have been overcome. But, as of yet, I am not hearing any such buzz. Movies don’t happen in a vacuum. You can’t just make one without someone, somewhere taking note of it being in production.
I am aware that it takes time for scripts to be written and produced. That goes without saying, but you’d think some really talented coke head in Hollywood would have at least finished a script by this point that would be something of an Apocalypse Now of the Trump Era.
I think maybe some of the problem is civil society has yet to figure out what all this means. Is this Watergate? Is this Vietnam? Is it something else completely? I guess I’m being extremely impatient for more than one reason.
All The President’s men came out after Watergate, as did Apocalypse Now. So, maybe if I want civil society to respond contemporaneous to these tragic, surreal events, I’m going to have to rely upon Saturday Night Live or the monologue of The Late Show.
And, yet, given that there is obviously but an audience and a marketplace for art that addresses Trumplandia head-on, you’d think the process might get sped up a little bit. We live in unprecedented, bizarre times and what I wouldn’t do for a movie about Trump written by the folks that produce South Park or The Simpsons. The Simpsons, oddly enough, of late have become more relevant through some the shorts they have been producing on the fly.
Maybe things just haven’t gotten as dire as they need to get for what I want to happen, to happen. Just looking at my twitter account, things seem to be pretty fucking surreal. Things really are dire enough for the usual years-long gestation for content to be sped up a little bit.
If anything, the delay on the part of people with actual talent makes me — someone with only marginal talent — want to produce my own content to make myself feel better, if nothing else. But hopefully civil society will strike back sooner rather than later.
It’s our only hope.
The whole Kathy Griffin kerfuffle is yet another reminder that Hollywood has been oddly silent about Donald Trump in the way that matters most: actually producing content that helps civil society process what the fuck is going on. That’s the whole point of Hollywood.
Currently comedy on TV has been picking up the slack for Hollywood. Be it Full Frontal, or Saturday Night Live or The Late Show, late night comedy is where right minded people go in America to try to figure out how to understand this horrific dead-end that we’ve found ourselves in.
Both a market and an audience exists for movies and TV devoted to being metaphors for Trumplandia. I know I would shell out $11 to see a movie that addressed what a fuckwit Donald Trump is. Or maybe a remake of 1984. Or a remake of Being There. Hell, even a movie about The Mule portion of The Foundation Saga would make me feel better at this point. This is pretty basic stuff. If me, a hayseed rube in a flyover state can figure this out, then I’m sure someone at Miramax or Paramount can figure something so basic out.
But what do we have right now instead of quality content? We have silence. I have not heard of hardly any films in production and there are only a spattering of TV that are obvious meant to direction address Trumplandia. It makes you wonder why this is.
You would think that something as momentous as the rise of Trumplandia would inspire the Hollywood scribes and producers to generate all kinds of content. But all we get is Kathy Griffin pretending to cut off Donald Trump’s head. Everyone would be served if she were to not rage against Trumplandia in such a stupid manner but rather write a TV script for a sitcom about dealing with Trumplandia. Something, anything to bring people together, instead of dividing them.
The only thing I can think of is that producers are skittish about offending people, by, well, losing money. In other words, stars feel obliged to be offensive on a personal level, but the people with money who maybe oppose Trump aren’t willing to take the risk that Trumplandia will freak out if you produced a movie that obviously attacked Trump in some direct manner.
That’s the only thing I can think of. That makes the most sense. There might be something to the fact that Hollywood is still in shock that Trump won in the first place and they just haven’t gotten over the shock enough to begin writing scripts that directly tough that live wire.
But I think it’s the money situation. Corporate types think differently that the artists they support, so that reluctance to lose money by offending the ever-so-touchy Trumplandia base probably is the reason. As someone pointed out to me recently, Watergate really only produced one movie and that was after it was over. So maybe it makes a lot more sense that I realize for there to be no movies about Trumpandia produce while it actually exists. And, really, if you think about it, it took decades before there was a movie that dealt with the Vietnam war directly, though Apocalypse Now was produced a few years after the fact. The closest to a TV show about Vietnam was that occured while it happened was M*A*S*H.
And, yet, Trumplandia is a significantly more weighty event than Watergate. Trumplandia, at least to me, seems ripe for a great movie or TV shows right now. We live in a different era than the 1960s and 1970 and I think audiences would flock to see a movie about a Trump-like character. I keep thinking of The Mule from The Foundation Saga, but it’s possible that because of Star Wars stealing so much from that series that that isn’t really applicable anymore.
Regardless, it would be sad if we had to wait 20 years before Hollywood addressed in metaphor Trumplandia. I really don’t want to have to keep seeing liberal Hollywood actors destroying their careers by raging against Trumplandia in a stupid way. Don’t rage, engage.
Shelton Bumgarner is the editor and publiser of the Trumplandia Report. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com.