Hollywood Does History



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  • Hollywood Does History

    From the NYTimes:

    "Hollywood always wants it both ways, of course, but this Oscar season is rife with contenders who bank on the authenticity of their films until it’s challenged, and then fall back on the “Hey, it’s just a movie” defense."


    "Tony Kushner, the acclaimed playwright who wrote the screenplay, told me he was outraged that Courtney was getting his 15 minutes by complaining about a 15-second bit of film on a project that Kushner worked on for seven years.

    The writer completely rejects the idea that he has defamed Connecticut, or the real lawmakers who voted “Aye.” He said that in historical movies, as opposed to history books where you go for “a blow-by-blow account,” it is completely acceptable to “manipulate a small detail in the service of a greater historical truth. History doesn’t always organize itself according to the rules of drama. It’s ridiculous. It’s like saying that Lincoln didn’t have green socks, he had blue socks.”

    He feels that if he had changed the margin of the vote, or made someone a villain who was not in real life, that would have been inappropriate. (He’s one-up on Shakespeare there.) But he wants “wiggle room” on some things."

    "People who work in Hollywood are the ones who didn't quit." -- Lawrence Kasdan

    Please visit my website and blog: www.lauridonahue.com.

  • #2
    Re: Hollywood Does History

    I don't normally turn to movies to validate or affirm some historical truth. Actually, I don't turn to them at all. 'Cause they're movies.

    HOWEVER...if someone's going to be giving out DVDs as a teaching tool for high school students, there needs to be a study guide associated with that DVD, and errors pointed out.

    It could even be a "teachable moment" when comparing how media presents history, especially in this Internet age when Google makes us all geniuses and paranoid conspiracy theorists.