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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Cinema du Sanity: the geek issue

This fell by the wayside over the past few weeks. But here’s some new now:
Cinema du Sanity Benedict Cumberbatch


posted in:
easter eggs
  • Judy

    Love it!

  • RogerBW

    How to avoid the marketing and find films with real geek appeal…

  • LaSargenta

    I’ve JUST BEEN TOLD THIS IS A SPOILER for Star Trek (and I’m trying to get the first sentence off the recent conversations.)

    Question about casting: (Yeah, yeah, I know. Sorry, I didn’t rush out to see this and I don’t scour the interwebz.) This probably isn’t the place for it, but I just realised that Cumberbach is playing Khan. So, Khan was supposed to have been South Asian, but in the first incarnation he was whitewashed being played by Montalban in makeup. Now he’s a blatantly white guy. What gives?

  • RogerBW

    Everybody knows the only real super-men are white guys?

  • Bluejay

    So, a netiquette question: How long should a movie be out before people can openly discuss it without spoiler warnings? Because your first sentence shows up pretty clearly on the “recent conversations” page, and I haven’t seen the movie yet. :-(

  • Please start publishing this for real. Here’s some money.

  • LaSargenta

    Oh Shit!

    I’m really sorry.

    [Edited to add: At least you don’t live in Argentina nor Chile, I’ve just read that they’re getting this movie in August. With today’s communication media, that makes no sense to me.]

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Normally, I’d say about 6 months, or whenever the movie hits DVD, whichever comes first. The problem with STID is that, thanks to JJ Abrams mechinations, the spoilers are pretty much the only thing to talk about the movie. Everything of interest that happens revolves around that one secret.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    A lot of fanon goes into the origins of .

    {{This is an attempt to trick Disqus into giving me some extra space}}

    The last name implies a South Asian/Northern Indian background, but the first name suggests central Asian origin. Canonically, we are told he’s a product of focused eugenics (so he’s not really from anywhere), and that he ruled South Asia and the Middle East. And of course, the role was originally played, in a case of generically ethnic casting, by a Mexican actor*. So, it’s a reasonable assumption that he is himself of South Asian decent, but not a requirement of the character. And frankly, despite Cumberbatch’s excellent performance, his pasty white Britishness is just one problem with the portrayal of the character. They could have cast Naveen Andrews or Sendhil Ramamurthy or Salman Khan in the role, and the character would still have been wrong.

    *Is it really a case of “whitewashing” to cast non-white actors in (ostensibly) non-white roles, even if it is a case of fake nationality? WARNING: TVTropes link.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    All super-men? Or only the evil ones? ;-)

  • LaSargenta

    (continuing to try to avoid spoilers in Disqus’s comment previews)

    I’d argue a couple of points: *that name* of *that character* is _______________________________________________________________________________ Central Asian in origin about a thousand years ago. It is Central Asian the way my given name is Hebrew (although very high on the popularity lists for the UK, the US, Canada, and France).

    Also, the Mexican actor was Mexican by birth and citizenship, but was a child of Spanish immigrants and was ethnically Spanish. Spain is white. It was under Spanish rule that South and Central American colonies got the racial classification system that defined someone’s legal and social standing.

  • teenygozer

    (No spoilers, other than the casting choice we’re talking about)

    What gives is the usual Hollywood whitewash bullshit. I’m particularly pissed off because Khan should also be a drop-dead gorgeous, buff piece of man-candy, and much as I adore Cumberbatch, he’s a pasty beanpole… who would have made a perfectly sexy Romulan in the next movie, but now he can’t play that role. Someone (in the Race-bending blog comments about this casting choice) pointed out that in Hollywood, if a bad guy is the kind of charismatic bad guy the audience cannot help but admire, he won’t be played by a brown person, he’s going to be played by a white guy, even if he has the name of a brown person. Flashback: Lt. Marla McGIvers was so overcome by Khan’s bodacious yumminess when she found him in his capsule that she could barely reply to questions put to her by Kirk, such was the drool factor. I love the ‘Batch but his sexy-wonderfulness does not extend to a buff chest. If they had to hire a white guy to play Khan, I understand Tom Welling is looking for work; he has cheekbones *AND* a buff chest. And great fore-arms. And a perfectly symmetrical face that signals to the ladyparts in our lizard-brains that he’s a source of primo DNA… And… well, you get the picture.

    There’s no female gaze-service whatsoever to the new Star Treks, and say what you will about Gene Roddenberry, he was something of an equal-opportunity lech. ;) Let’s remember that Captain Kirk (original) waxed his chest and could barely keep a shirt on in a fight, and that wasn’t for the young guy demographic watching the show, that was purely for us ladeez. The Jim Kirk I remember always had a light sheen of sweat on his bare chest after a knock-down, drag-out fight, not two bloody tissues stuffed up his schnozz.
    (slightly edited)

  • teenygozer

    I know, right? I read EW but I’d rather read THIS.

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