Sunday, August 7, 2011

Domestic Terrorism Boost From Redford

Following his most recent box office flop The Conspirator, leftist producer/actor Robert Redford has decided to move his allegorical attacks on conservatives from the Civil War to the turbulent 1960s and 70s. His current project is a Weather Underground-friendly whitewash of domestic terrorism called The Company You Keep.

This same theme was offered in 1988's Running On Empty, and seemingly involves even the same disguised real terrorists. But Redford thinks he can do it better, so we're off to the "good terrorist" races. Both movies want you to feel deep sympathy for the plight of fleeing terrorists hiding out among us because they exercised their right to blow up buildings and murder bystanders (accidentally, of course) in the name of peace, love and universal brotherhood.

The thinly-disguised "heroes" of both Running On Empty and The Company You Keep are Weather Underground bombers William Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn. Ayers escaped prison with some clever legal maneuvers, but Dohrn actually did some time for her murderous rampage. Both are now happily ensconced in academia, teaching their radical principles to new generations of future America-haters. But the two movies concentrate on their fugitive years.

Both movies paint the terrorists as patriots who fought the fascist American government that was killing freedom-fighters and innocent civilians in Asia. Running On Empty built its sympathy haze around the teenage son (played by the late River Phoenix) who is a brilliant pianist whose local fame endangers the family's anonymity. Thus, sadly, they must move on to a new hideout with new fake identities to avoid capture while requiring the son to leave his sweetheart behind. It's so sad--sniff, sniff. It's not easy being a fugitive murderer, let alone a fugitive murderer's innocent offspring.

Redford is taking his The Company You Keep from a novel by the same name. The writer, Neil Gordon, is in real life a former Weatherman. Since Gordon's character is the main narrative, the Ayers and Dohrn characters will still play an important part, but as fugitive comrades rather than as the main protagonists. In other words, there will be more sympathetic murderers than in the earlier Lumet film.

Redford is totally enamored with scuzzy murderers, terrorists and communists whom he transforms on screen into attractive patriotic heroes, a la his 2004 production of the early life of sadistic murderer Che Guevara in The Motorcycle Diaries. Redford's co-producer on The Company You Keep says of the upcoming film: "This is an edge of your seat thriller about real Americans who stood for their beliefs, thinking they were patriots and defending their country's ideals against their government."

Blowing up buildings and killing bystanders in a domestic terrorist campaign doesn't seem to comport with my idea of what the Founders would call a patriot. But what do I know? I don't live or work in Hollywood. Remember that the Weather Underground, with the able assistance of scholar William Ayers, wrote a declaration of a state of war against AmeriKKKa. As recently as a couple of years ago, Ayers was asked by a reporter if he felt any remorse over what he and his circle of friends had done, including the death of innocents. His reply was "we didn't do enough." And yet we're supposed to feel deep sorrow at their travails while they hide out from the legal authorities who are attempting to keep them from killing anyone else.

Redford also made another stab at gaining sympathy for Ayers and his ilk in his previous box office flop, Lions For Lambs (2008). In that film, the main character, a college professor attempting to dissuade two of his students from enlisting, tries to talk the audience to death. Redford seems to subscribe to the very liberal concept of throwing ever-increasing sums of money at things that don't work, hoping that eventually the hoi polloi will see the correctness of the domestic terrorist anti-capitalist and anti-any-war cause.

The movie is set to start shooting in September, so a 2012 or early 2013 release seems most likely. But given Redford's leftist bent, he might once again make the mistake of thinking the movie will energize the loony anti-America crowd and try to get the picture into release during the 2012 re-coronation campaign of Barack Obama.


BevfromNYC said...

Fortunately, Bob isn't as much of a draw as he used to be. "Lions for Lambs" went over like a lead balloon. I think they just made back the investment. He has become strident and predictable and everyone knows his agenda. Well, that's my opinion anyway.

StanH said...

Robert Redford is still alive, who knew. It’s art, don’t you know Lawhawk, therefore beyond our capability for understanding, being flyover terrorist and all.

T-Rav said...

Bev, that's what happens when you focus the last portion of your career on trendy Sundance stuff instead of staying mainstream--you lose your audience. I don't know if it's everyone knowing his agenda, as much as nobody remembering who he is anymore.

Unknown said...

Bev: I agree. It's sad there are even enough people who will go to see his films to allow him to break even.

Unknown said...

Stan: I do understand that I suffer from the disease of small-townism and general philistinism. I guess I'll never get the hang of great art and the craft of acting.

Unknown said...

T-Rav: Naturally Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid always comes to mind. But it also points out the difference between a liberal who puts his money where his mouth is and a liberal with a big mouth. Paul Newman was a great actor who didn't just talk charity. He lived it. Redford makes movies, most of them bad. I'm trying to think of the last movie that came out of the Sundance Festival with awards that wasn't leftist, anti-American, or just plain lousy.

Writer X said...

Oh, gawd. Is this guy still making movies?! It's always humorous to watch someone fighting for relevancy after he bit off the hand that fed him.

Unknown said...

WriterX: The mills of the gods grind slow, but they grind exceeding fine.

Tehachapi Tom said...

Is that his hair or the Donald's.
Any current picture of RR shows just how old he is. Doesn't senility come with age?

Post a Comment