When making a film, it’s important to make sure you sensitively consider the profiles of real-world persons depicted in the film. We learnt this from mistakes such as Al Pacino’s depiction of Phil Spector, the portrayal of Persians in 300 and most recently, the exploitation of Aaliyah’s tragic life story by crap television peddlers Lifetime. This consideration is especially vital when you take that real world person and blow their damn head up in slow motion during the film’s climax. When that person is also the vitriolic leader of arguably the most insidious and insular dictatorships in the modern world, you’re pretty much asking for your publisher to take your toys away until you’re ready to play nice.
The Christmas day release of The Interview, a Rogan/Franco bromedy about assassinating current North Korea leader Kim Jong-un, has been cancelled by Sony Pictures following the large-scale retraction of participating cinemas. In a statement, Sony said they were “the victim of an unprecedented criminal assault against our employees, our customers, and our business.” which resulted in NK officials purportedly seeing the US-government approved scene in which beloved leader is simultaneously immolated and head-blasted by a rocket launcher. I’d link you the scene, but apparently Sony are better at lodging copyright complaints on YouTube then they are at maintaining the kind of data security expected of a billion-dollar entertainment conglomerate.
(EDIT: Actually, we managed to find a super-secret, non-YouTube version. Take a squiz above)
After all, this is the third out of four times a massive data breach has harmed an arm of Sony Entertainment. While you were dozing earlier this month, the PSNetwork got hacked for the second time in recent memory.
Accompanying the #GOP hack on Sony Pictures was a long-winded message that included the threat: “[H]ow bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to. Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made. The world will be full of fear.” this was apparently enough to provoke the mass boycott of scheduled screenings by cinemas. Understandable, given the current social climate surrounding terror threats, but also a deeply shameful indictment on how political control and cyber attacks are changing our ability to freely consume art. One of the greatest instances of topical allegorical filmmaking, Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, comes to mind as an instance where the medium was used as a critique of real world facism. A brave move considering Chaplin himself was a former target of Nazi propaganda that labelled him a pseudo-jew.
Are we reaching a point where we can never again enjoy broad political commentary without fear of threats and retribution? Maybe. Or maybe the Pirate Bay will resurface in the next week or so and we’ll all have the already-infamous Kim Jong-un death scene in five different formats on our hard drive in minutes.
More Glorious Leader of Best Korea
Kim Jong-un paid a visit to a conspicuously empty orphanage
What the future looks like according to someone who has never left North Korea
Soon you can be Glorious Leader in the Kim Jong-un parody video game