Films: A Liberal Medium?

If there is one thing filmgoers (not moviegoers, filmgoers watch pretentious French films, moviegoers watch IQ lowering boobsplosion films) hate, it’s Hollywood. They view it as meek, cowardly, terrified of trying something new. Just spewing out the same formulaic movie every month and raking in the profits. But moviegoers also hate Hollywood, but for a different reason. That reason being that it’s so goddamn liberal. It preaches gay love, social justice warrior mentality and other touchy feely ideologies. That raises the question, is film a political medium, and if so, is it inherently liberal?

I’m just going to say that in regards to film being political, of course it is, but that’s not its fault. Almost any form of story can be twisted and turned to fit a political agenda. The Hero’s Journey could be perverted to portray an unrealistic and unfair Capitalist ideology, built on the American Dream (and blood of the proletariat). So all-in-all film is political, but not because of any of its faults, but rather because storytelling itself is political.

In asking the question is film inherently liberal, it is important to remember that liberal can mean very different things in different countries (A Norwegian liberal is vastly different from an Iranian liberal, for example) I’m just going to say that by liberal, I mean a film is left leaning from the culture it is made in.

Clarifications aside, is film liberal? Granted, it can be very difficult to find a conservative Western film for comparison. One does spring to mind, but Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas (1.6 on IMDb) isn’t exactly a fair comparison.

So that’s it! According to IMDb the worst film of all time is a conservative one, so all conservative movies are terrible, ergo they are not right, and film is a liberal medium!

Well, not really. One only needs to look at Birdemic: Shock and Terror (A marginally better 1.8 on IMDb, the previous worst film placeholder) to find a terrible liberal film.

So, can we all agree that politics isn’t what makes a film bad or good. After all, although Hollywood is definitely left leaning (of all actors ever nominated for an Academy Award where they played a gay character, only one has ever lost. Eggs Benedict Cucumberbatch) some of its greatest films were right leaning (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a good example)

However, I do think liberal is inherently liberal for one reason. It is an art. Art tends to attract more liberals than conservatives, as conservatives by definition don’t like change or new experiences (they prefer to “conserve” what we already have) and liberals are more attracted to things that they view as new, fresh. Art is constantly challenging new things, as there are few limits to the human imagination, so yes, film is inherently liberal.

Does that mean I will finally stop complaining about the banality and repetitiveness of Hollywood, how it managed to turn film into a mathematical equation for money, how it hates risk and is always ten years behind the times in terms of what is acceptable to talk about in movies?

Of course not. I’m angry for some reason. I’m not going to stop.

This article was originally uploaded to Finn B’s Film Fiascoes. It has been modified from it’s original, which can be seen here

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