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 Post subject: Re: Lars von Trier
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:46 pm 
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Colpeper wrote:
It's sad that some people condemn such loyalty. When Donna Karan tried to support Weinstein (somewhat clumsily, by her own admission), Rose McGowan saw fit to call her "scum".

Wasn't Karan (correctly, in my opinion) blasted for being absolutely offensive in her own right, suggesting that women were 'asking for it' because of the way they dressed (in her rivals' clothes, presumably):

“You look at everything all over the world today and how women are dressing and what they are asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble.”


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 Post subject: Re: Lars von Trier
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:22 pm 
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Friend =/= enabler


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 Post subject: Re: Lars von Trier
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:25 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Karan's initial comment was simply to state that Weinstein and his wife are "wonderful people", which seemed to me a fair and loyal thing for her to say to the media. She followed it up with the comment you quoted, which opens a whole debate about to what extent we should modify our actions to avoid danger. I think that was unwise in the context, but did not deserve the disrespectful response she received from Rose McGowan and others.

mfunk9786 wrote:
Huh? I'm glad that you're pleased with the idea of a person allowing their personal or professional friendship with someone to blind them to the writing on the wall about that person, but by no means should anyone expect anyone to delude themselves out of some sort of misguided concept of loyalty.

I don't think friendship (nor family) require that one be blind to the other's faults; rather, that one should challenge behaviour to someone's face, not behind that person's back or in public.


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 Post subject: Re: Lars von Trier
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:55 pm 
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Are you allowed to, um, stop being friends with someone when you find out they’re a rapist? Or does that violate the Colpeper code of friendship?


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 Post subject: Re: Lars von Trier
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:06 pm 
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Of course, though it's also possible to be a friend and help them get through a difficult time without, say, condoning rape.


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 Post subject: Re: Lars von Trier
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:16 pm 
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Agreed, but this began with an admonishment of people for being fair weather friends and/or disloyal to Weinstein, which is... a problematic assertion at best.


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 Post subject: Re: Lars von Trier
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:32 am 
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Location: Chicago, IL
gcgiles1dollarbin wrote:
Without evidence to the contrary, we need to err on the side of believing the victim. We should know by now that "due process" is most often at the mercy of deep pockets, and to say merely that so-and-so will have her day in court--that we should therefore abstain from all judgment--does no service to justice. Björk has nothing to gain by exposing herself to the ridicule and doubts of von Trier's predominantly male coterie of fans. I say this as someone who really enjoyed DitD, Breaking the Waves, The Kingdom, Europa, and Antichrist. We need to stop freaking out defensively and inhibiting victims when our favorite directors are implicated. Cinema is problematic in many respects; there will always be Polanskis and Allens and Cosbys and Weinsteins and Warners and Gibsons and Afflecks and von Triers that we need to reconcile with our personal (and, frankly, comparatively meaningless) enjoyment of film. Cinema is not sacrosanct to the point of running roughshod over women.

I don't know about this. What exactly would "do service to justice?" You used the phrase "we need to" three times in that paragraph without actually saying anything concrete that "we need to" do. Will it serve justice to stop watching films? Or should we form vigilante posses to round up the accused in the face of "deep pockets" obstructing justice? Or is it sufficient to merely post about our disgust on social media?


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 Post subject: Re: Lars von Trier
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:47 am 
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Brian C wrote:
gcgiles1dollarbin wrote:
Without evidence to the contrary, we need to err on the side of believing the victim. We should know by now that "due process" is most often at the mercy of deep pockets, and to say merely that so-and-so will have her day in court--that we should therefore abstain from all judgment--does no service to justice. Björk has nothing to gain by exposing herself to the ridicule and doubts of von Trier's predominantly male coterie of fans. I say this as someone who really enjoyed DitD, Breaking the Waves, The Kingdom, Europa, and Antichrist. We need to stop freaking out defensively and inhibiting victims when our favorite directors are implicated. Cinema is problematic in many respects; there will always be Polanskis and Allens and Cosbys and Weinsteins and Warners and Gibsons and Afflecks and von Triers that we need to reconcile with our personal (and, frankly, comparatively meaningless) enjoyment of film. Cinema is not sacrosanct to the point of running roughshod over women.

I don't know about this. What exactly would "do service to justice?" You used the phrase "we need to" three times in that paragraph without actually saying anything concrete that "we need to" do. Will it serve justice to stop watching films? Or should we form vigilante posses to round up the accused in the face of "deep pockets" obstructing justice? Or is it sufficient to merely post about our disgust on social media?

Gcgiles1dollarbin is saying that people (mostly men) need to listen to and believe women who say they have harassed or assaulted and not immediately start defending the accused or making excuses (or, as we saw in another thread, calling people who care about women getting sexual assaulted "snowflakes"). If people who make allegations about sexual harassment or assault were taken seriously rather than dismissed, mocked, or told by their agents and producers to keep it quiet, then these scandals would cease to exist.


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 Post subject: Re: Lars von Trier
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:27 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:09 am
Lets revisit. At the time LvT made Dancer, he had just come off a well publicized film that played Cannes, which featured gobs of nakedness, non-simulated sex, and revolved around people who viewed a cocktail of orgies and mental retardation as a possible pathway to Nirvana. The making of featurettes depicted the director directing the actors fully naked, with a reference copy of Caligula at hand. His film company produced porn films (interestingly enough, ones that were intended to appeal to a female perspective). If that wasnt enough, his manifesto read like a cross between Martin Luther and Marx, and he was famously regarded a tempermental Enfant Terible

I like Bjork. I have bought her music and seen her live. She is living in a fantasy, if she thought she was hitching her wagon to something that wasnt going to be a frat hazing hot mess. Anyone think perhaps she might be doing a diservice to women who are going though something far less predictable, or am I being insensitive?


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 Post subject: Re: Lars von Trier
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:33 pm 
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Zot! wrote:
I like Bjork. I have bought her music and seen her live. She is living in a fantasy, if she thought she was hitching her wagon to something that wasnt going to be a frat hazing hot mess. Anyone think perhaps she might be doing a diservice to women who are going though something far less predictable, or am I being insensitive?

Well, that's the second time today I've heard the argument "They knew what they signed up for."

But to address your point more specifically, I don't think that working with a director who frequently utilizes nudity and sexuality should imply that you should expect to be harassed when you agree to work with him. The two do not have to go hand in hand, and they shouldn't.


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 Post subject: Re: Lars von Trier
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:36 pm 
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Colpeper wrote:
gcgiles1dollarbin wrote:
Without evidence to the contrary, we need to err on the side of believing the victim.

I'm not like-minded with that approach, which looks indistinguishable from a presumption of guilt.

Here in the UK, at one time (less so now I suspect), the police used to remember their ABC - Assume nothing, Believe nobody, Check everything.

If law enforcement and the judicial system actually worked that way, I would be inclined to agree, but here in the U.S., at least, we have an epidemic of sexual abuse towards women perpetrated with impunity by men in positions of power and a culture of mistrusting victims that facilitates it, particularly when the accused have some cachet in the public eye. Additionally, as I wrote in the sentence following the one you quoted,
gcgiles1dollarbin wrote:
We should know by now that "due process" is most often at the mercy of deep pockets, and to say merely that so-and-so will have her day in court--that we should therefore abstain from all judgment--does no service to justice.

Too often women, especially in the entertainment industries, have been threatened with retaliation if they report what has happened to them. The "check everything" of your ABC formula is nearly always compromised, and the mistrust of the judicial process--not unlike what has happened with crimes being underreported in the aftermath of Trump's moves against immigrants in this country--leads to complacency among those who are not directly victims, because they believe there is no serious problem or that the fabled omniscience and perfect disinterest of law enforcement and judicial procedure will solve whatever problems there are.

Brian C wrote:
I don't know about this. What exactly would "do service to justice?" You used the phrase "we need to" three times in that paragraph without actually saying anything concrete that "we need to" do. Will it serve justice to stop watching films? Or should we form vigilante posses to round up the accused in the face of "deep pockets" obstructing justice? Or is it sufficient to merely post about our disgust on social media?

I think you are bristling more at my rhetoric than the points I'm trying to make. I can't tell people what they should do in their daily lives, or in their roles as activists and allies, in order to counter it; we all have different investments in this; different levels of expertise, commitment, and, yes, indifference; and different levels of resistance toward what I believe are highly exaggerated fears of vigilantism. There are any number of victim relief organizations that provide legal and counseling resources which you can support through donations. But, yes, as a civilized society, "we need" to start believing the stories of sexual assault victims more frequently, and at the risk of being boorish through repetition, I'll say again that "we need" to put aside defensiveness and admit that many of the achievements of film art we admire came at a dear cost, particularly to women. Neither demand should be controversial, and yet the discomfort that arises from discussing them is transformative and productive, even as it plays out on social media; in other words, don't sell these forum exchanges short. Also, the emphasis on abusers in the film industry is critical because each case is highly visible and can build greater awareness toward this problem more rapidly. "Justice served" is obviously subjective, but I doubt anyone feels satisfied that Harvey "working on himself" at a Swiss sex addiction clinic--when someone else with fewer resources might justifiably be in prison--constitutes justice. If he gets away with this because he has enough money to buy himself freedom and exoneration, then the message is clear: his victims were mere nuisances to brush away with wealth.


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 Post subject: Re: Lars von Trier
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:52 am
Zot! wrote:
Lets revisit. At the time LvT made Dancer, he had just come off a well publicized film that played Cannes, which featured gobs of nakedness, non-simulated sex, and revolved around people who viewed a cocktail of orgies and mental retardation as a possible pathway to Nirvana. The making of featurettes depicted the director directing the actors fully naked, with a reference copy of Caligula at hand. His film company produced porn films (interestingly enough, ones that were intended to appeal to a female perspective). If that wasnt enough, his manifesto read like a cross between Martin Luther and Marx, and he was famously regarded a tempermental Enfant Terible

I like Bjork. I have bought her music and seen her live. She is living in a fantasy, if she thought she was hitching her wagon to something that wasnt going to be a frat hazing hot mess. Anyone think perhaps she might be doing a diservice to women who are going though something far less predictable, or am I being insensitive?

This just sounds like victim-blaming to me. Ultimately, nothing Björk either knew or could have guessed about von Trier’s methods makes his behaviour any less unacceptable. And I say this as someone who loves a lot of his work and will continue to watch it regardless of these allegations. I’ve always been in favour of separating the merit or value of the art from the personal virtues of the artist; but there’s a flipside to that, and that’s that we should be wary of letting our admiration for artists turn into apologism for their real-world misdemeanours.


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 Post subject: Re: Lars von Trier
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:57 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:09 am
What about the business itself? I cant think of another job where your boss can tell you to expose yourself mentally and physically, malnourish yourself, perform intimate acts with people you dont know, and generally lay yourself to waste, with complete sincerity. This is the job. Sometimes it is done for millions of dollars, and sometimes it is done for nothing. The expectations are the same. Why is it unthinkable that Trier was just doing his job to elicit the necessary performance? He is responsible for making that happen, and by popular and critical opinion it is happening in his films. Now, I would never consent to that myself, but then I have no aspirations to be a performer. Sure, there is a line not to be crossed, but any good punishment junkie knows that the more safe you make the environment, the lower the rewards. You'll notice that there isnt a dogpile of allegations against Trier, after Bjork spoke up. I can respect that Bjork did not believe the results were worth the struggle, and she has other interest than acting, however this has nothing to do with Harvey Weinstein using wealth and power to get personal fulfillment independent of a movie set.


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 Post subject: Re: Lars von Trier
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:09 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:36 am
Quote:
however this has nothing to do with Harvey Weinstein using wealth and power to get personal fulfillment independent of a movie set.

It is the same thing. Exactly the same thing. A predator using a position of (perceived) power and influence to pressure a woman or man (or girl or boy) to submit to unwanted and unsolicited sexual contact. It is clearly sexual harassment, and if sex is forced, sexual assault and rape. Reasoning that because the perpetrator is talented and famous is a reason to forgive, or worse, justify the assault, is outrageous. No means no. Drag these predators out into the light and make them accountable for their actions. Imagine that woman is your mother, wife or daughter?


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 Post subject: Re: Lars von Trier
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:24 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:09 am
No, the differentiator is that it is in the service of the work, and that the work demands it. I respect my Mother, Wife, or Daughter to make appropriate choices for themselves. My wife has a job in medicine that I would never consent to do. She is asked to do things that I am uncomfortable with. I am proud of her, and think she is brave. If I was asked to do those things in my job, I would consider it harrassment, because it is not in the service of my work. I personally find the life of a thespian to be wholly incompatible with my personality. At it's best you are asked to utterly destroy yourself for art.


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 Post subject: Re: Lars von Trier
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:00 am 
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It is not in the service of the work. An actor who agrees to "bare all", emotionally and physically, for the sake of art, is not consenting to be sexually harassed by the director, any more than someone who agrees to work in a busy restaurant is consenting to be abused by the head chef. Only if you explicitly say, 'I'm okay with you making grossly inappropriate sexual advances towards me in order to enhance my performance' have you consented to such activity, and even then you need to be able to say 'no' at any point if things go too far - as is the case, for example, if you're engaging in sado-masochistic activities with someone... It's disingenuous of you to say that 'sure there is a line not to be crossed' and then claim that sexual harassment is an inevitable, even integral, 'part of the business' of being an actor. Where would you place that line?


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 Post subject: Re: Lars von Trier
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:30 am 
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Zot! wrote:
What about the business itself? I cant think of another job where your boss can tell you to expose yourself mentally and physically, malnourish yourself, perform intimate acts with people you dont know, and generally lay yourself to waste, with complete sincerity. This is the job. Sometimes it is done for millions of dollars, and sometimes it is done for nothing. The expectations are the same. Why is it unthinkable that Trier was just doing his job to elicit the necessary performance? He is responsible for making that happen, and by popular and critical opinion it is happening in his films. Now, I would never consent to that myself, but then I have no aspirations to be a performer. Sure, there is a line not to be crossed, but any good punishment junkie knows that the more safe you make the environment, the lower the rewards. You'll notice that there isnt a dogpile of allegations against Trier, after Bjork spoke up. I can respect that Bjork did not believe the results were worth the struggle, and she has other interest than acting, however this has nothing to do with Harvey Weinstein using wealth and power to get personal fulfillment independent of a movie set.

You seem to be claiming that an inherent part of becoming an acting is giving the director complete control over your body and mind to the point that issues of consent no longer apply. That, because Bjork signed a contract with Von Trier to appear in a movie, he has the right to do anything to her in order to elicit the performance that he wants.

There are obvious legal arguments one could make against this, including the fact that no actor, including porn actors, sign a contract ceding their bodily autonomy, and the fact that a film set is a workplace covered by laws, not some magical place where anything goes.

But what I find particularly notable is how your framework reiterates the most vulgar conceptions of the auteur theory. Claiming that actors give up complete control over their bodies and minds to their directors (the old Hitchcock quote about actors being "cattle") suggests that the director always knows best and that a film is not a negotiation between many different artists, but the expression of one solitary (male) genius who is occasionally inconvenienced by the fact that an actor isn't willing to be sexually harassed, assaulted, or put in dangerous situations for the sake of their great art. The gender dynamics of this are obvious, not only because of the paucity of women directors in general, but because the "great directors," the ones made famous and celebrated for their brutal treatment of actors, always seem to be men. And the actors who get the worst of it always seem to be women.

Another poster made a great point a couple pages ago in this thread about the myth of the "outlaw" or "bad boy" directors. I think this is indeed the issue at stake here. While the defense of people like Weinstein is mostly just good old fashioned rape culture, the defense of Von Trier is more about defending the idea of the maverick male director who doesn't bow down to a "politically correct" culture.


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 Post subject: Re: Lars von Trier
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:15 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:23 pm
I would argue that LVT's behavior is worse than Weinstein's precisely because of bullshit rationalization like what Zot is spewing. It's pretty clear that being a creep behind closed doors is wrong. Being a creep on set under the guise of being supportive or eliciting a performance is insidious and disingenuous, and leads other creepy dudes to defend it with "but but but... ART!"


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 Post subject: Re: Lars von Trier
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:24 pm 
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mteller, I wouldn't have agreed with you before this thread played out, but I think I'm beginning to see your side of things.


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