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The Lone Ranger

After sitting through Gore Verbinski’s long and lumbering new The Lone Ranger, I have a few questions. Did the leaders of the Comanche Indian nation get to see even a rough cut of the movie before they recently gave its star, Johnny Depp, an honorary Comanche membership in recognition of his service to their people? What were they thinking of? Did this award involve leveraging his celebrity for some commercial project, like a casino?

The Attack

If you’re going to make a film involving to any degree the Arab-Israeli conflicts in the Middle East, a mark of success will inevitably be condemnation from both sides of the fence. Director Ziad Doueiri reported to the Los Angeles Times that the Arab League called for all of its member states to boycott his film The Attack, ostensibly because the Lebanese production was partly filmed in Israel but more likely, in the director’s opinion, because it fails to demonize Israelis sufficiently for Arab tastes.

Midnight's Children

It was probably a mistake for Salmon Rushdie not to have stepped aside for another screenwriter when he agreed to let Deepa Mehta film his first literary success, the 1980 novel Midnight’s Children. Especially when you take into account the fact that he’d never written a movie before, at least not one that got produced. He has said he resisted previous offers and efforts, but gave in to Mehta. Was it because of the agreed-to writing responsibility? In that case, the mistake was both of theirs. That the novel is dear to Rushdie’s heart doesn’t seem to have aided them.

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