In Houston last weekend, while nursing my first Shiner Bock and my fifth of an eventual 27 mosquito nipples, (a new weekend record), I read a great piece in the Houston Chronicle.
Gov. Rick Perry, W’s handpicked heir, has signed a $22 million dollar bill to lure us non-heartland types to make movies in Texas. He is, however, demanding the holy grail that all auteurs lust for—the final cut. Arnold doesn’t even get that.
Per the article:
the new law has a provision that allows film grants to be denied "because of inappropriate content or content that portrays Texas or Texans in a negative fashion."
Or Rick wants to censor movies.
When making the law, specifically, they singled out GLORY ROAD. When senators added the provision, one cited the film Glory Road about the Texas Western Miners from El Paso, a basketball team whose starting lineup was African-American. It obviously shows racist Texans, which as we all know never existed.
I highly doubt he will have many takers. After all you can’t have good guys without bad guys. Movies don’t work that way.
The following is short list of movies that would be denied a portion of the $22 million dollars. I think we all know that it won’t stop at negative images of Texas and Texans. I am defining a “negative” image as something outside of the party line.
TERMS OF ENDEARMENT-- Jeff Daniels is a total dick. NASA Astronaut Jack Nicholson is a self absorbed drunk.
THE ALAMO (pick your favorite version)- Texans are overrun by undocumented workers.
THE LAST PICTURE SHOW- Small town folk are creepy folk. Teens party nekkid. The football coach is in the closet.
URBAN COWBOY- John Travolta hacksaws off his cast to avoid paying a doctor bill.
RIO BRAVO- In Dean Martin’s finest performance, a drunk saves the city. John Wayne performs the assist.
DAZED AND CONFUSED- Pick your favorite scene.
REALITY BITES- Janeanne Garafolo gets an AIDS test.. Shiksa Wynona Ryder sleeps with a Jew.
ORDINARY PEOPLE: Wow.. now that’s a fucked family. Everyone gets a chance in the negative limelight. The family is so fucked up they beat out RAGING BULL for an academy award.
SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT- Texas Mountie Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason) drags a toilet paper roll about a hundred yards on his shoe. Also, his police authority (and car) are decimated.
J.F.K. Okay no one really gives a shit about this movie. I’m sorry I brought it up. “It’s up to you to decide!”
To be fair, I can think of a few flicks that would get Perry points. Strangely enough, these excellent movies would fit into these parameters and would be eligible. Neither Michael Moore’s FAHRENHEIT 911 nor the Dixie Chicks SHUT UP AND SING portrays Texans in a bad light. They portray a New England yankee playing cowboy in a bad light. Thirdly, the “Let Them Play” scene from THE BAD NEWS BEARS IN BREAKING TRAINING is every bit as touching as Gary Cooper’s PRIDE OF THE YANKEES monologue. Sure kids smoke in the movie, but they’re Californians. The Californians do win the big game. It could need a more Texas friendly ending.
However, I do need a job right now. And $22 million is a lot of cash. How about this-- a former first lady solves the Katrina Crises in “Rainbow in the Astrodome?”
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