Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Business trips with down times in hotels allow one to catch up on films one would not otherwise see and tonight I chose 'Borat'.
This is easily as curious as much of Cohen's work on 'Da Ali G Show'.
Was there a theme? The only commonality I saw through the film was the stunning accommodation, friendliness, acceptance, and struggle to tolerate 'cultural' differences that the Americans showed. This includes the featured Canadian, though I suspect all her scenes (Pamela Anderson) were staged.
Unlike the scenes with many duped people. The frat boys were not so bad as I had feared from what I read - it was a bunch of drunk dumb kids with an instigator in their midst. And actually, they were very compassionate and sweet when Borat 'discovers' that Pamela may not be a virgin. I actually found that part touching.
The dinner party - again! The hosts and guests bent over backwards to accommodate Borat's outrageousness.
The rodeo scene - what fascinated me was Cohen's test of the crowd as he escalated his calls. It was when he called for Iraq to be sent back to the stone age that the crowd turned against him. Consider that. Their moral sense is not far off at all.
So what was he up to? I am not sure. But it is clear he loves testing and pushing buttons in the hope of getting reactions, and anyone who is committed to this can always manage a reaction. He had to work very hard across the board to get the reactions he used. In general people took a lot of crap from him.
He is a sort of bizarre genius. For me, though, as somewhat of a prude, it was a constant disappointment that he had to go for cheap sexual and toilet jokes to try to produce the reactions. I think there was a much better film that could have been there without any of that nonsense.
But Cohen is Cohen and more power to him.


At 11:37 AM, Blogger rondi said...

I did not much enjoy the bathroom humour, either! Hitchens wrote a really good piece on the movie, about how it shows exactly what you're saying here: How tolerant Americans are.


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