Friday, January 9, 2009

Gran Torino and sensitivity

Mr. Pitts nails is.

Indeed, Kowalski gets as good as he gives from his barber, an Italian, each slurring the other's ancestry with good-natured brio. Yet when Kowalski confronts a group of black street punks, the script has him calling them "spooks" — not the more obvious epithet that rhymes with "trigger." Eastwood doubtless knew using that word would have rendered the character irredeemable.

That the script allowed Eastwood to fire at will at his Italian friend but required him to pull up short in dealing with black thugs is telling. It speaks not simply to script dynamics, but to dynamics of American history and culture, to the question of who has assimilated enough that we deem them fair game and who has not.

[Emphasis mine!] Hear that Mr. Sharpton and Mr. Jackson? You fucking race-baiters.


Weetabix said...

I could wonder if MLK day and all the innumerable MLK bridges and blvds don't mean the same thing.

Felix Estrella said...

"I have a dream ...." that we'll all be [just] Americans.