I just finished watching at Netflix (Netflix! That should have tipped me off.) Martin Scorceses’ ‘documentary’ Rolling thunder revue about Bob Dylan. My first impression at the end was ‘what a pack of pretentious and unlikable people’. Then I got curious about how Scorcese made the ‘docu’. That’s when my hope for this new millennium tanked.
You see, I discovered that this 2019 ‘docu’ is Scorcese’s intentionally made as a fake documentary about Bob Dylan. As the article in Variatey magazine says, Scorcese “prank the public”.
Maybe Scorcesese, a wealthy man, finds it cute to use his wealth, all of which comes from us, the consumers of his movies, to make us waste our time (and pay him for it too) watching something he is passing as ‘history’.
So Sorcesese joins Trump in debasing our culture and history just because they can. But here is one negative consequence of his prank.
From now on, the field of documentary-making has lost its credibility. Why? Because a documentary, as Scorcesese has demonstrated, can be like counterfeit money: made totally indistinguishable from a real one. History has always been told from the eyes of the victor, but passing counterfeit history is worse: it is circulating fake information out of open greed and disrespect for the public.
This practice of counterfeiting history is Hollywood’s trade mark, but we have known it and learned to not believe everything it passes as history; we know is fictionalized history, purposely made to be consumed as entertainment, not as fact. But now, the trend is to actually tell you that ‘this is true, it did happen as described’.
The same thing happened with the Cohen brothers movie Fargo. As a consequence of labeling the movie as ‘based on real events’, one real woman (mindless, true) died trying to find the money “buried in the snow”, because she thought it was true that the money was still there. But we learn in ‘the making of Fargo’ that the story is totally fiction. Again, the directors decided that it is cute to tell the public that what they are watching really happened as told in the movie, when they know it’s not true. Total disregard to the social value of honesty, no regards to consequences.
From where our millionaire Hollywood men get the idea that we, the consumer, are looking forward to be lied to and fooled about history for entertainment, I don’t know.
All I know is that my list of movies by Hollywood directors and actors I would go to see in the future is getting shorter by the minute.
Scorceses joins the Cohen brothers in my black list of directors to ignore and not give my money to them.
My final thought goes to Bob Dylan himself: why did he agree to participate in this faking of his own history? Was it the money? The same goes for Joan Baez.
Bob Dylan is seen as a god by his fans. I see a god with feet of clay.