"Citing the controversy surrounding the Dakota Fanning film Hounddog, theleader of the state Senate Republicans says he wants the government to review scripts before cameras start rolling in North Carolina. That system, said state Sen. Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, would apply only to films seeking the state's lucrative filmmaker incentive..."Clearly, he places no value whatsoever on the First Amendment. Not a hell of a lot different from Muslims screaming about offences to their "Prophet". Yet let's not leave out the Democrats:
"Sen. Julia Boseman, D-New Hanover, one of the backers of the new law that created the current incentive system, said she couldn't say much until shesaw Berger's proposal in writing. "There's no bill yet to take a look at," she said. "But I am always willing to consider reasonable ways to improve the program.""In other words, she's fully willing to accept the notion of influencing the content of ideas in art. (If you can call much of what Hollywood produces"art" -- but regardless.)
Here, in essence, is so much of what's wrong with our country, our government, and our unprincipled, evasively dishonest politicians. First a Democrat throws chum into the water to attract fish, then a Republican uses it to gut the hapless who get hooked, and the rest of us suffer for it when they succeed.
""Why should North Carolina taxpayers pay for something they findobjectionable?" said Berger, who is having proposed legislation drafted."The real question is, why are North Carolina taxpayers funding the film business? Is this a proper function of government (ie, beyond police,courts, national defense)?
Take your pick: education, medicine, scientific research, welfare whatever -- the pattern is always the same bait and switch-- first you draw them in with the lure of free cash, then you hook them sothey become dependent on it, then you use it as a rationalization to regulate the hell out of them, thereby gutting them. And in the process,the toxic effect kills all the other fish in the stream.
My metaphor is getting a little fishy here, but I think you get the idea -- they use government to establish the principle that it has a right to deprive all minnows of the right to swim, and then demand they all be hooked and gutted if they want to live. There's government in action when it tries to "correct" a problem of its own making -- it makes it vastly worse.
"Berger said the film-incentive ban should be broadened to include materialconsidered objectionable. He said there should be no First Amendment concerns because the producer would be seeking money from the stategovernment. But he did say that if constitutional questions confused the matter, it would be better not to have a film incentive at all."Well, there's your contradiction in action. This fool is utterly unable to connect actions to principles, but he damn sure knows what he's doing (as did Boseman) at some level. We're to believe he sees no distinction betweenthe government actions they endorse and private actions? We're to believe he can't grasp the consequences of government regulation of the arts?
No, he knows. At root, he *wants* censorship (as does Boseman), as much as advocates of public schooling *want* total control of the ideas taught there. He wants ideas to be "free", if he agrees with them, and regulated like hell if he doesn't.
John McCain should love this guy. Ie, he of McCain-Feingold fame, who instituted the first official censorship of political speech in this country. Why shouldn't McCain love him?
Berger wants to "protect" the arts from greedy filmmakers, while McCain wanted to protect politics from the evil dollar. Whatever the merits of the film (I haven't seen it and have no opinion,other than it's probably like most of what La-La-land produces today -- ie,crap), we all should have the choice to see or not see it, crap or not.
The producers should have the right to make it without a government censor on-set. Freedom of speech has certainly become something these statist yahoos only pay lip service to, and if this goes on, we're all likely to be living completely by permission in a very short time.
P.S: For those who aren't aware, government "incentives" to the film industry are epidemic, and most films that accept them must subject themselves to all sorts of restrictions. I subscribe to one movie industry newsletter (screenwriting is an avocation) and here are some typical callsfor scripts:
and then they'll have all sorts of restrictions on where the writers must come from. For a reason. Local government it giving them cash. Likewise, TV shows shot in Canada must often use Canadian cast and crew, etc, etc. This is all part of the welfarization (c)(tm) of the film industry, and like any example of government largesse, observes Gresham's Law (bad money drives out good, in essence), while ultimately corrupting everything the bad money touches (who's law is that?).
"We are looking for completed feature scripts about
Provincetown, Massachusetts. Submissions may be in any genre or involving any sort of subject matter, but they must be about this particular place."
"We are looking for completed scripts where the story takes place in SanFrancisco. We are open to any genre, however the story must take place in San Francisco."
"I am looking for completed horror scripts that can be in Australia ..."
Republican: Scripts need reviewingMovie prompts lawmaker's film incentive idea
By Mark SchreinerRaleigh Bureau Chief
Citing the controversy surrounding the Dakota Fanning film Hounddog, theleader of the state Senate Republicans says he wants the government toreview scripts before cameras start rolling in North Carolina.
That system, said state Sen. Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, would apply only tofilms seeking the state's lucrative filmmaker incentive, which refunds asmuch as 15 percent of what productions spend in North Carolina from thestate treasury.
"Why should North Carolina taxpayers pay for something they findobjectionable?" said Berger, who is having proposed legislation drafted.It is not known whether Hounddog's producers have or will apply for theincentive.
A call Thursday to the N.C. Department of Revenue, which overseesincentive payments, was not returned.Sen. Julia Boseman, D-New Hanover, one of the backers of the new law thatcreated the current incentive system, said she couldn't say much until she saw Berger's proposal in writing.
"There's no bill yet to take a look at," she said. "But I am always willingto consider reasonable ways to improve the program."
She did say she thought looking at scripts before shooting starts might bemeaningless because a script could be changed during production.
"We should consider the end product," she said, "which is what our currentsystem is designed to do."
State law denies the incentive to films that are obscene. In state law,obscenity is defined as depicting sexual conduct presented in an offensiveway that appeals to prurient interest, lacks any "serious literary,artistic, political or scientific value" and is not free speech protected by the state or federal constitutions.
Berger said the film-incentive ban should be broadened to include materialconsidered objectionable. He said there should be no First Amendmentconcerns because the producer would be seeking money from the stategovernment. But he did say that if constitutional questions confused thematter, it would be better not to have a film incentive at all.
Berger has not seen the movie. He said his opinions were formed by what he has read about it. The Fanning film, which is playing this week at the Sundance Film Festivalin Park City, Utah, has been a flashpoint of controversy since it was filmed on locations in New Hanover and Brunswick counties last summer.
The movie tells the story of Lewellen, a girl played by 12-year-old Fanning,who is growing up in the 1960s South.In one scene, the character is raped. The scene lasts a few minutes and isnot graphic, according to The Associated Press. There is no nudity, thescene is darkly lit, and only Fanning's face and hand are shown.
Criticism and questions began even before the first screening of the film. A group called the Christian Film and Television Commission claims Hounddog breaks the federal child-pornography law, according to the AP.
Last year, a complaint reached the New Hanover County district attorney, whoissued a letter saying he saw uncut portions of the film and found that nocrime had been committed in his jurisdiction.
The film's publicist took a request for comment Thursday afternoon but didnot return it before press time.Under the current system, the process begins when producers make inquiriesof local film commissions or the state film office to gauge whether theirproject might be eligible.
But to claim the credit, the producers must file a state tax return. TheN.C. Department of Revenue examines the return and judges whether all thecriteria in the law have been met. The refund can be as much as $7.5 million per film. Berger pointed to South Carolina, which requires up-front applications fromproducers, who must attach a copy of their script.
Even so, said Jeff Monks, South Carolina's film commissioner, the state doesnot assess the content of a proposed movie."Censorship is not part of our activity," he said. The purpose of asking forthe script is to see whether it conforms to the budget and scheduleinformation producers are required to provide."We want to see if this film is doable and a good investment for the peopleof the state," he said.
Mark Schreiner: (919) email@example.com