Saturday, October 09, 2004

"I get older, embarrassment and ridicule stay the same age." paraphrase Bobby-- er, David Wooderson.

But seriously guys, don't you think there's a reason that other states have statutes of limitations on this sort of thing? Or did your neighbors just start to think poorly of you after eleven years? Surely the timing of this has nothing to do with Richard Linklater suddenly making big studio bucks?

If you don't want to be associated with this film, I have a few friendly suggestions:

1) Don't file a lawsuit that will forever and explicitly link you to this film in a highly public manner.

2) Have you considered moving out of Huntsville? There must be plenty of people in Angleton, Brazoria, Bryan, Crosby, Freeport, Hempstead, Jasper, La Marque, Lake Jackson, Liberty, New Waverly, Nederland, Port Neches, Saratoga, Seabrook, Spring, Tomball and Trinity who share your generic surnames whose lives haven't been made miserable by virtue of their association with a cult film. Perhaps you too could blend in there? Oh, and maybe -- just maybe -- moving away from the small town you've lived in for all 44 years of your life (that Linklater has described as "a prison town") might give you the perspective to see that it wasn't in fact Richard Linklater who's been making your lives miserable.

This whole ridiculous lawsuit (I blame the liberal trial lawyers - off with their heads!) does tie into something I was left thinking about earlier tonight as the lights went up after the screening of Team America (I promise my deeper thoughts on the movie will be posted soon):

What's the point of the boilerplate disclaimer at the end of most movies if it's going to be used as a bald-faced lie? Doesn't that open up the filmmakers to lawsuits even more?

Yet, at the end of Team America, there was the standard legaleese stating something to the effect of: "The persons and events in this motion picture are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons or events is unintentional." Uh, yeah. I'm sure those puppets that looked like Alec Baldwin and Sean Penn, and were referred to by name as "Alec Baldwin" and "Sean Penn" weren't intended to resemble said actors.

I actually copied that disclaimer above directly from the credits of South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (all plagiarism is unintentional), which featured plenty of persons similar to actual persons. In fact, earlier in the credits, they acknowledge this by stating:

"Conan O’Brien, Brooke Shields, President Clinton, The Baldwin Brothers and Winona Ryder did not authorize the use of their names or contribute any performances to this motion picture." [Does the absence of Saddam Hussein's name in that list mean he did authorize the use of his name, or does that mean that he's going to go to New Mexico in 2010 to sue Trey Parker and Matt Stone?] A similar disclaimer to that one also appears in Team America. But that doesn't make their later claim any less fraudulent.

And it's not just Parker and Stone that are guilty of blindly slapping that false legal clause onto their films. I checked the credits of Wag the Dog (which features Dustin Hoffman doing an admitted impression of producer Robert Evans) and In America (which is based closely on writer/director Jim Sheridan's own life and the persons in it). I know there are plenty more like them (anybody want to check the credits of Almost Famous, Austin Powers, The Big Lebowski, Primary Colors, Silver City?).

I guess what I'm getting at is, does this mean that all those animals have been harmed in the making of these productions, too?

Quick, somebody call a liberal trial lawyer!


Blogger Alex said...

Uh, I'm a liberal trial lawyer. How can I be at your service?

October 10, 2004 2:35 PM  

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