Friday, September 29, 2006

The significant worm turns

This is more than ridiculous, it's dangerous. The production wasn't calling for violence! It wasn't saying: go out onto the street and kill Muslims! Where is this all going to take us? As I was shooting my film about the sex publisher 'Larry Flint,' a lot of people said to me: No, that's too extreme, we've got to cut that. Extreme! Extreme! Once we start becoming afraid of the extreme, we'll all end up wearing Mao jackets! People are talking everywhere about how much freedom we need to give up in exchange for security. Okay, but once you start, where do you stop? Do we want 100 percent security? It does exist in one country in the world. There people are entirely protected against external dangers: North Korea!
Milos Forman, director of Amadeus speaking about the cancellation of Idomeneo by the Deutsche Oper in Berlin.

This quote from an interview in Frankfurter Rundschau struck me because of that phrase, Mao jackets. Isn't it extraordinary? It isn't that long ago (is it?) that anything to do with The Great Helmsman was a signifier for the radical, the revolutionary, the extreme. It really hasn't taken so long for something truer to be attached to his name. Here it is suppression of vitality, of the spark of life under a suffocating conformity so aptly denoted by that boring little jacket.

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