Edward Norton really should read this

by Richard on June 18, 2008

Every once in a while, Wood goes on such a magnificent rant that all you can do is stand back in breathless admiration.

Today is one of those days.

The object of his ire is Edward Norton, and by extension, the whole Hollywood thing. More than that, I’m not saying. You’ll have to go read it.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Wood 06.18.08 at 4:47 pm

You knpw, it should have been longer and more vitriolic, but I couldn’t sustain it.

2

Richard 06.18.08 at 6:21 pm

I hope you’re not mellowing on us!

3

Beth 06.18.08 at 10:41 pm

I disagree. Edward Norton should not read it - he should go and have a cup of cocoa and wrap up in a blanket. I feel kinda sorry for the guy - his feelings are hurt (which happens to everyone) and he has to be publicly humiliated for reacting in a relatively normal way!

4

Wood 06.19.08 at 9:26 am

I can think of about twenty million reasons why he shouldn’t take it so personally.

5

Beth 06.19.08 at 2:35 pm

Yup, because money is everything and we’re not allowed to be angry at or disagree with the people who pay us.

6

Wood 06.19.08 at 3:45 pm

Not if we’re being paid ridiculously vast sums to produce something that’s basically a mass-produced corporate product, no.

7

Beth 06.19.08 at 3:59 pm

Hmmm. We’re not going to agree on this. I just think that you’re on dodgy ground condemning someone for not selling out.

8

Richard 06.19.08 at 4:04 pm

If I’m reading him right, Wood isn’t having a go at Mr Norton “for not selling out”. He’s having a go because Mr Norton is behaving as though a bit of lightweight entertainment is some sort of high art.

Not there’s anything wrong with lightweight entertainment. Nothing I (or Wood, for that matter) like more.

9

Beth 06.19.08 at 4:34 pm

Who cares how serious or lightweight something is? Shakespeare’s plays weren’t meant as high art. They’re the pop culture of their time. The point about pop culture is that is means something to people. That’s why it’s popular. If you want to refuse to take anything seriously unless it’s written by Philip Roth and directed by David Mamet, go ahead. But people are more likely to get ideas and inspiration from Marvel and The Simpsons. And if Edward Norton feels that the ideas that he wanted to put out in this film have been butchered in post-production, he has every right to say so and every right to keep his distance from the end product, no matter how much he was originally paid for creating it.

10

Richard 06.19.08 at 6:08 pm

Fair enough. But if actors get themselves in to the studio system (and take the huge rewards that come from it) they can’t really complain when they get left out of the creative process. Isn’t that how Hollywood has always worked.

And if he signed a contract that he’d do the publicity, I reckon that he should smile and get on with it.

11

Kim 06.19.08 at 6:26 pm

I just want to factor in a few thoughts.

Only a snob would criticise popular culture as such. It is certainly a mistake to draw the distinction between high culture and popular culture along the lines of Beth’s serious or lightweight; the questions is whether it is quality or crap. So (I would argue) The Simpsons is quality, Superman is pretty crappy. So too with high culture. To speak of theology, for example, the theology of Jack Spong is pretty - no, very - crappy (and not just because it’s superficial, it’s so uninteresting), while the theology of Rowan Williams is brilliant.

On the other hand, while Williams himself is a great fan of The Simpsons, we miss out if we don’t read Williams’ theology.

12

dh 06.19.08 at 6:52 pm

Kim, replace Williams with John Piper or J.I. Packer and you got something. :) I would argue that the reason you and I, Kim, believe that Spong’s theology is so bad is because it is so outside of what God’s Word says that it falls into the category of what the Apostle Paul states as “false doctrine” or “false teaching”. Like the song says “It was good for Paul and Silas,….., it’s good enough for me.” Okay more important it’s God’s Word.

13

dh 06.19.08 at 6:52 pm

Forgot the :) after the quotation. ;)

14

Wood 06.19.08 at 8:41 pm

@Kim: actually, it’s just that I’m a snob.

But seriously, Richard has it: if you buy into the making of worthless corporate product, you don’t get to pretend you;re an artist. It’s not that I’m having a go at Norton for not selling out. I’m having a pop at him because he sold out ages ago, and he’s pretending that he hasn’t.

15

dh 06.19.08 at 9:18 pm

What is the big deal if it is “corporate” or not? Don’t people have a right if they produce something to make money on it as long as they aren’t ripping people off? Now if to make it mass-produced one has to go against Biblical morals that is another story. At the same time just because something is “corporate” doesn’t mean it should be rejected out of hand. One needs to dig a little deeper to see if there is inpropriety.

16

Wood 06.20.08 at 9:00 am

Sometimes, dh, it’s like you’re reading a completely different website and then posting your comments to it here.

17

dh 06.20.08 at 2:48 pm

Well Wood, what do you mean by “worthless corporate product”? It is implied that it is worthless just because it is corporate. My interjection is that it isn’t worthless because it is corporate but for other reasons. Hense the reply and/or questions by myself earlier: “What is the big deal if it is “corporate” or not?” with an additional question why should we look bad at something just because it is “corporate”?

P.S. I love Star Wars and the fact that it is corporate allows for it to be better than otherwise because the funding allows for a bigger production than otherwise and hense a more grandiose in terms of special effects, the number of quality actors/actresses, music for one of the one of the greatest compossors of our day John Williams, etc.

18

Rachael 06.22.08 at 5:46 am

Why is everyone assuming that Norton \”bowed out\” of publicity for the film? If he was contractually obligated to do promo work, he would have, or we\’d be reading about a lawsuit. A lot of A-list actors and actresses have it written into their contracts that they don\’t have to do much publicity. I don\’t think I\’ve ever seen Edward Norton on a talk show other than Charlie Rose, and even then, he never mentions his personal life or the kind of general fluff most talk shows consist of. My point is that I\’ve been generally surprised by the amount of publicity he has done (the premiere, that MovieTime(?) cast/director chat, and the Jimmy Kimmel skit.

Not that the linked article embodies this, but I\’m getting really annoyed by everyone rushing to call people in entertainment who can spell big words, articulate intelligent thoughts, and who has a vision other than $$$ pretentious asses.

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