Donald Trump divulges a lot of unintended toxic views when he goes off script, which is something you can depend upon when he’s with his base. He lives to get with them and experience the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd and feel the adoration coming up at him, when he throws red meat out, usually racist dogma.
Trump was in Colorado Springs Thursday and he bemoaned the fact that the movie Parasite from South Korea, a bitingly dark comedy about class struggle won the Best Picture Oscar. “And the winner from South Korea — what the hell is that? We have enough trade problems with South Korea? Can we get back ‘Gone With The Wind?'” Yes, indeed, can we go back to a sensible world of white supremacy, where slavery is depicted as paternalistic at worst and even desirable — seen from the POV of the slaves who stuck around? I think that Trump’s problem with Parasite is that he had to read sub-titles and we know he can’t read. What an affront, for Trump to have to watch people from a different culture and speaking a different language, depict a universal human problem. It truly must have been too much for him.
Trump goes off on the Oscars for giving Best Picture to Parasite because it's a South Korean movie pic.twitter.com/GUGKdExTbw
— Claudia Koerner (@ClaudiaKoerner) February 21, 2020
“Was it [Parasite] any good? I don’t know.” i’m sure he doesn’t. Trump has probably never seen a foreign film in his life, because he can’t read subtitles. That’s too art house for him. Yeah, “what the hell is that?” Today, subtitles, tomorrow they’ll be serving kimchi instead of popcorn.
Trump also made a reference to Sunset Boulevard. I wonder what intrigues him about that film? Perhaps the fact that a delusional character, living in her past, buys the company of a young man? That sounds Trumpian. Maybe he sees his future in that movie, when he’ll be the next Norma Desmond, living in a bubble world of his own fame and past glory, and planning his come back.
Blow back was swift and biting.
It's bringing up Gone With the Wind that raises this from simple xenophobic ignorance to real dada racism. https://t.co/xRSYEFMlam
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) February 21, 2020
I bet he didnt like the ending of "Gettysburg"
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) February 21, 2020
Trump talks far more harshly about South Korea than North Korea. And of course he loves pro-Confederate “Gone With the Wind.” Very telling. https://t.co/FPfrPkx7hg
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) February 21, 2020
Interesting that Trump would pick one movie made 81 years ago, Gone With the Wind, and another movie made 70 years ago, Sunset Boulevard, for mention. That is quite a while back and both society and cinema have come many light years since those films were made. And granted, these are great motion pictures and certainly were feted in their time. GWTW is a classic love story. It was massively popular as WWII was ramping up in Europe, because it portrayed the destruction of a culture ravaged by war. Production values for the time were outstanding and it was the winner of eight Academy Awards. But alas, it has fallen into disrepute for it’s whitewashed and romanticized vision of slavery. That dates the film badly. Spike Lee went so far as to mock the epic train station scene with the torn Confederate flag waving in the breeze in Blackkklansman.
As to Sunset Boulevard, again, your guess is as good as mine as to what Trump finds admirable in that, or why that sprang to mind. Sunset Boulevard was nominated for Best Picture and another film about Hollywood, All About Eve, won. Black and white films about Hollywood were all the rage that year and maybe Trump, who aspired to be a filmmaker at one point, was captivated by how Hollywood was portrayed. Trump would have been five in 1951. Again, who knows? But the fact remains that however great these two films are, they are both three quarters of a century old and Parasite is a brilliant contemporary comedy and commentary on life in 2020. Not life in South Korea, but life period. It totally deserved the Oscar and if Trump can’t figure out why, that is, once again, a commentary on his limitations. That’s the real takeaway from his wisecracks in Colorado, is how far out of it he is.