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Zoombie
12-16-2012, 09:22 AM
Johnny Depp.

JOHNNY.

DEPP.

IS PLAYING.

TONTO.

Do people...think before they cast? Do thoughts enter into their brains? Do they stop and go, "Say, wait, aren't there any actual Native Americans who might want to play this?"

No! They apparently don't. Instead, they cast Johnny Depp as Tonto and make me facepalm every time the trailer comes up.

And weirdly, I seem to be the only one offended by this in my family. Am I going crazy here? Is there something I'm just not getting? Seriously, folks, help me out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9DDCKVrZfU

Oh...

Oh wait...it's made by the guy who made Pirates of the Caribbean.

...they're not trying to make another Jack Sparrow, are they? Because if this is their attempt, then it's just sad.

And offensive.

Blegh.

Cyia
12-16-2012, 09:38 AM
Granted he's nowhere near 100%, and I doubt he's got an official tribal affiliation, but JD is part Native American. In Hollywood, that plus the name recognition is enough. The costume is copied from a painting (the face paint and clothes), and the bird is from the same - only in the painting it's flying past the man's head rather than attached to it. Someone decided it made a great "spirit guide." :rolleyes:

I really, really hate that they've preserved the original "Tonto speech" . There's no reason for him to talk in broken English.

Not interested in the least. I think it's going to go the way of Dark Shadows.

Zoombie
12-16-2012, 09:59 AM
Huh.

Well, yeah, the broken English is still annoying.

DreamWeaver
12-16-2012, 10:10 AM
I saw the previews and thought it came across as Cap'n Jack Sparrow In The Wild Wild West.

ETA: I was *very* taken aback by the stereotypical broken English. Do you suppose it was an out-of-context clip, with Tonto only putting on that accent when he's being sarcastic?

Sydneyd
12-16-2012, 11:22 AM
Semi-related, I recently watched an interesting documentary based on how Native Americans have been portrayed in the movies (http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/reel-injun/)from the beginning to near present. It is titled, Reel Injun. That link gives clips but you can stream it on Netflix, if you are in a position that allows it.

I'll warn you, it is a little upsetting. For me it is like it reminds me of something that I forgot I should be angry about.

Cyia
12-16-2012, 04:35 PM
ETA: I was *very* taken aback by the stereotypical broken English. Do you suppose it was an out-of-context clip, with Tonto only putting on that accent when he's being sarcastic?

I hadn't considered that, but it would make sense, and it would certainly be preferable to a full film of listening to that.

Maryn
12-16-2012, 07:15 PM
I'm presuming the usual: movies is big business, and accuracy, quality, and art pale in comparison to the bottom line. Mr. Depp puts butts in seats. End of the lesson.

At least he can act, although whether anyone coaxes a performance from him in this outing remains to be seen.

Maryn, shrugging

Williebee
12-16-2012, 07:19 PM
Think I'm gonna pass on this one. I don't know that anyone thought this was a good idea. I suspect it was more likely "Yeah, this will sell enough tickets to make money."

Celia Cyanide
12-16-2012, 07:36 PM
I remember when people were complaining about James Franco playing Alan Ginsberg because "Franco isn't Jewish." Franco actually is Jewish, and meanwhile, the actor people were suggesting instead was not, but simply looked more Jewish than Franco did.

AVS
12-16-2012, 07:58 PM
I don't really mind. We often have British actors play French, or Russian or assorted others. Many British actors play Americans in America. I saw an all black cast for Julius Caeser. They're actors, so we let them play what they aren't. I feel it doesn't matter too much.

For the original question transpose "... aren't there any actual French/British/Russians/white people/Americans who might want to play this?"

Amadan
12-16-2012, 08:06 PM
I don't really mind. We often have British actors play French, or Russian or assorted others. Many British actors play Americans in America. I saw an all black cast for Julius Caeser. They're actors, so we let them play what they aren't. I feel it doesn't matter too much.

For the original question transpose "... aren't there any actual French/British/Russians/white people/Americans who might want to play this?"


Oy....

MsJudy
12-16-2012, 09:53 PM
I don't really mind. We often have British actors play French, or Russian or assorted others. Many British actors play Americans in America. I saw an all black cast for Julius Caeser. They're actors, so we let them play what they aren't. I feel it doesn't matter too much.

For the original question transpose "... aren't there any actual French/British/Russians/white people/Americans who might want to play this?"

Oh, yes, it's totally the same case. Because Native American actors are offered SO many jobs where they DON'T have to play the Strong Silent Shaman, that none of them will mind not being offered a role in an actual big, paying wide-distribution movie.

JoeSmith
12-16-2012, 10:33 PM
You could argue that they should have used real dwarf actors in the hobbit.

Cyia
12-16-2012, 10:34 PM
I don't really mind.


^ privilege: you haz it.

BenPanced
12-16-2012, 11:02 PM
I remember when people were complaining about James Franco playing Alan Ginsberg because "Franco isn't Jewish." Franco actually is Jewish, and meanwhile, the actor people were suggesting instead was not, but simply looked more Jewish than Franco did.
Sort of like the TV execs at ABC who complained Margaret Cho didn't look "Oriental" enough when they greenlighted her sitcom All-American Girl.

patskywriter
12-17-2012, 12:41 AM
Bruce Lee came up with the idea for the "Kung Fu" TV show, but sadly, as he looked too Asian, he wasn't allowed to star in the show. :Wha:

CrastersBabies
12-17-2012, 01:36 AM
#1: I'm not even remotely interested in this movie.
#2: I'm also wondering why they can't get a Native American actor to play Tonto. (I get the Depp might be like 2% whatever, but come on. Many of us in the U.S. can claim some Native American ancestry).
#3: It looks stupid.

That's really all I have to say.

Lavern08
12-17-2012, 01:51 AM
I guess he's probably a bit too old for this role, but I immediately thought Lou Diamond Philips would have been a good choice. :Shrug:

Celia Cyanide
12-17-2012, 03:10 AM
I'm also wondering why they can't get a Native American actor to play Tonto. (I get the Depp might be like 2% whatever, but come on. Many of us in the U.S. can claim some Native American ancestry).

As an actor, I think the problem is more deep-seated than that. A lead role in a major Hollywood motion picture has to be played by a big star. Not enough people go see movies where they don't recognize any of the actors. Especially a movie like this, which is just a new version of something old. Not a cutting edge indie with a fresh concept everybody is talking about. There aren't enough really famous Native American actors, because there aren't enough roles for them.

Pup
12-17-2012, 03:10 AM
ETA: I was *very* taken aback by the stereotypical broken English. Do you suppose it was an out-of-context clip, with Tonto only putting on that accent when he's being sarcastic?

He talks more, even narrates a little, in the second trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=CAUjV2hGuW4

J.S.F.
12-17-2012, 03:29 AM
Actually, Franco is half-Jewish, if you want to get technical about it. (His father was Portuguese/Swedish and I assume, Catholic, although under Jewish law, Jewish mother equals Jewish child. Having said that, I doubt Franco is very religious but that's just me).

Casting-wise, he doesn't resemble Ginsberg, mainly because AG always looked sort of flabby in his later years and even with gaining weight and makeup, Franco still wouldn't look like the man.

I wonder, what is "Jewish looking?" Never mind, not important. Tell that to Mary Scott the next time you watch The Ten Commandments.:D

As for Johnny Depp, I wondered why they're portraying Tonto as having a bigger part. It's supposed to be The Lone Ranger, not The Lone Tonto? I no unnerstan....

People are bitching about Tonto not speaking perfect English. Well, this was the Old West and is it reasonable to assume he went to Harvard? Is it reasonable to assume his English WOULD be broken considering he wasn't around white people so often? I think so, and furthermore, I would expect him NOT to speak perfect English and anyone who thinks he should is waaaaaaaaaaaaay off the mark on this one.

Having ranted a little--sorry, aftermath of a cold--I probably will not see this flick, not because of all the PC crap surrounding it but I have the feeling the script won't be good. I like Johnny Depp and I have great respect for the Native Americans. I think this portrayal will come off as shallow and somewhat demeaning no matter who does it. I'd like to be proven wrong, though.

backslashbaby
12-17-2012, 03:45 AM
#1: I'm not even remotely interested in this movie.
#2: I'm also wondering why they can't get a Native American actor to play Tonto. (I get the Depp might be like 2% whatever, but come on. Many of us in the U.S. can claim some Native American ancestry).
#3: It looks stupid.

That's really all I have to say.

I have no idea how much Johnny was culturally Indian growing up. I don't like the blood percentage stuff, but then I wouldn't, not being a fullblood ;)

It gets kind of tricky.

But he has been adopted into a tribe now. I don't get into tribal politics, so I'll just say that to me, he can be called NA. He's part of a tribe.

OTOH, many folks who are not 'federally recognized' are certainly native. That just doesn't apply to Johnny at all.

Amadan
12-17-2012, 04:48 AM
People are bitching about Tonto not speaking perfect English. Well, this was the Old West and is it reasonable to assume he went to Harvard? Is it reasonable to assume his English WOULD be broken considering he wasn't around white people so often? I think so, and furthermore, I would expect him NOT to speak perfect English and anyone who thinks he should is waaaaaaaaaaaaay off the mark on this one.


Because you have to go to Harvard to learn to speak non-broken English, especially if you're not white?

Seriously, dude.

I would expect that if he grew up learning English as a second language, probably needing to use it in interactions with white people, and possibly as a common tongue in interactions with other tribes, Mexicans, and various other people who populated the Old West, he might or might not speak it "like a white man," but he would not speak "Hollywood Injun."

Celia Cyanide
12-17-2012, 04:49 AM
Actually, Franco is half-Jewish, if you want to get technical about it. (His father was Portuguese/Swedish and I assume, Catholic, although under Jewish law, Jewish mother equals Jewish child. Having said that, I doubt Franco is very religious but that's just me).

It doesn't really matter if he is religious or not....

Cyia
12-17-2012, 05:08 AM
There aren't enough really famous Native American actors, because there aren't enough roles for them.


From a marketing standpoint, they could have piggy-backed this on the success of Twilight by choosing one of the actors portraying the elder "pack" members. Chaske Spencer would have been perfect.

Adam Beach would fit the role, too.

J.S.F.
12-17-2012, 05:10 AM
Because you have to go to Harvard to learn to speak non-broken English, especially if you're not white?

Seriously, dude.

I would expect that if he grew up learning English as a second language, probably needing to use it in interactions with white people, and possibly as a common tongue in interactions with other tribes, Mexicans, and various other people who populated the Old West, he might or might not speak it "like a white man," but he would not speak "Hollywood Injun."

---

Seriously, dude, you need to think a bit about this. Go back about a hundred and fifty years. Many of the Indian tribes were in the process of being exterminated by the American army not to mention the white settlers. I would imagine many Indians would be turned off by speaking English, the language of their killers. Even if they weren't, unless they were trading with the white men and/or the Mexicans, they wouldn't bother learning the language.

So, seriously dude, you're missing the point. The Harvard example was just that--an example. I would expect an Indian if he were educated in the ways of whites or who did have significant contact with whites to speak somewhat like Wes Studi's character did in Last of the Mohicans or Dances with Wolves. I never liked the Hollywood Injun English which I consider an insult to any Native American but realistically, I would also not expect the actor to use perfect English, either. The examples I gave just now are good enough models, I think.

Dude.:D

Amadan
12-17-2012, 05:58 AM
Seriously, dude, you need to think a bit about this.

Reeaaaaaaaallly.

Well then, do go on...


Go back about a hundred and fifty years. Many of the Indian tribes were in the process of being exterminated by the American army not to mention the white settlers. I would imagine many Indians would be turned off by speaking English, the language of their killers. Even if they weren't, unless they were trading with the white men and/or the Mexicans, they wouldn't bother learning the language.

So, seriously dude, you're missing the point. The Harvard example was just that--an example. I would expect an Indian if he were educated in the ways of whites or who did have significant contact with whites to speak somewhat like Wes Studi's character did in Last of the Mohicans or Dances with Wolves. I never liked the Hollywood Injun English which I consider an insult to any Native American but realistically, I would also not expect the actor to use perfect English, either. The examples I gave just now are good enough models, I think.

I suggest you read some history.

(Hint: Last of the Mohicans and Dances With Wolves is not history.)

Tonto is a fictional character. We can create all sorts of hypothetical background stories for him concerning how much contact he did or did not have with white men and English before he became the Lone Ranger's sidekick.

But presumably, he has met white men and learned English. Could quite conceivably have learned it fluently, as many Indians did.

And "Hollywood Injun" broken English is inarguably not authentic.

Given the above (for a reenvisioning of TLR one could just as easily say that Tonto did attend Harvard - and yes, there were Native American students at Harvard all the way back to the 17th century), the choice of making Tonto a broken-English speaking Injun would be a deliberate choice made by the director, and one can legitimately question that choice.

Rhoda Nightingale
12-17-2012, 06:02 AM
When I first heard that Johnny Depp would be "starring in" The Lone Ranger, I was actually excited, because I assumed he'd be playing the Lone Ranger. Then I saw the trailer, and went, "Oh...dear god."

Did anyone else have this thought initially? I'm just curious.

Cyia
12-17-2012, 06:14 AM
It would have made for much stronger characterization if Tonto spoke in broken English when he was expected to (as in around the ignorant / villains) and spoke in perfect English everywhere else.

MttStrn
12-17-2012, 08:45 AM
In the animated Legend of the Lone Ranger series, Tonto spoke perfect English.
Sadly, most people only know or recognize the broken English version so they of course went with that. It shouldn't be that surprising considering it's Hollywood.

J.S.F.
12-17-2012, 10:42 AM
Reeaaaaaaaallly.

Well then, do go on...



I suggest you read some history.

(Hint: Last of the Mohicans and Dances With Wolves is not history.)

Tonto is a fictional character. We can create all sorts of hypothetical background stories for him concerning how much contact he did or did not have with white men and English before he became the Lone Ranger's sidekick.

But presumably, he has met white men and learned English. Could quite conceivably have learned it fluently, as many Indians did.

And "Hollywood Injun" broken English is inarguably not authentic.

Given the above (for a reenvisioning of TLR one could just as easily say that Tonto did attend Harvard - and yes, there were Native American students at Harvard all the way back to the 17th century), the choice of making Tonto a broken-English speaking Injun would be a deliberate choice made by the director, and one can legitimately question that choice.
---

I think you missed the part in American History 101 where it said American Indians spoke perfect English.

Oh, wait, there was no section.

As for LOTM and DWW, no shit, Sherlock, of course they're not historical. And of course you must have the inside track on how people, both white and Native American, spoke at the time. Enlighten me, please, and yes, the sarcasm IS intentional.

For the record, I don't like the way native American or Canadian Indians have been portrayed by and large by Hollywood. Never did. But the ones in those movies I named--and some others I didn't--gave their characters dignity and honor by NOT speaking "Injun English". They spoke English incorrectly or somewhat brokenly, but not "me heap big Injun make pow-wow with white man" which I would personally find distasteful if I heard it.

Now, as for the new Lone Ranger reboot/re-envisioning, I don't know how Johnny Depp is going to portray Tonto. But even though some Indians did go to university back then I would not reasonably expect his character to speak the Queen's English--at all. If the screenwriter wrote his character as one who attended a missionary school or regular college I might see it. But I think having someone play a character who spoke English well enough but not perfectly and NOT succumbing to the stereotype would be sufficient.

Kitty27
12-17-2012, 10:54 AM
I will not see or support this movie,

I saw the trailer and knew fuckery was going to be had with the Tonto character. It never fails with Hollywood and characters of color. No,thank you. I not here for any mess concerning any POC character.

J.S.F.
12-17-2012, 11:12 AM
Amadan, just for my own edification, I found references for three Indian students who attended Harvard--in the mid-1600's, sort of before the time period where the fictional Tonto existed. The course was opened to Indians so they'd learn the white man's ways of religion--as Harvard was initially supported by the Church--and bring Christianity to the Indians.

I found no references to Indians attending Harvard in the 1800's but I'll look again...nope, didn't find anything. To be sure, there were Indian acculturation schools, Carlisle being a famous one, if I remember correctly. So boarding schools existed, they forced the students to learn English and stripped away their native identity.

Maybe Tonto in his fictional world went to one of those fictional boarding schools. Or maybe he studied English on his own. So if the screenwriter/director puts something like that in the movie which will explain Tonto's grasp of English then yes, it's possible.

Having said all that, I probably won't see the movie. In the old Clayton Moore TLR, it wasn't accurate at all, but Jay Silverheels gave his character dignity in spite of the fractured English his character was supposed to say.

And don't get me started on the Fraker mess. THAT Tonto wasn't bad at all...but the movie sucked.

Amadan
12-17-2012, 04:19 PM
.... are you seriously arguing that it's historically inaccurate to represent an Indian in the 19th century who spoke fluent English? Because jeebus I can't even.

J.S.F.
12-17-2012, 05:18 PM
.... are you seriously arguing that it's historically inaccurate to represent an Indian in the 19th century who spoke fluent English? Because jeebus I can't even.
---

No, I am not, but I AM saying that given the circumstances set up by Tonto's fictional existence, it might sound odd to hear him speak perfect English. Cinematically, it might not play out as well, and the differences in culture--Depp's warpaint notwithstanding--might not be presented as well. In case you missed it before, I would be surprised and displeased if he used pidgin English but at the same time, considering he comes from a tribe, how much contact would he have with white people? If he had a lot, perhaps his English would be perfect. If he didn't, then less so.

Someone mentioned before that it might play better if Depp used a stereotypical 'Injun' English when speaking to the bad guys in order to 'fool' them and everyday English when speaking to Armie Hammer. Maybe that would work...but it also might come off as too flip. IDK for sure.

I'm out. Argue about proper English all you like.

Cyia
12-17-2012, 05:42 PM
From Tonto's origin story, he'd known the man who became the Lone Ranger since he was a child (not well, but his saving "Reid" was payback for Reid saving him as a boy), so it's safe to assume that he lived in close proximity to a town on a regular basis. His English/Spanish/whatever was spoken locally might have been accented, but it should have been fluent.

He's supposed to be Potowatomi, which isn't a tribe in the region where the Lone Ranger was set, and if you want really dissect the character, go translate "Tonto" from Spanish. I dare you.

(Or you can highlight this: Tonto is Spanish for stupid, foolish, dumb, etc.)

I really hope the local language wasn't Spanish.

J.S.F.
12-17-2012, 05:54 PM
From Tonto's origin story, he'd known the man who became the Lone Ranger since he was a child (not well, but his saving "Reid" was payback for Reid saving him as a boy), so it's safe to assume that he lived in close proximity to a town on a regular basis. His English/Spanish/whatever was spoken locally might have been accented, but it should have been fluent.

He's supposed to be Potowatomi, which isn't a tribe in the region where the Lone Ranger was set, and if you want really dissect the character, go translate "Tonto" from Spanish. I dare you.

(Or you can highlight this: Tonto is Spanish for stupid, foolish, dumb, etc.)

I really hope the local language wasn't Spanish.
^^^

Ah, wikipedia, every scholar's choice...

:)

However, source aside, point taken.

Cyia
12-17-2012, 06:03 PM
Lone Ranger Wiki for the history, and Google's translator to double check the translation, which isn't exactly a secret with Spanish being a major world language and all. (Not one I speak fluently, hence the translator-bot.)

http://loneranger.wikia.com/wiki/Tonto


A white boy named John Reid finds Tonto still alive and cares for him until he heals. Before they part company, Tonto gives Reid a ring, and calls him "Kemosabe (http://loneranger.wikia.com/wiki/Kemosabe)," which means "faithful friend" or "trusty scout."

Alessandra Kelley
12-17-2012, 06:33 PM
From Tonto's origin story, he'd known the man who became the Lone Ranger since he was a child (not well, but his saving "Reid" was payback for Reid saving him as a boy), so it's safe to assume that he lived in close proximity to a town on a regular basis. His English/Spanish/whatever was spoken locally might have been accented, but it should have been fluent.

He's supposed to be Potowatomi, which isn't a tribe in the region where the Lone Ranger was set, and if you want really dissect the character, go translate "Tonto" from Spanish. I dare you.

(Or you can highlight this: Tonto is Spanish for stupid, foolish, dumb, etc.)

I really hope the local language wasn't Spanish.

Potowatomi? Seriously? Tonto is from Milwaukee?

Pup
12-17-2012, 07:55 PM
When I first heard that Johnny Depp would be "starring in" The Lone Ranger, I was actually excited, because I assumed he'd be playing the Lone Ranger. Then I saw the trailer, and went, "Oh...dear god."

Did anyone else have this thought initially? I'm just curious.

That's exactly what I thought when I saw the thread title: "Johnny Depp as the Lone Ranger? Well, not my first choice, but I don't think it deserves a thread title like.... Oh god."

When I saw the trailers, though, I actually thought he wasn't bad as the embodiment of the Hollywood/cartoon meme of Tonto. As a portrayal of an actual 19th century Native American, no.

I agree with the suggestion upthread that it would be much cooler to have Tonto himself aware of the stereotypes that white men expected and play into them as much as possible around white men, while still being his "real" self at other times. It would mock the gullibility of people who believed the Hollywood/cartoon stereotypes, which ironically was what helped to make the Lone Ranger popular, so it would be a clever bit of self-reference, and it would also show the difference between the two.

Haven't researched 19th century American Indian history and culture enough to know whether that was actually historically common, but it was very common as a survival or coping strategy among enslaved blacks.

Stiger05
12-17-2012, 08:28 PM
An important thing to note, I think, is that Johnny Depp is a major reason the movie was even made. The production shut down several times due to lack of funding, Depp stepped in and paid for a large part of it. So it's not so much that he was cast as Tonto, more like it's his pet project. I don't think he was as concerned with having a NA play the part as he was with getting the movie made and starring in it (he seems to be on a re-creating tv shows from his childhood kick), and of course he has to play a wacky, heavily made-up character--he's Johnny Depp. (I actually like Depp and most of his movies, but I think most his recent movies should crawl away and die).

I think a NA actor should have gotten the part, but, without Depp as Tonto, this movie probably wouldn't have been made. (Although, if you ask me, it shouldn't have been made. It looks terrible).

As for the broken English:
1. A whole movie of that would be unbearable to watch.
2. This is stereotypical Indian. Did you really expect more from Hollywood?
3. Anyone speaking a language that's not their native tongue is going to sound awkward (have you ever tried to speak Cherokee? I have full-blooded Cherokees in my family and have learned some words--I sound like an idiot every time), but the portrayal of the "me um smoke um peace pipe" manner of speech is a caricature that has never been accurate. It grew from the same line of thinking that made people think black face was okay in the 1930s and that shouting at a Chinese speaker will make them understand you better. It stems from people thinking Indians were savages and undignified--of course a savage isn't going to speak properly. Never mind the fact several Native Americans were articulate enough to speak before Congress on behalf of their people (one of my husband's relatives was one such person).
4. Tonto spoke broken English on the show; did you really think they were going to change it? Again, caricature.

The entire argument above is moot. There are accurate records of Congressional hearings in which Native Americans testified--well-spoken, coherent speeches--as well as records of those NAs who didn't want to learn English, who were angry and hurt at being pressured to abandon their culture and adopt the settlers'. Examples on both sides of the argument. It's up to Hollywood to determine how they portray NAs, and it depends on the message they're trying to put out there. For "The Lone Ranger" the message is "Look! Nostalgia! It's just like the show you watched as a kid! Right down to the caricature of Indians."

That being said, I have no desire to watch this. As someone else said--it looks stupid.

maxmordon
12-17-2012, 11:59 PM
By the way, Tonto was renamed "Toro" in Latin America.

backslashbaby
12-18-2012, 12:55 AM
By the way, Tonto was renamed "Toro" in Latin America.

Oh, good! I wondered about that.

Shadow_Ferret
12-18-2012, 01:33 AM
All the Depp/Tonto stuff aside, I've been leery of this movie simply for the fact that t again is something I grew up enjoying The Lone Ranger as a child and Hollywood's recent track record on handling my memories hasn't been very good.
Potowatomi? Seriously? Tonto is from Milwaukee?
That's awesome!

Zoombie
12-18-2012, 05:47 AM
2. This is stereotypical Indian. Did you really expect more from Hollywood?

As it is 2012 and not 1912...yes. The answer is yes.

Amadan
12-18-2012, 07:16 AM
As it is 2012 and not 1912...yes. The answer is yes.


Yeah, honestly I get kind of sick of "Well, its Hollywood, what do you expect?" It's kind of like saying "Well, of course all politicians are crooked demagogues." If that's all you ever expect, that's all you'll ever get.

Stiger05
12-18-2012, 06:41 PM
Well, y'all have more faith in Hollywood than I do. Hollywood moves away from stereotypes at a glacial pace. If they didn't, we wouldn't have all the threads about whitewashing.

regdog
12-18-2012, 07:04 PM
#1: I'm not even remotely interested in this movie.
#2: I'm also wondering why they can't get a Native American actor to play Tonto. (I get the Depp might be like 2% whatever, but come on. Many of us in the U.S. can claim some Native American ancestry).
#3: It looks stupid.

That's really all I have to say.

Yes


When I first heard that Johnny Depp would be "starring in" The Lone Ranger, I was actually excited, because I assumed he'd be playing the Lone Ranger. Then I saw the trailer, and went, "Oh...dear god."

Did anyone else have this thought initially? I'm just curious.


and yes

Amadan
12-18-2012, 08:08 PM
Well, y'all have more faith in Hollywood than I do. Hollywood moves away from stereotypes at a glacial pace. If they didn't, we wouldn't have all the threads about whitewashing.


I don't have faith in Hollywood. I'm saying we'll only ever see change if people do complain, but when people complain, folks say "Why are you bothering to complain, it's Hollywood duh."

Stiger05
12-18-2012, 09:22 PM
I don't have faith in Hollywood. I'm saying we'll only ever see change if people do complain, but when people complain, folks say "Why are you bothering to complain, it's Hollywood duh."

I never said not to complain. I said "Did you really expect more from Hollywood?" Complain all you want. If you read the remainder of my first post, you'd see that I don't agree with it at all, especially as a person with a large amount of Native American blood in my family. My point was, I'm not surprised; I don't give them much credit to do things properly.

Shadow_Ferret
12-19-2012, 01:17 AM
Actually you said "Well, y'all have more faith in Hollywood than I do." Which is different from "Did you really expect more from Hollywood." The answer to the first is, no. I don't have faith in Hollywood, because they constantly disappoint, but the answer to the second is, Yes, I do expect more from them. Just as I expect more from everyone living on our society today.

fireluxlou
12-19-2012, 01:20 AM
Ugh I am annoyed by this.

I think the directors think it's a-ok now that he's become an honorary member of a tribe.

ETA: My mistake he's not an honorary member. I'm sorry. My apologies to anyone I've hurt.

Cyia
12-19-2012, 01:46 AM
now that he's become an honorary member of a tribe.

AFAIK tribal definitions of who are and aren't members are nothing like the "official" versions based in blood percentage.

The gov't will tell you that you are 27 1/2% Comanche or 12% Apache. The Comanche percentage entitles you to a certain stipend every month because of the particular tribe (as opposed to the Comanche as a whole) and it means that you qualify for gov't subsidy in regards to education. But, because you're one generation too far removed from "legal" you can't use Peyote, even if you're raised Navajo and a member of the Native American church.

However, if a tribe elects to include someone who is Caucasian, African American or anyone else who isn't born Native American into their tribe, that's their tribe. Bloodline doesn't matter.

I don't know the circumstances of JD's inclusion, but unless expressly stated, it's not an "honorary" position. Calling it such is like telling an adopted child they're an honorary family member.

fireluxlou
12-19-2012, 01:52 AM
AFAIK tribal definitions of who are and aren't members are nothing like the "official" versions based in blood percentage.

The gov't will tell you that you are 27 1/2% Comanche or 12% Apache. The Comanche percentage entitles you to a certain stipend every month because of the particular tribe (as opposed to the Comanche as a whole) and it means that you qualify for gov't subsidy in regards to education. But, because you're one generation too far removed from "legal" you can't use Peyote, even if you're raised Navajo and a member of the Native American church.

However, if a tribe elects to include someone who is Caucasian, African American or anyone else who isn't born Native American into their tribe, that's their tribe. Bloodline doesn't matter.

I don't know the circumstances of JD's inclusion, but unless expressly stated, it's not an "honorary" position. Calling it such is like telling an adopted child they're an honorary family member.

I'm sorry it's my mistake. It was from an article I read about it: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/22/johnny-depp-comanche-tribe_n_1537372.html

Cyia
12-19-2012, 02:12 AM
I'm sorry it's my mistake. It was from an article I read about it: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/22/johnny-depp-comanche-tribe_n_1537372.html


I'm not dogging you on this fireluxlou. It's phrasing that's commonly used. I just want to point out something from the article.


Johnny Depp has been made an honorary member of the Comanche tribe.


Depp is in New Mexico, shooting the film adaptation of "The Lone Ranger." He plays "Ranger" sidekick Tonto in the film.
Comanche Nation tribal member LaDonna Harris said Tuesday that the tribal chairman presented Depp with a proclamation at her Albuquerque home May 16. She said the

Comanche adoption tradition means she now considers Depp her son.


The news considers it "honorary." She considers him her son.

He's currently more substantially Comanche than I am, but by conventional wisdom, it would be the exact opposite. (I know, I know -- my profile picture looks about as Native American as St. Patrick ;) )

fireluxlou
12-19-2012, 02:18 AM
I'm not dogging you on this fireluxlou. It's phrasing that's commonly used. I just want to point out something from the article.



The news considers it "honorary." She considers him her son.

He's currently more substantially Comanche than I am, but by conventional wisdom, it would be the exact opposite. (I know, I know -- my profile picture looks about as Native American as St. Patrick ;) )

That's ok I know you aren't :) I just thought it best I apologized for my poor wording. I see I missed that line, just my poor reading comprehension skills.

Stiger05
12-19-2012, 02:32 AM
Actually you said "Well, y'all have more faith in Hollywood than I do." Which is different from "Did you really expect more from Hollywood." The answer to the first is, no. I don't have faith in Hollywood, because they constantly disappoint, but the answer to the second is, Yes, I do expect more from them. Just as I expect more from everyone living on our society today.

No, I said: "Did you really expect more from Hollywood?" Exactly those words. You apparently missed my first post (#41), which is what Amadan was commenting on in the first place, which I also referenced in the post you accuse me of misquoting, which I have quoted for you below. I then went on to say in a subsequent post that Amadan and Zoombie had more faith in Hollywood than I do, based on their comments to my original post. I'm not going to quote the whole conversation, you can just go back a page.


1. A whole movie of that would be unbearable to watch.
2. This is stereotypical Indian. Did you really expect more from Hollywood?
3. Anyone speaking a language that's not their native tongue is going to sound awkward (have you ever tried to speak Cherokee? I have full-blooded Cherokees in my family and have learned some words--I sound like an idiot every time), but the portrayal of the "me um smoke um peace pipe" manner of speech is a caricature that has never been accurate. It grew from the same line of thinking that made people think black face was okay in the 1930s and that shouting at a Chinese speaker will make them understand you better. It stems from people thinking Indians were savages and undignified--of course a savage isn't going to speak properly. Never mind the fact several Native Americans were articulate enough to speak before Congress on behalf of their people (one of my husband's relatives was one such person).
4. Tonto spoke broken English on the show; did you really think they were going to change it? Again, caricature.

Mr Flibble
12-19-2012, 02:51 AM
I don't know the circumstances of JD's inclusion, but unless expressly stated, it's not an "honorary" position. Calling it such is like telling an adopted child they're an honorary family member.

From what I gather, they adopted him because he was playing Tonto (as a Comanche supposedly) and
"He’s a very thoughtful human being, and throughout his life and career, he has exhibited traits that are aligned with the values and worldview that Indigenous peoples share."His adoptive Mum's cousin is a cultural advisor on the film.

The way I see it, I can't really comment much on the rights and wrongs of him playing Tonto, or how (not really qualified, ya know?). But if they are happy for him to play a NA, then that seems cool to me. Obviously, though, opinions will differ both in the NA communities and elsewhere.

Could they have got a (more) NA actor* to play Tonto - sure. But they have got someone who is a) at least partly NA and b) who's got the clout to make the film happen and bring in crowds and c) who is accepted for that role by at least part of the NA community.

As for the whole accent/Hollywood Injun thing - it's hard to say from the excerpts. He sounds to me like a person speaking a second language - not especially broken English but an accent. I know plenty of people who've lived in the UK for ten, twenty years and still have a pronounced accent from their own language, even though their technical command of English is excellent.



*I'd have loved Adam Beach (he's actually the person I say when asked who I'd cast as the MC in the book in my sig).

blacbird
12-19-2012, 03:33 AM
A second vote for Adam Beach.

caw

Amadan
12-19-2012, 05:03 AM
I then went on to say in a subsequent post that Amadan and Zoombie had more faith in Hollywood than I do


Which is patently nonsense on the face of it, hence, I conclude you're just arguing to argue.

kuwisdelu
12-19-2012, 05:10 AM
AFAIK tribal definitions of who are and aren't members are nothing like the "official" versions based in blood percentage.

The gov't will tell you that you are 27 1/2% Comanche or 12% Apache. The Comanche percentage entitles you to a certain stipend every month because of the particular tribe (as opposed to the Comanche as a whole) and it means that you qualify for gov't subsidy in regards to education. But, because you're one generation too far removed from "legal" you can't use Peyote, even if you're raised Navajo and a member of the Native American church.

Actually, the tribal definitions are the official definitions. It's up to the tribal government to decide who counts as a member of the tribe, and an awful lot of them are based on blood percentage. You have to be 1/4 Zuni blood to be a member of my tribe. The US government goes by whatever we go by; they don't care what percentage you are.

There aren't really much of any privileges or allowances or entitlements or handouts or whatever that come down from the federal government. It comes down from the tribe, if your tribe happens to be one of the ones lucky enough to have money, and even then, most of it goes into the pockets of the tribal government.

kuwisdelu
12-19-2012, 05:14 AM
Re: the movie

I liked Johnny's Indian performance in The Brave, but I'm not convinced by this yet.

Also, the lack of native actors isn't just due to lack of roles. Hollywood doesn't jive very well with Indian thinking, whether you've got a good role or not.

BenPanced
12-19-2012, 05:45 AM
Yeah, seeing as Windtalkers was really all about how Nicolas Cage won World War II for the US singlehandedly... (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0245562/)

kuwisdelu
12-19-2012, 06:43 AM
Yeah, seeing as Windtalkers was really all about how Nicolas Cage won World War II for the US singlehandedly... (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0245562/)

Well, I meant more along the lines of... well, I'll just let Gary Farmer (Cayuga Iroquois, Dead Man, Smoke Signals, Powwow Highway) say it for me...


...there aren't many Native American actors. We haven't had the opportunities most Americans have — most Native Americans lack the self-esteem required to pursue this work, and many Native Americans don't want to be a part of this industry. To go into the white man's world and have success goes against all kinds of beliefs

He played an Indian named Nobody alongside Johnny Depp in Dead Man, my second favorite Depp film that hardly anyone I know even knows. It'd be interesting to hear what he thinks about Depp playing Tonto.

BenPanced
12-19-2012, 06:53 AM
Ah. That's something I hadn't considered.

J.S.F.
12-19-2012, 09:15 AM
As an example of a NA actor, Gary Farmer is very good but I wouldn't consider him leading man material, not in the conventional sense. I did see Dead Man--liked it, too--and Farmer was excellent in a supporting role.

But would he be a convincing Tonto, convincing in the sense of bringing people into the theater to see TLR? He's a NA but in the minds of the Hollywood bigwigs, he's also probably not marketable enough. And I don't know how much people really know about him. Johnny Depp's heritage aside--which I think is pretty cool, by the way--he IS a marketable actor. He has the name, the resume, and a lot of friends in high places who can and will get things done for him. It's probably not the best choice but there it is.

kuwisdelu
12-19-2012, 11:39 AM
As an example of a NA actor, Gary Farmer is very good but I wouldn't consider him leading man material, not in the conventional sense. I did see Dead Man--liked it, too--and Farmer was excellent in a supporting role.

But would he be a convincing Tonto, convincing in the sense of bringing people into the theater to see TLR? He's a NA but in the minds of the Hollywood bigwigs, he's also probably not marketable enough. And I don't know how much people really know about him. Johnny Depp's heritage aside--which I think is pretty cool, by the way--he IS a marketable actor. He has the name, the resume, and a lot of friends in high places who can and will get things done for him. It's probably not the best choice but there it is.

.......I brought him up because his quote expressed my thoughts better and with more authority than I could have done. That's all.

J.S.F.
12-19-2012, 12:06 PM
.......I brought him up because his quote expressed my thoughts better and with more authority than I could have done. That's all.

---

Fair enough. His quote made a lot of sense to me as well.

Mr Flibble
12-19-2012, 02:29 PM
He played an Indian named Nobody alongside Johnny Depp in Dead Man, my second favorite Depp film that hardly anyone I know even knows. It'd be interesting to hear what he thinks about Depp playing Tonto.

Dead Man was fantastic (I love The Brave too, even though it devastates me every time)

I'd be very interested to hear about what NA actors think of this casting. Because in my mind, it doesn't matter what I think about it. It matters what the people who are/will be/might be affected by it think about it.

regdog
12-19-2012, 07:33 PM
Yeah, seeing as Windtalkers was really all about how Nicolas Cage won World War II for the US singlehandedly... (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0245562/)

You had to being that travesty up, didn't you.

I wanted to see a movie based on the Native Codetalkers, instead I saw Nicholas freaking Cage staring into the distance for 2 hours.:rant:

Stiger05
12-19-2012, 07:46 PM
Which is patently nonsense on the face of it, hence, I conclude you're just arguing to argue.

Good Lord! I was clarifying what I said! How the hell is that arguing to argue? Are you f**king kidding me? I was misquoted and defending myself. Am I not allowed to correct someone who misquoted me? Whatever.

Jcomp
12-21-2012, 09:25 PM
To answer someone's question up-thread, yes, they basically are trying to create another Jack Sparrow-ish character within a PotC-ish franchise. Same director (Gore Verbinski), same featured actor, same production and distribution studios (Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer). Even the formula of having the lead actor play the spotlight-stealing "sidekick" character is carried over.

I'm not sure how I feel about Depp as Tonto (who was never a positively received character to begin with), but the overall vibe of the movie tells me I wouldn't enjoy it on its own merits anyway. It comes out on July 4th weekend, so it might pull in a respectable audience, but I plan to skip this and either watch Superman again or wait a week to put down some money on Pacific Rim (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vKz7WnU83E).

Tyler Danann
12-22-2012, 07:51 PM
Johnny Depp.

JOHNNY.

DEPP.

IS PLAYING.

TONTO.

Do people...think before they cast? Do thoughts enter into their brains? Do they stop and go, "Say, wait, aren't there any actual Native Americans who might want to play this?"


I can't say I'm very happy about it either mate. Yet I wasn't surprised either.
Just look at the Thor movie having a Black guy playing Heimdall, the 'Whitest of the Gods.'

Hollywood pi$$es all over people intelligence on such things alas.

I do think Depp has some Asian blood in him though from a blood relation, so he's not completely unsuitable.

Amadan
12-22-2012, 08:08 PM
I can't say I'm very happy about it either mate. Yet I wasn't surprised either.
Just look at the Thor movie having a Black guy playing Heimdall, the 'Whitest of the Gods.'

Hollywood pi$$es all over people intelligence on such things alas.

I do think Depp has some Asian blood in him though from a blood relation, so he's not completely unsuitable.


... oh boy.

MsJudy
12-22-2012, 09:15 PM
I'd be very interested to hear about what NA actors think of this casting. Because in my mind, it doesn't matter what I think about it. It matters what the people who are/will be/might be affected by it think about it.

This.

Zoombie
12-22-2012, 09:25 PM
I can't say I'm very happy about it either mate. Yet I wasn't surprised either.
Just look at the Thor movie having a Black guy playing Heimdall, the 'Whitest of the Gods.'

Hollywood pi$$es all over people intelligence on such things alas.

You do know that the Asgardians in Thor were...from space, right?

Like, they were aliens.

As in not human. As in hyperadvanced technology that only LOOKS like magic to us. As in they can look like and be played by whoever we damn well want.

angeliz2k
12-22-2012, 09:29 PM
I can't say I'm very happy about it either mate. Yet I wasn't surprised either.
Just look at the Thor movie having a Black guy playing Heimdall, the 'Whitest of the Gods.'

Hollywood pi$$es all over people intelligence on such things alas.

I do think Depp has some Asian blood in him though from a blood relation, so he's not completely unsuitable.

I haven't commented on this thread mostly because I don't like getting involved in this kind of thing.

But why would his having Asian blood make him in any way suitable to play a Native American? I don't think Depp even has Asian heritage. But even if he did, Asian =/= Native American . . .

fireluxlou
12-22-2012, 09:38 PM
Depp said in an interview , "I guess I have some Native American [in me] somewhere down the line. My great-grandmother was quite a bit of Native American, she grew up Cherokee or maybe Creek Indian. Makes sense in terms of coming from Kentucky, which is rife with Cherokee and Creek."

Zoombie
12-22-2012, 09:45 PM
Now I get to show my ignorance!

Did you know that for the longest time, I thought Johnny Depp was British?

Man...

I...am really dumb.

fireluxlou
12-22-2012, 09:45 PM
I can't say I'm very happy about it either mate. Yet I wasn't surprised either.
Just look at the Thor movie having a Black guy playing Heimdall, the 'Whitest of the Gods.'

Idris Elba is fucking awesome. I like how when a PoC is cast in a sci-fi role people always question the point of it. What you can suspend belief for aliens and spaceships but not for characters of colour?

MttStrn
12-22-2012, 10:15 PM
Going with the derail for a moment...

Idris Elba is awesome. And rocks the role of Heimdall. 'The Whitest of Gods' translation is open to debate considering one guy translated it as 'brightest' and that might be more apt and it is when he is suggesting having Thor dress up as Freyja to get Mjollnir back.

And to think my mom said studying classics was going to be worthless...

Because there are never as many roles for minorities, I have no problem when one is cast in a role that is traditionally white. Lawrence Fishburne is playing Perry White in Man of Steel and I think that is inspired casting. But the same lack of roles for minorities does mean that when a good role for a POC presents itself, it doesn't need to be filled with a white guy.

Cyia
12-22-2012, 10:46 PM
There were complaints when Michael Clarke Duncan played Kingpin in Daredevil, too, but I can't think of another actor who could have pulled that character off. I had hoped to see him reprise the roll in the Spiderman franchise, but sadly that's no longer possible. :(

backslashbaby
12-23-2012, 01:38 AM
There are many interesting discussions that relate to this issue in the PoC forum. I'm at a loss at how to proceed here in Movies, myself.

I was never into The Lone Ranger, so I don't care much about the movie as a movie. Depp's outfit/makeup looks really cool-looking as a totally fictional get-up, I think. Really :)

blacbird
12-23-2012, 02:24 AM
Just look at the Thor movie having a Black guy playing Heimdall, the 'Whitest of the Gods.'

Yeah. That was as bad as having a movie with a black guy playing the President of the United States.

caw

J.S.F.
12-23-2012, 08:14 AM
Yeah. That was as bad as having a movie with a black guy playing the President of the United States.

caw
---

Who needs a movie for that now?:D

I can see where traditionalists might get upset. In the comic books, for decades they had only white, WASPY characters playing the icons we've all come to know. Was it racism back then? Yes, I suppose for some of the artists and writers, although I doubt Seigel and Shuster or Bob Kane were bigoted. It was just the distemper of the times. The only comic book artist back then who (sort of) bucked the stereotype was Will Eisner.

Having Laurence Fishburne in the role of Perry White is bound to upset someone. Me, I'm just pissed they couldn't get an American actor to play Superman. (Henry Cavill IS a fine actor, though, and the pics I've seen of him show he's at least serious about looking the part).

However, there is something to be said about tradition. If they change Lois Lane to, say, someone Asian, or Jimmy Olson to a Latin American--not that there's anything wrong with being Asian or Latin American--the idea of Superman and his universe moves away from being quintessentially American and more inclusive for the sake of being inclusive.

JMO on all this and sorry for the derail.

Tyler Danann
12-23-2012, 08:38 AM
You do know that the Asgardians in Thor were...from space, right?

Like, they were aliens.

As in not human. As in hyperadvanced technology that only LOOKS like magic to us. As in they can look like and be played by whoever we damn well want.

Are you for real?

It's Norse Mythology and European culture (that means people btw).
Valhalla etc is where dead hero's from Europe (Norse Culture) go to.

Hollywood is a joke for accuracy with things like this.

Tyler Danann
12-23-2012, 08:43 AM
Going with the derail for a moment...

Idris Elba is awesome. And rocks the role of Heimdall. 'The Whitest of Gods' translation is open to debate considering one guy translated it as 'brightest' and that might be more apt and it is when he is suggesting having Thor dress up as Freyja to get Mjollnir back.


Brightest by his skin is what the interpretation is.

I guess by that argument we can have white folk playing leading roles in culturally African films that a black guy is in right?

You can't have it both ways. It's either one or the other. :)

Amadan
12-23-2012, 08:50 AM
However, there is something to be said about tradition. If they change Lois Lane to, say, someone Asian, or Jimmy Olson to a Latin American--not that there's anything wrong with being Asian or Latin American--the idea of Superman and his universe moves away from being quintessentially American and more inclusive for the sake of being inclusive.

Interesting...

"Quintessentially American" = "white."


I guess by that argument we can have white folk playing leading roles in culturally African films that a black guy is in right?

You can't have it both ways. It's either one or the other. :)

Boy, these are... revealing comments.

J.S.F.
12-23-2012, 09:01 AM
Interesting...

"Quintessentially American" = "white."



Boy, these are... revealing comments.


---

So is your agenda. When I said "quintessentially American" I meant American values but right away, you get your little book of "Who is a racist?" out and please write down my name carefully while you're at it. Yes, sarcasm, just in case anyone is wondering.

However, to be fair, at the time Superman came out--1938--the vast majority of books and other comics were 'white' in tone and depiction. Doesn't make it right--it was what it was. And it took a long time for the comics to depict black characters in something other than a Step'n'Fetchit role, much to their discredit.

I liked the comic figure for the values he stood for and nothing more. Had it been the other way around, say, a black designer conjured up a version of Superman way back when and it had the same values, then I'd still like it.

Whatever you think, dude. You've got your own agenda playing out here. If you want to label me a racist in your own mind go right ahead. You'd be wrong, just like you were wrong about the NA's. But please don't let that stand in your way.

kuwisdelu
12-23-2012, 09:05 AM
However, there is something to be said about tradition. If they change Lois Lane to, say, someone Asian, or Jimmy Olson to a Latin American--not that there's anything wrong with being Asian or Latin American--the idea of Superman and his universe moves away from being quintessentially American and more inclusive for the sake of being inclusive.

And Asian Americans and Latin Americans aren't quintessentially American?

I'm cool with Superman being canonically a white guy, but being American has nothing to do with being white.

kuwisdelu
12-23-2012, 09:07 AM
When I said "quintessentially American" I meant American values

No you didn't. Read your own words. You implied Superman being anything other than white would move his universe away from being quintessentially American. Your "American values" seem to be tied up with race. There is no other way to read your statement.

Zoombie
12-23-2012, 09:08 AM
Are you for real?

It's Norse Mythology and European culture (that means people btw).
Valhalla etc is where dead hero's from Europe (Norse Culture) go to.

Hollywood is a joke for accuracy with things like this.

No, I mean, in the context of the Thor movie, they are space aliens that the Norse based their mythology on.

...did you even watch the movie you're bitching about?

Or, hell, the TRAILERS for the movie you're bitching about?

J.S.F.
12-23-2012, 09:21 AM
And Asian Americans and Latin Americans aren't quintessentially American?

I'm cool with Superman being canonically a white guy, but being American has nothing to do with being white.
---

I never said one should be white to be considered American. Go put words in someone else's mouth. You should have read my whole post instead of just nitpicking. At the time--seventy-four years ago--the vast majority of American's were the WASPY type, they wanted to read about characters of the WASPY type and they wanted to see characters of the WASPY type on the big screen. Just the way it was back then. Was it wrong? Yes, but that's what it was like back then.

This is not to belittle the Asian or Latin American populations living in the USA at the time, and yes, they were just as American as anyone else. The point is the writers, artists, owners, and staff of the comics back then were white and drew from their own backgrounds. Should they have been more inclusive back then--in the 1930's? Yup, they should have and they weren't, but those were the times people lived in back then. Like your buddy Amadan, you're reading things into my posts that simply aren't true.

I'm done with this thread.

Amadan
12-23-2012, 09:24 AM
So is your agenda. When I said "quintessentially American" I meant American values


BACKPEDAL HARDER!!!


Your words are, like, right there, ya know?


If they change Lois Lane to, say, someone Asian, or Jimmy Olson to a Latin American--not that there's anything wrong with being Asian or Latin American--the idea of Superman and his universe moves away from being quintessentially American and more inclusive for the sake of being inclusive.

Zoombie
12-23-2012, 09:28 AM
This kind of stuff is why I'm leery of characters like Tonto and portrayals like Depp's performance (at least, judging from the trailers.)

Privilege is an astoundingly good pair of beer goggles.

kuwisdelu
12-23-2012, 09:30 AM
I never said one should be white to be considered American. Go put words in someone else's mouth. You should have read my whole post instead of just nitpicking. At the time--seventy-four years ago--the vast majority of American's were the WASPY type, they wanted to read about characters of the WASPY type and they wanted to see characters of the WASPY type on the big screen. Just the way it was back then. Was it wrong? Yes, but that's what it was like back then.

You don't need me to put the words in your mouth. You did that yourself.

Trying to say "I said 'quintessentially American' when I actually meant WASP America of 74 years ago as idealized by WASP writers" doesn't change anything.

Zoombie
12-23-2012, 09:32 AM
Plus, again, Superman is a freaking ALIEN from another planet. He can look like however we want him to look.

kuwisdelu
12-23-2012, 09:36 AM
This kind of stuff is why I'm leery of characters like Tonto and portrayals like Depp's performance (at least, judging from the trailers.)

Privilege is an astoundingly good pair of beer goggles.

Indians have a surprisingly good sense of humor about these things. Based on his past performances and other films with natives, I'm suspending judgment until I see it.

It would've been nice if a native actor had gotten the part, but if the Commanche nation considers him part of their tribe, that's their business, and I'm cool with that. I don't like playing the "more native" game, and I don't like battles over blood percentages.

Who knows, I may even like it.

kuwisdelu
12-23-2012, 09:38 AM
Plus, again, Superman is a freaking ALIEN from another planet. He can look like however we want him to look.

But he's an AMERICAN alien.

If he were anything other than white, he'd be an illegal alien we should arrest and deport back to Krypton. Who cares what's left of it.

Zoombie
12-23-2012, 09:38 AM
Well, it also doesn't help that I found Sparrow-esque antics growing annoying by the end of the second Pirate's movie and now, it just feels old hat and making it an Indian in the wild west doesn't really do anything for me.

But, I have not grown as annoyed with TLR trailers as much as some.

(I really want Gangster Squad to come out. Not because I want to see it, but because I've seen the trailer for it 40,000 times)

kuwisdelu
12-23-2012, 09:40 AM
Well, it also doesn't help that I found Sparrow-esque antics growing annoying by the end of the second Pirate's movie and now, it just feels old hat and making it an Indian in the wild west doesn't really do anything for me.

I'm sympathetic because I'm an Indian and when I drink I become a drunk Indian with Sparrow-esque antics.

Zoombie
12-23-2012, 09:50 AM
Huh. Well, I guess I don't have anything to be uncomfortable about now save for the really terrible CGI bullet and the fact that the eponymous character has no personality or defining features in the trailers...

kuwisdelu
12-23-2012, 10:01 AM
Huh. Well, I guess I don't have anything to be uncomfortable about now save for the really terrible CGI bullet and the fact that the eponymous character has no personality or defining features in the trailers...

Well, I haven't seen it yet, so I don't know if I'm comfortable with the character or not.

There's nothing wrong with a quirky Indian. The problem with stereotypes isn't always the traits themselves, but when you end up characters that are defined by stereotypes instead of being well-rounded human beings.

The drunk Indian is a stereotype, but there are tons of drunk Indians in real life, and what was great about Adam Beach's performance in Flags of Our Fathers was how it showed the human being behind the cliche.

I'm not expecting much from this movie, but I won't judge it until I see it.

Trailers are a horrible way to judge a movie.

Zoombie
12-23-2012, 10:17 AM
And yet, they're one of our two main tools. The other, of course, being: Pay someone else to do it while we stay at home and brows Tumbler.

kuwisdelu
12-23-2012, 10:24 AM
And yet, they're one of our two main tools. The other, of course, being: Pay someone else to do it while we stay at home and brows Tumbler.

Hey, trailers lie.

Nothing in the Evangelion Q preview even happened in the actual movie.

nighttimer
12-23-2012, 11:01 AM
Plus, again, Superman is a freaking ALIEN from another planet. He can look like however we want him to look.

I don't want Dark Emo Superman. That's not Superman. :e2tomato:

As it stands, I can say after watching the trailers for Brad Pitt in World War Z (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Md6Dvxdr0AQ), Tom Cruise in Oblivion (http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/universal/oblivion/), Will and Jaden Smith in After Earth (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZIt20emgLY) and Johnny Depp and his token White buddy in The Lone Ranger that next summer is gonna suck eggs.

Celia Cyanide
12-23-2012, 11:31 AM
I never said one should be white to be considered American. Go put words in someone else's mouth. You should have read my whole post instead of just nitpicking. At the time--seventy-four years ago--the vast majority of American's were the WASPY type, they wanted to read about characters of the WASPY type and they wanted to see characters of the WASPY type on the big screen. Just the way it was back then. Was it wrong? Yes, but that's what it was like back then.

This is not to belittle the Asian or Latin American populations living in the USA at the time, and yes, they were just as American as anyone else. The point is the writers, artists, owners, and staff of the comics back then were white and drew from their own backgrounds. Should they have been more inclusive back then--in the 1930's? Yup, they should have and they weren't, but those were the times people lived in back then.

Yes, but they are NOT the times we are living in now. Let's take another look at what you actually said:

However, there is something to be said about tradition. If they change Lois Lane to, say, someone Asian, or Jimmy Olson to a Latin American--not that there's anything wrong with being Asian or Latin American--the idea of Superman and his universe moves away from being quintessentially American and more inclusive for the sake of being inclusive.

You are not talking about what Superman's creators happened to do many years ago. You're talking about what you think would happen if they changed the characters to being non-whites now. And what you think would happen is that "[Superman's] universe [would] move away from being quintessentially American." It may not have been what you mean to say, but it really does sound like you're implying that the presence of non-white characters would make Superman's story somehow less "American."

No one has put words in your mouth. These are your words, and this is actually how they sound to other people.

RichardGarfinkle
12-23-2012, 11:55 AM
Going with the derail for a moment...

Idris Elba is awesome. And rocks the role of Heimdall. 'The Whitest of Gods' translation is open to debate considering one guy translated it as 'brightest' and that might be more apt and it is when he is suggesting having Thor dress up as Freyja to get Mjollnir back.

And to think my mom said studying classics was going to be worthless...

Because there are never as many roles for minorities, I have no problem when one is cast in a role that is traditionally white. Lawrence Fishburne is playing Perry White in Man of Steel and I think that is inspired casting. But the same lack of roles for minorities does mean that when a good role for a POC presents itself, it doesn't need to be filled with a white guy.

I think the casting of Idris Elba is great.

But there actually is a reason for someone to complain about casting Heimdall as non-Nordic. There's a section of the Elder Edda called the Rigsthula in which Heimdall comes to Midgard and becomes the father of all the social classes in Norse Society.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/poe/poe14.htm#page_201

Cyia
12-23-2012, 02:21 PM
I guess I don't have anything to be uncomfortable about now save for the really terrible CGI bullet


Are you talking about the kid tossing LR the bullet from a moving train? I thought that was pretty awful myself, though I guess it's just an extension of the "bullet view" shot that's made its way into every movie since Prince of Thieves did the first arrow's trajectory POV shot. I am so sick of those.

angeliz2k
12-23-2012, 06:43 PM
---

I never said one should be white to be considered American. Go put words in someone else's mouth. You should have read my whole post instead of just nitpicking. At the time--seventy-four years ago--the vast majority of American's were the WASPY type, they wanted to read about characters of the WASPY type and they wanted to see characters of the WASPY type on the big screen. Just the way it was back then. Was it wrong? Yes, but that's what it was like back then.

This is not to belittle the Asian or Latin American populations living in the USA at the time, and yes, they were just as American as anyone else. The point is the writers, artists, owners, and staff of the comics back then were white and drew from their own backgrounds. Should they have been more inclusive back then--in the 1930's? Yup, they should have and they weren't, but those were the times people lived in back then. Like your buddy Amadan, you're reading things into my posts that simply aren't true.

I'm done with this thread.

No they weren't. Whites were (and still are for now) the majority, but not the vast majority. There were huge numbers of blacks whose families had been here longer than many white families. There were large numbers of Asians and Latinos, too.

Even amongst the white population, they weren't all WASPS, which by the way means White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. There were plenty of Poles, Italians, Jews . . . The Kennedys, for instance, were Catholic. Because they were Irish Catholic, they were viewed with some suspicion. WASPs were actually a rather small portion of the population even in the 30's.

Anyway, the point is that there was a great deal of racial and ethnic diversity in the 30's. It's just that the work produced by these minorities tended to be dismissed and ignored.

My problem is that when they [Hollywood] change the race of a character from the original race, it often seems like a token. Instead of telling stories about these minorities, they [Hollywood] just swap out a white character for a minority and think they're doing great.

Amadan
12-23-2012, 07:05 PM
I think the casting of Idris Elba is great.

But there actually is a reason for someone to complain about casting Heimdall as non-Nordic. There's a section of the Elder Edda called the Rigsthula in which Heimdall comes to Midgard and becomes the father of all the social classes in Norse Society.


That would all be fair enough if the movies were representing Norse mythology, but the Marvel comics Asgardians have always been super-powered aliens. So complaining about the movies not being true to Norse mythology is pretty silly.

And the people who keep complaining about Heimdall being "the whitest of the Nordic gods": you're not in good company (http://www.stormfront.org/forum/t703651/). Just saying.

RichardGarfinkle
12-23-2012, 08:16 PM
That would all be fair enough if the movies were representing Norse mythology, but the Marvel comics Asgardians have always been super-powered aliens. So complaining about the movies not being true to Norse mythology is pretty silly.

And the people who keep complaining about Heimdall being "the whitest of the Nordic gods": you're not in good company (http://www.stormfront.org/forum/t703651/). Just saying.

You're right, of course, about the disconnect between actual Norse Mythology and Marvel Comics. I was just amused at this particular oddity about Heimdall.

Jcomp
12-23-2012, 08:16 PM
My problem is that when they [Hollywood] change the race of a character from the original race, it often seems like a token. Instead of telling stories about these minorities, they [Hollywood] just swap out a white character for a minority and think they're doing great.

The one instance of this I can think of off the top of my head where the casting was pretty much perfect was when they had Michael Clarke Duncan as The Kingpin (Who, in the comics, looks fat, but is actually strong enough to crush a man's skull with his bare hands). He was, at the time, the only big name actor who looked large and strong enough to fit that role. Unfortunately, they wasted him on that god-awful Daredevil movie.

robeiae
12-23-2012, 09:48 PM
In my view, the supposed race of actors shouldn't matter a whit...unless that race is a quintessential element to the plot of the movie in question.

For instance:

Black actor cast for Norse God in Thor doesn't matter. There is no black/white racial dynamic at play in Asgard.

Black actor cast for role of Nick Fury doesn't matter. Fury's race plays no part in the story line. He could have just as easily been Asian.

White actor cast for lead in Prince of Persia doesn't matter. Again, there is no racial dynamic to speak of that is affected by such a choice.

Black actor cast to play Don Pedro in Much Ado doesn't matter. Again, as above.

But when "race" is central to the plot, especially because it involves the interaction of different races, I think it right and just to seek actors of the appropriate races (when possible, of course). Using make-up to create a new race for a character strikes me as simply wrong (with exceptions, to be sure).

In this case, I think the casting is wrong. There's no reason not to use an American Indian actor and the racial component--Lone Ranger white, Tonto Indian--is important to the story.

The only caveat to that is the silliness of the movie, imo.

blacbird
12-24-2012, 12:59 AM
In this case, I think the casting is wrong. There's no reason not to use an American Indian actor and the racial component--Lone Ranger white, Tonto Indian--is important to the story.

The only caveat to that is the silliness of the movie, imo.

Yep. They might have had some significant difficulty today in finding a native American actor to play this iteration of Tonto, with that awesomely ridiculous get-up that Depp is wearing. Methinks this won't be regarded as a high point in his career.

caw

backslashbaby
12-24-2012, 01:00 AM
Johnny Depp really does look like a lot of historical (and modern) Native Americans, if that helps anyone :) One of the unfortunate things about Hollywood portrayals of Indians is that everyone expects a look that is not inclusive of the variation of features seen in Native Americans in America (and Mexico, Canada, etc), and it doesn't include breeding with other races (which did happen in many tribes).

That they had the tribe thing wrong from the start is also part of the problem with The Lone Ranger. The tribe he's supposed to be doesn't live in the Old West.

Celia Cyanide
12-24-2012, 03:12 AM
Black actor cast for role of Nick Fury doesn't matter. Fury's race plays no part in the story line. He could have just as easily been Asian.

Actually, the Ultimate Nick Fury is black.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_Nick_Fury

kuwisdelu
12-24-2012, 03:29 AM
that awesomely ridiculous get-up that Depp is wearing.

Indeed, I may have a new Halloween costume depending on how this turns out.

I hope it isn't a disaster.

Mr Flibble
12-24-2012, 04:00 AM
In my view, the supposed race of actors shouldn't matter a whit...unless that race is a quintessential element to the plot of the movie in question.



I'd add a caveat - unless the film is supposed to be historically accurate or accurate to a specific setting. In which case you might raise an eyebrow if Churchill was black, or the Emperor of Japan white.


Heimdall? He was brightest in all the translations bar one I've read. That translation fits better with the other description of shining god. (also, iirc, the colour white was the cowardly colour (http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/hvitkrst.shtml) to Vikings, so to call Heimdall white would be to say he was a coward....) Besides, he's a god. He can probably change what he looks like. And who worried when Morgan Freeman played god in Bruce Almighty? Because he was God, he could appear how he wanted.

Cyia
12-24-2012, 04:05 AM
Actually, the Ultimate Nick Fury is black.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_Nick_Fury


Because he's been restyled to look like Samuel L Jackson. The original Fury was often inconsistently drawn. He'd have light skin, then dark from issue to issue and even from page to page. "Ambiguous" is the most accurate description of the comic book character, and SLJ was awesome in the role for the film.

kuwisdelu
12-24-2012, 04:15 AM
Because he's been restyled to look like Samuel L Jackson. The original Fury was often inconsistently drawn. He'd have light skin, then dark from issue to issue and even from page to page. "Ambiguous" is the most accurate description of the comic book character, and SLJ was awesome in the role for the film.

The funny thing is Ultimate Nick Fury was redesigned to look like Samuel L Jackson long before the movie and before Samuel L Jackson was ever cast as Nick Fury.

Cyia
12-24-2012, 04:53 AM
Subliminal casting. ;)

Celia Cyanide
12-24-2012, 05:33 AM
Subliminal casting. ;)

More like type casting. Nick Fury was redesigned to look like Samuel L Jackson first. Then that made him the obvious choice for the role. They chose to make the character black long before the movie.

WANTED really got on my nerves. The Fox was drawn to look like Halle Berry, and for some reason, they cast Angelia Jolie in the role.

robeiae
12-24-2012, 05:36 AM
Weird. I always thought Nick Fury was supposed to look like David Hasselhoff...

robeiae
12-24-2012, 05:42 AM
I'd add a caveat - unless the film is supposed to be historically accurate or accurate to a specific setting. In which case you might raise an eyebrow if Churchill was black, or the Emperor of Japan white.See, I disagree with that. I have no problem with a black actor playing Churchill, because the color of Churchill's skin is not likely to be a critical element of the plot. The issue is whether or not the actor can pull it off.

But a black actor as Stonewall Jackson or Robert E. Lee, that probably wouldn't work, because of the importance of their race as opposed to the race of others in that historical period. Or imagine a white--or Asian--actor as Martin Luther King. No way.

kuwisdelu
12-24-2012, 05:48 AM
See, I disagree with that. I have no problem with a black actor playing Churchill, because the color of Churchill's skin is not likely to be a critical element of the plot. The issue is whether or not the actor can pull it off.

Depends on how the movie presents itself.

If it's an alternate history that is mostly similar to ours, but some stuff is different, like Churchill just happens to be black, I'd be cool with that. I like that kind of stuff, and there are several genderflipped historical anime that I like, too. If it's otherwise historically accurate and Churchill is just randomly black, that'd be a little weird to me.

robeiae
12-24-2012, 05:52 AM
Depends on how the movie presents itself.

If it's an alternate history that is mostly similar to ours, but some stuff is different, like Churchill just happens to be black, I'd be cool with that. I like that kind of stuff, and there are several genderflipped historical anime that I like, too. If it's otherwise historically accurate and Churchill is just randomly black, that'd be a little weird to me.I understand, but I think that's a perception we--as a society--need to work our way past, since I think "race" is an entirely artificial construct.

Consider this (seriously): how "black" would he have to be for it to bother you?

Celia Cyanide
12-24-2012, 05:58 AM
Depends on how the movie presents itself.

If it's an alternate history that is mostly similar to ours, but some stuff is different, like Churchill just happens to be black, I'd be cool with that. I like that kind of stuff, and there are several genderflipped historical anime that I like, too. If it's otherwise historically accurate and Churchill is just randomly black, that'd be a little weird to me.

When I was a kid, I don't remember there being that much expectation that the actor had to look like the person s/he was playing. Now there is. Some theatre companies do blind casting, which means that an actor's skin color doesn't matter at all, not even among characters who are supposed to be blood relations. It usually works in theatre, but film is different.

kuwisdelu
12-24-2012, 06:05 AM
I understand, but I think that's a perception we--as a society--need to work our way past, since I think "race" is an entirely artificial construct.

Consider this (seriously): how "black" would he have to be for it to bother you?

Well, if the movie is supposed to be historically accurate, the question would be "do I believe this is the historical Churchill?"

If the movie is playing more loosely with history, I only need to believe the character is a version of Churchill.

I mean, it'd bother me just as much if the supposedly-historically-accurate Churchill didn't smoke cigars or drink martinis by drinking straight vodka while staring at a bottle of vermouth across the room.

kuwisdelu
12-24-2012, 06:07 AM
When I was a kid, I don't remember there being that much expectation that the actor had to look like the person s/he was playing. Now there is. Some theatre companies do blind casting, which means that an actor's skin color doesn't matter at all, not even among characters who are supposed to be blood relations. It usually works in theatre, but film is different.

That's a good point. I approach theatre differently from cinema. Hollywood has taught us that characters in historical movies should look like their historical counterparts. They end up getting everything else wrong, but they're slavishly consistent with that....

ETA: If I were used to movies being approached more like theatre, I'd probably feel differently.

Cyia
12-24-2012, 06:16 AM
To me, with someone like Churchill, you're talking about a real person, so the actor cast should be as similar to the person as possible.

If you're talking something like James Bond, then I couldn't care less what the actor looks like because Bond isn't a real man.

robeiae
12-24-2012, 06:22 AM
When I was a kid, I don't remember there being that much expectation that the actor had to look like the person s/he was playing.I think this is the way it should be. The actor should act like the character. That's the best way to identify great acting.

Well, if the movie is supposed to be historically accurate, the question would be "do I believe this is the historical Churchill?"

If the movie is playing more loosely with history, I only need to believe the character is a version of Churchill.

I mean, it'd bother me just as much if the supposedly-historically-accurate Churchill didn't smoke cigars or drink martinis by drinking straight vodka while staring at a bottle of vermouth across the room.Again, it's about acting like Churchill that matters, imo. His mannerisms, his style, his tone, etc. And I don't see how a particular shade of skin color is paramount here.

kuwisdelu
12-24-2012, 06:29 AM
I think this is the way it should be. The actor should act like the character. That's the best way to identify great acting.
Again, it's about acting like Churchill that matters, imo. His mannerisms, his style, his tone, etc. And I don't see how a particular shade of skin color is paramount here.

Like I said,


ETA: If I were used to movies being approached more like theatre, I'd probably feel differently.

kuwisdelu
12-24-2012, 06:35 AM
Here's a question. If we have Churchill played by a black actor, does the character then become black, too?

What if we have a character who is supposed to be a PoC, but is played by a white actor, but in the story, race doesn't really play much of a role. Then does the character become white because the actor is white? Or is the character still a PoC even though nothing in the story would indicate that?

Celia Cyanide
12-24-2012, 06:42 AM
I think this is the way it should be. The actor should act like the character. That's the best way to identify great acting.

Oh, to live in a perfect world! Where the best actors always get cast, and it doesn't matter what any of them look like!

kuwisdelu
12-24-2012, 06:44 AM
Oh, to live in a perfect world! Where the best actors always get cast, and it doesn't matter what any of them look like!

And normals wonder why I like animation so much.

Cyia
12-24-2012, 06:45 AM
Here's a question. If we have Churchill played by a black actor, does the character then become black, too?

What if we have a character who is supposed to be a PoC, but is played by a white actor, but in the story, race doesn't really play much of a role. Then does the character become white because the actor is white? Or is the character still a PoC even though nothing in the story would indicate that?

^^ Inception 2

Celia Cyanide
12-24-2012, 06:46 AM
To me, with someone like Churchill, you're talking about a real person, so the actor cast should be as similar to the person as possible.

If you're talking something like James Bond, then I couldn't care less what the actor looks like because Bond isn't a real man.

I think you're in the minority, there. People throw a fit when an actor is cast who doesn't look like their vision of a character.

kuwisdelu
12-24-2012, 06:55 AM
I'm suddenly reminded of how horrible the outcome is whenever Hollywood tries to make a live-action adaptation of an anime.

BigWords
12-24-2012, 12:02 PM
Film has already taken many, many aspects of theater. The blind casting (or, rather, eccentric casting) of I'm Not There proves that even gender isn't important when casting roles. It works.

I'm merely happy that this isn't as bad as the feature film The Legend of the Lone Ranger. In terms of the franchise, this is a massive, massive improvement. In wider terms it may be awful, but given the crappy cartoon...

Mr Flibble
12-24-2012, 02:48 PM
See, I disagree with that. I have no problem with a black actor playing Churchill, because the color of Churchill's skin is not likely to be a critical element of the plot. The issue is whether or not the actor can pull it off.



One suspects that a black leader of a country might have a slightly different view of Hitler?
I agree with Kuwi here in both his posts:


Depends on how the movie presents itself.

If it's an alternate history that is mostly similar to ours, but some stuff is different, like Churchill just happens to be black, I'd be cool with that. I like that kind of stuff, and there are several genderflipped historical anime that I like, too. If it's otherwise historically accurate and Churchill is just randomly black, that'd be a little weird to me.


Well, if the movie is supposed to be historically accurate, the question would be "do I believe this is the historical Churchill?"

If the movie is playing more loosely with history, I only need to believe the character is a version of Churchill.

I mean, it'd bother me just as much if the supposedly-historically-accurate Churchill didn't smoke cigars or drink martinis by drinking straight vodka while staring at a bottle of vermouth across the room.

If a film is historically accurate down to the right teaspoons on the table (a lot of period dramas for example go that far), then I'd expect other things to be that accurate too. If it's just a version of history, go for your life.

seun
12-24-2012, 03:45 PM
The black Churchill thing is interesting. Unless we're talking an alternate version of our reality/history, I can't see why an historical figure would be changed in this way any more than getting Tom Cruise to play Nelson Mandela.

Slightly spurious example - there's a one off TV job about Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren on Wednesday. Toby Jones is playing Hitchcock and I'm guessing this is partly because they're physcially similar. I wouldn't expect the makers to have cast some young, sexy guy for a short, fat older guy.

BigWords
12-24-2012, 04:04 PM
If Christian Slater can play Churchill (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0359078/), then anyone can.

DancingMaenid
12-25-2012, 11:58 AM
That's a good point. I approach theatre differently from cinema. Hollywood has taught us that characters in historical movies should look like their historical counterparts. They end up getting everything else wrong, but they're slavishly consistent with that....

ETA: If I were used to movies being approached more like theatre, I'd probably feel differently.

Yep, this is how I feel. With theatre, I find I don't really expect the actors to have a strong physical resemblance to the characters they're playing.

But I have come to expect more historical accuracy from movies.

That said, I kind of wish Hollywood wouldn't go so far with makeup and prosthetics, sometimes. For example, I didn't really get the big deal about Nicole Kidman wearing a prosthetic nose to play Virginia Woolf. When Michelle Williams did My Week with Marilyn, I remember seeing a piece about how they recreated Marilyn Monroe's style, and it seemed like there was a balance between accuracy and working with Williams's features. For example, the eyebrows were different.

BigWords
12-25-2012, 04:00 PM
But I have come to expect more historical accuracy from movies.

There has never - and will never - be a 100% historically accurate movie.

See Enigma, Titanic, U571, Pearl Harbor, any number of Vietnam and WWII movies, Apocalypto... Go to the film expecting entertainment, and not a history lesson, and it will work better.

Pup
12-25-2012, 05:00 PM
There has never - and will never - be a 100% historically accurate movie.

See Enigma, Titanic, U571, Pearl Harbor, any number of Vietnam and WWII movies, Apocalypto... Go to the film expecting entertainment, and not a history lesson, and it will work better.

The problem is that historical accuracy can be tied up with entertainment, because part of entertainment is suspending disbelief.

Of course, if one expects a history lesson, one will set the accuracy bar higher. So I get the point that if a viewer (or reader, because the same applies to historical fiction) goes in setting the bar too high, he/she will miss out on being entertained. If an author/filmmaker thinks another choice is more entertaining than strict accuracy, he/she may make a deliberate decision to be inaccurate and it helps the audience be entertained if they try to go along. A talking raccoon in Pocahontas, for example--don't think that could be documented.

But there are other times where inaccuracies simply seem to be a mistakes or subjectively fail to improve on what actually happened, and enough of those can jar one out of suspending disbelief. Imagine a film/book set in the present day, where people all dressed in 1970s clothes, drove only black cars and all stopped work to watch the TV news at 2 p.m., with no explanation or connection to the plot, just as daily background. It would distract so much from getting lost in a story about the modern world, suspension of disbelief would be difficult. The more familiar one is about the time period being shown, the harder it is to see beyond things like that.

BigWords
12-25-2012, 05:16 PM
Anachronisms - especially, blatant OTT ones - can heighten the effect of a movie. As this is a thread about a western, I think it would benefit people if they understood a bit about the way the western evolved, and right from the start, back in the 1860s, there were novels (and "biographies") appearing which flew in the face of logic. The amount of disinformation peddled about the lives of people living in the wild west is part of the appeal for me.

If you want an example of something which uses anti-history, then you can't go wrong with Walker (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tS20n2dZgs), one of my favorite modern westerns. Keep a look out for the helicopter. :D

MsJudy
12-25-2012, 08:57 PM
BigWords, I think you're missing the point.

People are saying (over and over again) that when the purpose of the movie is entertainment, or it acknowledges that it an alternate view of history, then the reality-bending is fine.

But there are many movies (like Lincoln, in theaters now) that attempt to be historically accurate, and in those we expect the actors to look enough like the real person they are portraying that we forget we're watching an actor.

You make a good point--no movie will ever succeed completely, everyone gets some of the details wrong--but that has nothing to do with the attempt to get them right.

And none of that has anything to do with the original point, which is that there's a cycle of subtle discrimination that PoC still face. It goes like this: We need someone to play a PoC character, and we need a big name actor to sell tickets. Shucks, there aren't any Big Name actors of the right color. We'll use someone not of color who can pretend to be that. We can always cast the genuine PoC in small supporting roles. Gee, wonder why there aren't any big name PoC in leading roles?

It doesn't matter how well a great white actor can pretend to be some other ethnicity. The point is that every time one of them does, it means one less opportunity for a PoC actor to take on that role. And since it seldom works the other way--PoC actor being offered a role where the part was originally written for a white actor--less opportunity means less opportunity. Period.

Hollywood has improved somewhat for African-American actors. Not so much for Latino, Asian or Native American actors. So, yeah, race does still matter.

kuwisdelu
12-26-2012, 05:32 AM
We'll use someone not of color who can pretend to be that. We can always cast the genuine PoC in small supporting roles. Gee, wonder why there aren't any big name PoC in leading roles?

[...]

Hollywood has improved somewhat for African-American actors. Not so much for Latino, Asian or Native American actors. So, yeah, race does still matter.

To be honest, at least as far as Native American actors go, I don't think it's really quite like that. See my post #64.

It certainly has to do with Hollywood culture, though. But it's not as simple as who they hire for what roles.

What I can't get over is that we can have a movie like Rise of the Planet of the Apes where the honest-to-goodness main character isn't even human, but Hollywood still can't get past its Dances with Wolves syndrome of whitey-protagonist-saves-the-natives, with movies like Avatar and The Last Samurai.

I'm not sure if it's actually that the American public really isn't ready and doesn't want a major movie that is actually about another culture through the eyes of that culture or if it's just Hollywood forcing that upon us. Based on movies like Apes, or, hell, any Pixar movie that isn't about humans, like Wall-E, I don't think it's the American public that isn't ready. It's Hollywood.

benluby
12-26-2012, 06:37 AM
I guess he's probably a bit too old for this role, but I immediately thought Lou Diamond Philips would have been a good choice. :Shrug:

He's actually got less Native American in him than Depp does, as he is Phillipino, not Native American.
Depp is third generation from being Creek or Cherokee, and is an honorary Comanche.
The broken English I'm iffy on. From a modern perspective, yeah, it would appear to be highly insulting. In reality? The Comanche and other tribes still had their own native dialects at the time, and English would be a second language.
Most who speak a second language actually do appear to speak it in a broken form, so that may be a bit of realism most people don't expect, because, well, we're not used to hearing it.

Amadan
12-26-2012, 08:06 AM
Most who speak a second language actually do appear to speak it in a broken form, so that may be a bit of realism most people don't expect, because, well, we're not used to hearing it.


It's not just that. I used to teach ESL. I know what second-language learners sound like. Yes, of course they make errors in grammar and pronunciation, etc.

"Me no speak-um good English" is not how they sound.

The specific form of "broken English" with which Indians (and Chinese, and Mexicans, and so on) are frequently afflicted in Hollywood movies makes them sound not just non-fluent, but stupid and "primitive."

Celia Cyanide
12-26-2012, 09:10 AM
"Me no speak-um good English" is not how they sound.

I saw the trailer in the cinema today, and that wasn't how Depp sounded, either. I don't wanna see the movie, but he actually seemed to speak English fairly well.

kuwisdelu
12-26-2012, 11:51 AM
The broken English I'm iffy on. From a modern perspective, yeah, it would appear to be highly insulting. In reality? The Comanche and other tribes still had their own native dialects at the time, and English would be a second language.
Most who speak a second language actually do appear to speak it in a broken form, so that may be a bit of realism most people don't expect, because, well, we're not used to hearing it.


It's not just that. I used to teach ESL. I know what second-language learners sound like. Yes, of course they make errors in grammar and pronunciation, etc.

"Me no speak-um good English" is not how they sound.

The specific form of "broken English" with which Indians (and Chinese, and Mexicans, and so on) are frequently afflicted in Hollywood movies makes them sound not just non-fluent, but stupid and "primitive."

Okay, well, one the one hand, there are plenty of Indians for whom English is their second language (or who don't speak English at all), and make mistakes and don't speak perfect English (how many native English speakers even do?), but none speak the stereotypical Hollywood pidgin English spoken by Hollywood Indians of yesteryear.

However, as Celia points out, that's not really how Tonto speaks in the trailer, although it's certainly reminiscent of that kind of stereotypical broken English.

Personally, I'm familiar with how modern Indians speak. I honestly have no idea what kind of mistakes someone in Tonto's situation would make. I imagine it wouldn't be unsimilar to today: lots of Indians speak perfect English, many don't, and some don't speak English at all (yes, some Indians still don't speak English at all).

One mistake my mother makes is confusing "he" and "she," since Zuni doesn't really use gendered pronouns. I don't know about other Indian languages, but we also don't really have an equivalent of the verb "to be," but we have a copula that is often dropped in casual conversation, similar to Japanese. We don't have articles either.

The way Tonto speaks in the trailer is actually pretty close to how one might directly translate some sentences from Zuni to English. (I don't know any Zunis that speak that way, though.) But of course, Zuni isn't Commanche, and I have no idea how someone in Tonto's situation might end up speaking.

The stereotypical Hollywood pidgin speak is definitely unrealistic and offensive. But I'm honestly not sure how unrealistic Tonto's speech is.

Even today, there's a wide, wide range in how educated Native Americans are, and in how we speak.

I can put on an "Indian accent" in terms of the sing-song way some natives I know (particularly my Navajo friend Mike) talk, but it's not how I talk, because I grew up in the Midwest. (But I actually do find myself lapsing into something resembling it if I hang around other natives with similar vocal cadences long enough.)

Zoombie
12-26-2012, 01:17 PM
Based on movies like Apes, or, hell, any Pixar movie that isn't about humans, like Wall-E, I don't think it's the American public that isn't ready. It's Hollywood.

Forget about it, Kuwi.

It's Hollywood Town.

backslashbaby
12-26-2012, 09:52 PM
He's actually got less Native American in him than Depp does, as he is Phillipino, not Native American.
Depp is third generation from being Creek or Cherokee, and is an honorary Comanche.
The broken English I'm iffy on. From a modern perspective, yeah, it would appear to be highly insulting. In reality? The Comanche and other tribes still had their own native dialects at the time, and English would be a second language.
Most who speak a second language actually do appear to speak it in a broken form, so that may be a bit of realism most people don't expect, because, well, we're not used to hearing it.

It's really not honorary. It's been explained in the thread. It's one thing to not know about a Comanche tradition** (fair enough), but after it's explained to still put your worldview on it is odd, at the kindest. Imho.

**It's not just a Comanche tradition, either, but they'll vary, as you might imagine.

If folks are picturing honorary degrees or some other mostly-for-show custom from US culture, it's not the same. It's not like that. Basically, you are not going to see a hell of a lot in NA culture that's 'for show' that way, so it's a particularly offensive mistake to carry around once it's already been explained.

Erin Latimer
07-23-2013, 06:54 AM
When I first heard that he'd be playing Tonto, I didn't see what the "big fuss" was about.

But I saw the movie...I changed my mind.

Depp as Tonto was a bit ridiculous. I couldn't even pin down why it came off so tacky to me, but it did. I think the movie could have been WAY better if Depp played the lone ranger. He would have been perfect as the unsure, bumbling lone ranger, and then "the lone ranger" would have actually been ABOUT the lone ranger and not just Jonny Depp. Lets face it, the movie wasn't about the ranger.

In my head I've recast it with Depp as the LR and an actual native actor as Tonto.

It also irritated me that the woman in it was only there to scream and fall off things and be rescued, or to say "He's coming for me!" a lot. The one time I thought she would redeem herself she was knocked unconscious for comic relief :(

Cyia
07-23-2013, 07:03 AM
Depp as Tonto was a bit ridiculous. I couldn't even pin down why it came off so tacky to me, but it did. I think the movie could have been WAY better if Depp played the lone ranger. He would have been perfect as the unsure, bumbling lone ranger, and then "the lone ranger" would have actually been ABOUT the lone ranger and not just Jonny Depp. Lets face it, the movie wasn't about the ranger.



Meh - TLR was buzzard bait without Tonto, but Depp's too physically small to take the lead on this one.

The only visibly defining feature TLR had, since the rest was disguised, was his size. Clayton Moore was one of the old guard "tall, broad" cowboys. He was likely the tallest man on TV, with the exception of James Arness, who was close to 7' in his boots and hat. For the character to "work" the actor really needs that imposing appearance.

Ken
07-24-2013, 02:46 AM
... years ago, white folk filled all acting roles.

Asians were portrayed by whites, as were blacks,
and native americans. That was most definitely
unsettling and discriminatory.
Not so much so with Depp playing Tonto
in this one movie.

Hollywood these days is very em-
bracing of multicultural movie casts.
In general I have good vibes with the industry in that regard.

(The quality of the movies is another matter ;-)

Erin Latimer
07-24-2013, 08:01 AM
Meh - TLR was buzzard bait without Tonto, but Depp's too physically small to take the lead on this one.

The only visibly defining feature TLR had, since the rest was disguised, was his size. Clayton Moore was one of the old guard "tall, broad" cowboys. He was likely the tallest man on TV, with the exception of James Arness, who was close to 7' in his boots and hat. For the character to "work" the actor really needs that imposing appearance.

Okay true. I didn't think of that. Perhaps he should have just directed the movie and left it at that...:D