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post #31 of 54 Old 09-01-2013, 06:20 PM
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Found the following at the only website I consulted on the subject (under the subject heading "Maria Belon"):
"The family's nationality was changed to British in the film."
I did not find where this source specifically took up the race question, but in comparing demographics of Spain versus England, it appears to me that racial composition of the respective populations, and general trends in the origins of their peoples differ markedly, therefore I think we are on safe ground to say that the race of the protagonists, and not just nationality per se, was altered. Hope that clarifies what I was saying, at least somewhat....
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post #32 of 54 Old 09-01-2013, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emaych View Post

I do note of course that you were responding to lordcloud, but I just wanted to make clear that when I call the casting racist, that is not an automatic negative -- it's just a recognition of the apparent basis for virtually every casting decision. In fact, especially when it comes to the racism brought to bear in casting the native population, I would call that a necessary and expected application of explicit racism with mostly only positive outcomes.
His statement was
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The filmmakers knew that America is too much of a racist country to release a movie that wasn't made for and marketed to the Spanish population.

From the director:
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"I would have loved to tell this story with Spanish actors. We tried, but it proved impossible to raise funding without international actors. The first version of the screenplay was written in Spanish and then we realized that 80% of the dialogue was also in English. So it was natural that we chose European actors who speak English. But, without revealing the nationality of the protagonists. This is not a film of nationality, race or social class. All that was swept by the wave," the director said.

So clearly not the director's first choice but the money behind the film makes the final call. I have no idea why international Spanish actors could not satisfy that need but take offense in the "America is too much of a racist country" statement. If the true story is told well and the actors are convincing that, to me as a film enthusiast is the most important part, not the color of their skin. Obviously the director felt the same given the last sentence in her statement.

I think the issue that is more of a problem for film is subtitles and the masses that are too lazy to read and watch. There is a near endless list of amazing foreign films that when re-created by Hollywood absolutely sucked! A topic for another thread I guess.

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post #33 of 54 Old 09-01-2013, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by General Kenobi View Post

So clearly not the director's first choice but the money behind the film makes the final call. I have no idea why international Spanish actors could not satisfy that need but take offense in the "America is too much of a racist country" statement. If the true story is told well and the actors are convincing that, to me as a film enthusiast is the most important part, not the color of their skin. Obviously the director felt the same given the last sentence in her statement.

I think the issue that is more of a problem for film is subtitles and the masses that are too lazy to read and watch. There is a near endless list of amazing foreign films that when re-created by Hollywood absolutely sucked! A topic for another thread I guess.
Well, yes -- I had not encountered that Director quote but had said: "Anyway, in my view those choices had little if anything to do with the film they ultimately got -- which, unless I miss my guess, is actually an attempt to flow against the grain of their racist choices -- it seeks to demonstrate the universality of human experience in the face of disaster, extreme challenge and hardship, no matter what specific subdivision of the human race you happen to be (...BUT, by the way, our featured folks are going to be very white, so you don't have to worry about that...)"

As to lordcloud's declaration, I think he is meaning "bigoted" when he uses "racist" -- that is not my usage, just to be clear. For example I would consider the statement "Caucasian types are often characterized by lighter skin pigmentation," to be a racist statement since race is the determinant of the observation. Likewise with "I am anglo" -- race is what is being spoken about, therefore the statement is race-based, or racist. Casting decisions become racist if race enters into the equation -- does not imply to me that there is anything bigoted going on -- could be for any number of totally benign reasons as per your quote, but there is little doubt race entered in.

Did not know all that about the original script and casting goals though -- good find...
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post #34 of 54 Old 09-01-2013, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by lordcloud View Post


Thee movie was just ok, but really could have been great. Changing the brown family to white was the the beginning of the movie's problems.

So Maria Belon & Enrique Belon are a brown family? Try google and see how brown they are, because unless im mistaken or have googled the wrong people they seem white too me.


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post #35 of 54 Old 09-01-2013, 10:13 PM
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They are Spanish, not Hispanic.

And yes, I do tend to backpedal in my posts a bit as I try to see both sides, but I've also been working in the film industry for going on 10 years now have a pretty good idea of how things go. It's unfortunate, but money wins over artistic intent and/or factual truths every time in this business.

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post #36 of 54 Old 09-01-2013, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordcloud View Post

Not lost, it's immaterial. The people the movie is about, are not white.




This is Maria and her son Lucas Belon. This is the people who the movie is about, again unless Im wrong they look white.

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post #37 of 54 Old 09-01-2013, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Franin View Post



This is Maria and her son Lucas Belon. This is the people who the movie is about, again unless Im wrong they look white.

I think someone needs to have their tv calibrated. The only thing brown on them is her eyes.

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post #38 of 54 Old 09-01-2013, 10:56 PM
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I think someone needs to have their tv calibrated. The only thing brown on them is her eyes.

I agree

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post #39 of 54 Old 09-01-2013, 11:04 PM
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I agree

Why this even matters in a surviving a tsunami movie is puzzling. Some folks have lost the plot.

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post #40 of 54 Old 09-01-2013, 11:06 PM
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Why this even matters in a surviving a tsunami movie is puzzling. Some folks have lost the plot.

I guess some have there own agendas

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post #41 of 54 Old 09-01-2013, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

So Maria Belon & Enrifineque Belon are a brown family? Try google and see how brown they are, becaubecausese unless im mistaken or have googled the wrong people they seem white too me.


These people, to me, are clearly not white.

How anyone can, at this point, argue that the change of racial background for the cast was not done for artistic reasons, but monetary ones. And it was a monetary decision because the filmmakers knew that audiences wouldn't pay to see a Spanish cast. If you don't see that as racism then you just don't. But that doesn't mean it's not

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post #42 of 54 Old 09-01-2013, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

I guess some have there own agendas

I have no agenda. I was merely pointing out what I see as a flaw in the production of the movie. I thought that's what we were here to do. Apparently I'm wrong.

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post #43 of 54 Old 09-02-2013, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordcloud View Post

These people, to me, are clearly not white.

How anyone can, at this point, argue that the change of racial background for the cast was not done for artistic reasons, but monetary ones. And it was a monetary decision because the filmmakers knew that audiences wouldn't pay to see a Spanish cast. If you don't see that as racism then you just don't. But that doesn't mean it's not
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I have no agenda. I was merely pointing out what I see as a flaw in the production of the movie. I thought that's what we were here to do. Apparently I'm wrong.

So was the eventual casting a monetary decision, flaw in production or a racist decision? You're vacillating all over the place on whatever point you're trying to make as folks here are picking you apart. I think you are simply here to make waves and look for attention. Making the leap to racism, ironically, is racist itself! Nice.

The real life european couple look pretty Caucasian /white to me. Certainly, enough to cast the people they chose. But then again, I'm not looking under rocks for racism in everyday life. Moreover, the actors were blondes / light colored hair as well. Looks like they discriminated against the real life dark haired wife and gray husband. But you jump to racism.

I actually feel sorry for you.
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post #44 of 54 Old 09-02-2013, 05:23 AM
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Well....you know, some individuals, perhaps many or most, without being extensively schooled in anthropological studies, might have difficulty pinpointing specific traits which would provide the best clues as to origins, but if we accept that the quote cited above was from the director, it was acknowledged that the actor couple did not match the profile of the original victims:

"I would have loved to tell this story with Spanish actors. We tried, but it proved impossible to raise funding without international actors.... it was natural that we chose European actors who speak English. But, without revealing the nationality of the protagonists. This is not a film of nationality, race or social class. All that was swept by the wave," the director said.

If you say that the Spanish couple are white, I guess I can accept that -- looks accurate enough, but they are not racially the same as English people (generally speaking). Race and nationality were altered, detectably and admittedly so, even though the director said such considerations were swept by the wave. So the choice actually draws attention to such matters.

I have said that the intention was clear enough to me -- tragedy and sudden monumental, devastating upheaval cuts across the entire tapestry of the human race in much the same way, but I think the point being made herein was that their casting choices ran curiously counter to the main thrust of their retelling, thus undermining some of the impact of this tale of essential human pathos.
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post #45 of 54 Old 09-02-2013, 07:37 AM
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So was the eventual casting a monetary decision, flaw in production or a racist decision?
Here's the thing: these are not mutually exclusive of course -- if it was projected revenues (monetary decision) weighed, we can speculate that they wanted international stars to promote publicity, or rather, we don't have to speculate -- the director said that is what financing hinged on. But curiously, there are internationally known Spanish actors with good box office going for them (Banderas, Cruz, Bardem among them), so why were these actors not used?

Could be for any number of reasons of course, but it raises an unanswered question. And if they initially tried to get Spanish actors -- let us agree that was solely for accuracy -- nevertheless, since they are auditioning only Spanish actors in the beginning, they are exercising racial exclusionism -- that is racism practiced for preserving accuracy. A non-racist process would have considered actors of any race, AND likely would have ended up being inaccurate.

When they went with another race, that was racist too, at least in my usage. And of course if they projected audiences would rather see people that look like them in the primary roles, this was a racist consideration, AND a monetary decision AND, I would submit, a major undermining of what seems to be a principal thrust of their production -- a flaw, if you will. So it may have been all those things.

But back to why I rented this movie -- it was mostly on the basis of your recommendation. Of course it had been on my radar with the tsunami scenes and all, that it might have some pretty wicked LFE in it -- albeit quite fleeting I was sure, so I was not really that inspired to rent until a week or so ago when I saw your thread here. I thought, well, thebland has a pretty adequate set-up, and he thinks this is killer, I'll rent. I rented, but was let down. So I was for the most part forced to be entertained by things other than LFE. I hate when that happens -- I mean, it usually does ALONG THE WAY of watching movies I pick mostly for LFE content, but without the smashing LFE...well, just not the same, what can I say?....

Then I watched the extras and the couples' nationality/race question arose in my mind...see what happens when the LFE doesn't rip my head off?
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post #46 of 54 Old 09-02-2013, 10:18 AM
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Folks,

We have reviewed this thread. Please stick to the topic of the movie itself and not conspiracy theories that only serve to upset other posters.

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post #47 of 54 Old 09-02-2013, 10:48 AM
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I watched the bonus features, and unless I am mistaken, the director said from the getgo he wanted Naomi Watts in the lead. This in and of itself could have determined the nationality of the family

I thought the film was pretty gripping for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the illustration of what happens right after an enormous disaster as far as getting medical aid, finding loved ones, and the abrupt transition from disaster area to overwhelmed, unaffected area. A sneak preview of what things could be like on the west coast after a San Andreas big one or an Oregon/Washington tsunami.

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post #48 of 54 Old 09-02-2013, 02:30 PM
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Folks,

We have reviewed this thread. Please stick to the topic of the movie itself and not conspiracy theories that only serve to upset other posters.

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I apologize if anyone has taken my observation about the casting of this movie as being off topic or a conspiracy theory. I didn't see it as either.

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post #49 of 54 Old 09-02-2013, 06:59 PM
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I personally enjoyed The Impossible and will likely watch it again a time or two in the future. On the other hand, now that I've seen it a rental would have been good enough rather than a purchase. Some of the special effects in the film were done quite well.

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post #50 of 54 Old 09-06-2013, 10:47 AM
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You were asked to keep to the movie. We will be issuing infractions and barring people from the thread if it continues.

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post #51 of 54 Old 09-06-2013, 04:38 PM
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I bought it, it has plenty of replay value for me. Fantastic film smile.gif

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post #52 of 54 Old 09-08-2013, 03:13 PM
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I bought it, it has plenty of replay value for me. Fantastic film smile.gif
Amidst everything that has been said of this film, people should understand it is a very worthy, credible offering, featuring first-rate acting, and touching drama. Replay value would be low for me, and I was not so impressed with the LFE, but it is about everything else you would expect of it.
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post #53 of 54 Old 09-09-2013, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Emaych View Post

Amidst everything that has been said of this film, people should understand it is a very worthy, credible offering, featuring first-rate acting, and touching drama. Replay value would be low for me, and I was not so impressed with the LFE, but it is about everything else you would expect of it.

My biggest issue with the movie, from a cinematic viewpoint, is that everything seemed forced and overly melodramatic. Things, including the ending, also seemed really unrealistic and played up for dramatic effect. I'd have to read more about it and see how far the movie strayed from the family's actual account of what happened though.

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post #54 of 54 Old 09-09-2013, 11:41 AM
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My biggest issue with the movie, from a cinematic viewpoint, is that everything seemed forced and overly melodramatic. Things, including the ending, also seemed really unrealistic and played up for dramatic effect. I'd have to read more about it and see how far the movie strayed from the family's actual account of what happened though.
Well, yes. I think it was pretty by-the-numbers in execution -- with the unsuspecting phase set-up, scenes of family bonding, etc., then disaster, then salvation -- but with limited time to lay forth the dramatic notes, you're going to have that. But there was something else as well -- can't really put my finger on it specifically, but all throughout I held myself at some remove from the proceedings -- maybe something about McGregor -- I'm not really ever fully immersed in his portrayals for whatever reason -- maybe just strikes me as fairly frivolous. On the other hand, I think you could point out that it would be hard to go too melodramatic depicting these horrific events -- I mean, that is complete life-or-death upheaval. I was particularly affected by the reveal of Maria's leg wound and most touched by the Thai elder, along with others, just venturing out to pull people from the muck and into rescue, with little equipment, or much more than the will to be helpful.

But I definitely get what you are expressing here -- seems like the retelling of something so primal and all-encompassing should have wielded more heft than it ultimately did...plus, to be a little frivolous myself, the insufficiency of LFE had me pulling back from all-out satisfaction....
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