Contrary to popular conservative belief, not all leftist films are garbage. As long as you are able to put politics aside for a brief moment in time, there are some that are certainly worth watching despite their left-leaning sympathies. Many are good for their insight into a perspective we might not agree with. This is what we have to do in order to watch most films by people like Oliver Stone and Spike Lee. Of course, movies by directors like Michael Moore are simply a waste of time. Continue reading to see five leftist films that don’t make my skin crawl.
Yes, Oliver Stone is crazy so we know there is nothing worth believing in this film. However, it is always fun to watch. Sometimes I feel like Newsreal Blog managing editor David Swindle and I are the only two people who like JFK, but at some point you have to acknowledge that leftist conspiracies can make for a fun movie. After all, we don’t have to take them seriously. How can we? Stone thinks that everyone killed JFK except Oswald!
Bernie Goldberg bashes Stone for this film in 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America, although JFK is probably the least of Stone’s offenses. Conservatives appear to hate this film almost as much as Born On The Fourth of July and Platoon (or Natural Born Killers….really pick any of the director’s films). The truth is that even though there are many leftists in Hollywood, they aren’t all flunkies in the director’s chair. JFK is a fun film although it is an endurance test at its 206 minute run time.
This may or may not be a leftist film, depending on how you look at it. However, the hostility towards both a religious man and a businessman lends me to believe this film leans Left. We see the worst of the Christian and business world in what can be described as a “progressive” caricature of each. That being said, the conflict between the two main characters (Eli and Daniel) is extremely thought provoking (faith and ambition are pinned against each other). The final sequence where we get the “milkshake” speech is amazing and provides the perfect release of tension that has built throughout the film.
I referred this film to a Christian professor of mine who refused to see it due to the negative view of faith provided in the film (from what he heard). After finally watching it, he emailed me and said he loved it because the film, while hostile to how Eli exploited religion, works as a useful quest of redemption. The film gives us a lot to take in; it’s definitely worth more than one viewing. There Will Be Blood is a tantalizing character study as well as an atmospheric masterpiece.
After the demise of the Hays Code, the Hollywood Left took control by pushing all limits in terms of content. Hollywood had been fairly conservative for a long time and many on the Left were pushing for a backlash. One way of doing that was by romanticizing a story about two bank robbers in order to create a bleeding heart tale that painted the two as victims instead of criminals. Therefore, this film is more leftist because of why it was made though the film was championed by the Hollywood “liberals.” Warren Beatty got Arthur Penn to direct the project and the end result was a memorable film about two love stricken gangsters.
Both Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway give excellent performances that certainly make the dangerous duo far more interesting than Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow ever were in real life. Gene Hackman also did a good job as Buck, Clyde’s brother. Bonnie and Clyde has many memorable scenes and car chases that make this little adventure worth watching. Dunaway played a commanding role that dominated much of the picture. The shots of her holding a gun and clenching a cigar with her teeth are far more memorable than the actual photos of Bonnie Parker.
Here we have an abundance of the usual anti-McCarthy garbage. However, if you can look past all of the lies (which there are plenty), this film is worth the time. What makes it great is that it captures the essence of a time period that is very intriguing (doing so in black and white was a nice touch). Political tensions were running high in the 1950s and Murrow’s show was becoming influential (at the same time a liability for CBS because few sponsors would advertise on the show).
The film is a useful learning tool in understanding the Left. Numerous characters admit to “yellow journalism” which shows how Murrow and his crew engaged in large scale character assassination against Senator Joseph McCarthy (in the name of “truth”). For them (and the Left), the enemy was McCarthy and not Soviet Russia (who was the real enemy). The end of the film shows how Murrow and Friendly’s constant spin led to the show’s demise. Of course, being a neo-Communist film, Murrow goes down as a hero (the ends justify the means). What Clooney neglects to mention is that Murrow repudiated his personal crusade against McCarthy years later.
Good Will Hunting is an inspirational underdog tale. A kid who thought he had nothing realized how he could get everything (and may have had it all along). The film is Marxist because of Will’s animosity towards anyone with money or success. He ridicules Harvard Prof. Lambeau (who is portrayed is a typical condescending elitist) as well as his girlfriend Skylar (Harvard student) who he eventually attacks as “trust fund baby” who only wanted him so she could say she “went slumming once too.” The first interaction with Will and Sean yields the film’s politics with a discussion where the two hold up leftist historians Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky as important intellectuals. In addition, Will refuses a job at the NSA after giving them a speech about how the US government is too blood and oil thirsty.
Although the film is riddled with class warfare and nods to Marxist historians, Good Will Hunting holds its own regardless of politics. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck play great together and it is easy to see why this film brought them to the next level. Also, the meetings between Sean and Will (while sometimes leftist) are great discussions about life, art and history. There are some things we can’t learn by reading a book, we can’t hide behind what we think we know. We must play a hand in life and when we lose, don’t be afraid to ante up again.