Episode 447: The Dark Tower’s Perfect Casting and Other News

March 9, 2016


Featuring Matt Anderson and Ben De Bono

The Dark Tower’s two main stars have been cast for the film, and we are happy. Plus, we discuss other news and listener feedback.

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6 comments on “Episode 447: The Dark Tower’s Perfect Casting and Other News

  1. *I* would choose Boss Nass! (http://thescifichristian.com/2015/12/star-wars-advent-antiphons-leader-lawgiver-december-18/)


    Ben – I don’t follow your thinking about whitewashing/racebending in U.S. movies. Are you saying Hollywood can’t cast actors who are the same ethnicity as the characters they’re playing without at the same time threatening foreign film industries? (And are you saying, therefore Hollywood shouldn’t?) Surely there are plenty of acting hopefuls here in the U.S. of various ethnic backgrounds who would be happy to play these roles, and who would not see it as threatening the film industry in their home countries.

    I vote “yea” on a baptism episode, btw.

    • Ben De Bono Mar 20, 2016

      That’s not quite what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that it seems to me hypocritical to be outraged about a lack of diversity in American pop culture while simultaneously ignoring films made by other cultures. It seems to me that supporting the latter is a far greater show of inclusiveness than simply wanting the race appropriate actors cast in some dumb Hollywood blockbuster.

      That’s not to say it shouldn’t happen there, but that ultimately that’s a shallow view of diversity. True cinematic diversity involves embracing films made by other cultures rather than complaining when American films don’t have the right racial make up.

      The other point I was making is that I think it’s hypocritical to claim we should go to these movies, turn our brains off, and just have “fun” and then complain when studios make casting movies that, in my view, stem directly from that dumbed-down populist mentality.

      • 1. Right there with you on your second point. Stories matter. We have to think about them, affirm what we can and challenge what we can’t.

        2. As for your first point, I agree watching world cinema is important; but I don’t think it’s hypocritical to expect U.S. cinema to reflect the increasingly ethnically diverse landscape that is the U.S. Whether “some dumb Hollywood blockbuster” or the highest of high-falutin’ independent art films, art should reflect society. Answering such an expectation with a call to watch more foreign films strikes me as tangential at best.

        • Ben De Bono Mar 23, 2016

          I don’t see how it’s tangential. If the idea is to encourage cinematic diversity, then surely increasing the presence and appreciation of films with culture diversity is a far more important part to that than just making sure the right types of people gets cast in our culture’s movies. Not saying we should ignore that part, but on its own its a pretty shallow view of cinematic diversity

          • I don’t feel it’s shallow at all. Should we not be upset that major, mass audience American cinema isn’t reflecting the ethnic diversity that makes up America? The media hold up a mirror and, right now, when it comes to major Hollywood film, the media’s mirror is distorted.

            Call it “politically correct” if you will (not that you are), but I do, in fact, believe it’s important that people of color, including young and impressionable children of color, should be able to see people who look like them on the movie screen. Not just playing good guys; not just playing historical figures (e.g., every “black movie” that hits big has to be about MLK) — just UP THERE, on the screen, in the spotlight. That’s powerful. Stories matter!

            And, yes, other cultures’ stories matter, too — but if we have to choose somewhere to start, I’ll choose to start there.

            Thanks for the discussion!

          • Ben De Bono Mar 24, 2016

            Stories do matter. That’s why it’s important that our view of cinematic diversity extends there as well. For other cultures movies aren’t just a fun diversion, but a way to actually preserve their heritage in the face of a rapidly changing world.

            Perhaps shallow is the wrong word. Maybe a better expression of my view is that a casting only view of cinematic diversity is woefully incomplete. Again, my point isn’t that we shouldn’t cast minorities – of course we should – but that doing that while ignoring the larger picture of cinematic diversity is ultimately too narrow sighted.

            Again, I agree with you on casting, but I disagree that we have to choose one point to start. I personally find it quite troubling that we seem to focus only on casting while ignoring the broader implications of that position

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