Author Topic: "Reagan" the movie  (Read 2411 times)

spuwho

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"Reagan" the movie
« on: April 29, 2016, 08:12:57 PM »
With a script acknowledged throughout Hollywood as one of the best unmade movies, apparently its been a little too hot to touch for many actors and directors and had been considered a "black listed"  production.

Enter Will Ferrell.

Patti Davis Reagan speaks out.

http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/apr/28/patti-davis-ronald-reagans-daughter-pens-open-lett/

Patti Davis, Ronald Reagan’s daughter, pens open letter to Will Ferrell

Patti Davis, daughter of late President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan, penned an open letter Thursday to Will Ferrell, criticizing the actor for agreeing to play the 40th president in an upcoming satirical film about his battle with dementia.

“I saw the news bulletin — as did everyone — that you intend to portray my father in the throes of Alzheimer’s for a comedy that you are also producing,” Ms. Davis, a former actress, wrote in her blog. “Perhaps you have managed to retain some ignorance about Alzheimer’s and other versions of dementia. Perhaps if you knew more, you would not find the subject humorous.

“Alzheimer’s doesn’t care if you are President of the United States or a dockworker. It steals what is most precious to a human being — memories, connections, the familiar landmarks of a lifetime that we all come to rely on to hold our place secure in this world and keep us linked to those we have come to know and love,” she continued. “I watched as fear invaded my father’s eyes — this man who was never afraid of anything. I heard his voice tremble as he stood in the living room and said, ‘I don’t know where I am.’ I watched helplessly as he reached for memories, for words, that were suddenly out of reach and moving farther away. For ten long years he drifted — past the memories that marked his life, past all that was familiar…and mercifully, finally past the fear. There was laughter in those years, but there was never humor.”

Reagan biographers have long debunked the notion that the former president suffered from dementia while in office. However the fictional film “Reagan,” written by Mike Rosolio, takes place during Reagan’s second term, in which an intern must convince the ailing president that he is an actor playing the U.S. president in a movie.

“Alzheimer’s is the ultimate pirate, pillaging a person’s life and leaving an empty landscape behind,” Ms. Davis, 63, wrote. “It sweeps up entire families, forcing everyone to claw their way through overwhelming grief, confusion, helplessness, and anger. Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have — I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.

“Twice a week I run a support group called Beyond Alzheimer’s for caregivers and family members of those with Alzheimer’s and dementia,” she continued. “I look into haunted eyes that remind me of my own when my father was ill. I listen to stories of helplessness and loss and am continually moved by the bravery of those who wake up every morning not knowing who their loved one will be that day, or what will be lost. The only certainty with Alzheimer’s is that more will be lost and the disease will always win in the end. Perhaps you would like to explain to them how this disease is suitable material for a comedy.”

Ms. Davis isn’t the only Reagan to rebuke the new film. Her half-brother, Michael Reagan, tweeted Wednesday, “What an [outrage]….Alzheimers [sic] is not [a] joke…It kills..You should be ashamed all of you.”

The screenplay for “Reagan” was reportedly on the 2015 “Black List” — an annual industry roundup of the best unfilmed screenplays. A director for the film has not yet been announced.

Adam White

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Re: "Reagan" the movie
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2016, 05:11:51 AM »
It's a shame that dementia could be a source of comedy.

But it's also a good thing that most people with dementia won't end up being responsible for Slavadoran death squads, etc.
“If you're going to play it out of tune, then play it out of tune properly.”

spuwho

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Re: "Reagan" the movie
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2016, 10:11:33 AM »
Well, that didnt take long.....

Per CNN and NY Post:

Will Ferrell backs out of Reagan comedy

Will Ferrell has backed out of a comedy about Ronald Reagan’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease amid outrage from the former president’s family.

The 48-year-old comic had seen the script for “Reagan” and considered staring and producing in the movie — but had a change of heart, a rep for Ferrell told Page Six exclusively Friday.

“The ‘Reagan’ script is one of a number of scripts that had been submitted to Will Ferrell which he had considered. While it is by no means an ‘Alzheimer’s comedy’ as has been suggested, Mr. Ferrell is not pursuing this project,” the rep said.

The rep wouldn’t say whether the decision was a direct result of the outcry from Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis, who on Thursday called the movie “cruel” and Farrell “heartless.”

The flick offers an “alternate take” on history and is set at the beginning of Regan’s second term —when he’s struck by dementia, according to the Hollywood Reporter, which scored a copy of the script.

Comedic bits center on the idea that president had no clue where he was or what he was doing through the term, the showbiz news site reported.

In one scene, a low-level aid is tasked with convincing the commander-in-chief that he is an actor playing the president in a movie.

In another, there’s a mix-up over a wardrobe assistant named Libby and the country Libya. “I want Libby gone. No more Libby!” Regan proclaims — leading to the bombing of Libya.

spuwho

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Re: "Reagan" the movie
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2016, 12:05:37 PM »
Brit press thinks "Reagan" kerfuffle isnt about decency towards the terminally ill, but a conservative political effort to embalm his legacy so it cant be tarnished.

Per the Guardian :

  http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/01/ronald-reagan-will-ferrell-alzheimers-satire-comedy   


The joke isn't on Ronald Reagan's illness, but on America for elevating him


It took a little more than 12 hours for Will Ferrell to drop out of a starring role in a satirical film about Ronald Reagan’s struggles with Alzheimer’s – just long enough for conservatives to muster up a bit of outrage with which to knock the comedian into submission, and to raise questions about whether the free speech brigade has become PC. Hadn’t they said self-censorship and worrying about offending people are signs of the apocalypse? Aren’t I a bleeding heart liberal who needs to lighten up? Partisan gaming aside, how far can satire go – is there a line? I’d argue yes, even when it comes to leaders round the world.

It’s easy to make fun of politicians, especially presidents. Most have big, honking targets on their backs, or, in the case of Bill Clinton, a massive nose on his face – ready material for cartoonists, journalists and comedy writers. It’s also cathartic for the public to needle our fellow citizens who wield the bloody cudgel of authority.

We see our leaders every day, on television, the internet, or the front page of a tabloid – the ubiquity of heads of state is rivaled only by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, who seems to hold more sway over the average human life than the president of Brazil, impeached or unimpeached. I could probably draw Barack Obama’s face from memory faster than I could my own face (to be fair, I mostly know my face from absolute necessity – it’s unavoidable when I have to take on a pimple or measure the width of my bald spot).

Politicians are especially inviting for mockery when you realize that they control our lives and may or may not be unrepentantly corrupt. The image of David Cameron, the British prime minister, defiling a pig knocks him down to our level, or slightly below us – I don’t know many pig defilers at this stage.

The moralistic ones are even more tempting. The “Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer” meme is funny only because the man persists in telling everyone else on the planet how to behave, like some kind of beady-eyed Miss Manners. I hate to explain how comedy works, but if he actually murdered anyone, we probably wouldn’t laugh quite as much.

Ronald Reagan – actor, governor, president, tearer-downer of walls, breaker of chains, and mother of dragons – certainly opened himself up for mockery during his time in office. The pithy one-liners, the cowboy hats, and the homespun wisdom made him seem less like a human being and more like the generic president from a B-grade disaster movie. It’s as though America elected William Devane or Robert Vaughn to run the country. Why not laugh at a guy like that?

But the least funny thing about Reagan was that he had Alzheimer’s. I’m grateful that I’ve never had to watch the disease take hold in a loved one, but few fates sound more terrifying than someone you care about forgetting who you are. Dementia does not strike me as unmined territory of comedy.

That said, I think plenty of people on the left want to laugh at Reagan for the same reason conservatives love to verbally abuse Obama: the adoration the other side showers on him can verge on the obnoxious. But liberals are also told, routinely, that Reagan’s resume was unimpeachable. They’re bombarded with talking points from modern politicians, who are desperate to detail the belief system of St Ronnie.

Cruz mentions Reagan in his stump speeches so often that you’d think he keeps around a cardboard cutout of the man everywhere he goes, to lay offerings at its feet and fake photos with other believers. I’d be happy to never hear the name Ronald Reagan again outside of a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit: Film Edition. But mocking his disease is akin to trying to make light of Franklin Roosevelt’s polio. He had no control over it, and it devastated those around him. It’s the very definition of punching down, and because I am not an unfeeling monster, I can’t help but sympathize with Reagan’s children, who will never be able to laugh at their father’s condition.

Before we knew Reagan had Alzheimer’s, reports of his issues with lucidity were treated as fair game by comedy writers. On Saturday Night Live, Phil Hartman portrayed the 40th US president as a doddering geriatric, prone to falling asleep during briefings, an impression based on the political chatter of the day. His wife, Nancy, had an astrologer offer advice during her time in the White House, which still sounds insane, even during a year when the presumptive Republican nominee for president has appeared at WrestleMania and been on the receiving end of a Stone Cold Stunner.

At the time, it probably felt like a relief to to caricature Reagan as a crazy old fool, a man who loved naps more than running a country, who turned a blind eye toward the Aids epidemic, shut down mental hospitals, destroyed trade unions, and generally cratered our economy so badly with supply-side theories that, by the time he left office, the nation was trapped in a crippling recession. His successor took the blame.

Those horrible policy decisions are what make Reagan an object for ridicule. As is often the case, the people across from him on the ideological divide feel they can reclaim their dignity through a well-executed joke. It’s why Republicans relish any chance to paint Obama as a pretentious communist from Kenya, and why Democrats never tire of portraying George W Bush as a yokel.

Satire is the great equalizer, the last tool available to the helpless masses. Armed rebellions haven’t been popular in this country for a couple of centuries, so a sharp witticism is the next best thing. There’s a reason Donald Trump spent so much time attempting to thwart the efforts of Graydon Carter’s 90s satire magazine, Spy. Two decades later, he’s still saying his hands are normal, beautiful, completely fine.

If satire is a valuable tool for the proletariat, then why have limits? Why not attack Reagan? His missteps still haunt the nation, so shouldn’t he have to answer for them? Or should we hold tight to the modicum of decency in all of us? The former president isn’t around to field the criticisms of a movie or an op-ed, but his family is still here to relive whatever agony his deterioration and death brought.

The joke is not on Reagan for being sick, or on his children. It’s on us for rubber-stamping his policies, and then elevating him to the level of a deity after he died. Instead of seriously dealing with his legacy, people name airports after him and use him to score political points. No movie is going to change what we’ve done.

Adam White

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Re: "Reagan" the movie
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2016, 12:36:19 PM »
Brit press thinks "Reagan" kerfuffle isnt about decency towards the terminally ill, but a conservative political effort to embalm his legacy so it cant be tarnished.

^I didn't get that from the editorial.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2016, 12:39:25 PM by Adam White »
“If you're going to play it out of tune, then play it out of tune properly.”