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[Black Heimdall], or Does This Really Matter?

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Posts

  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Othello with a bunch of space aliens is still Othello at heart.

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  • Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User
    edited December 2010
    Othello with a bunch of space aliens is still Othello at heart.
    Tycho wrote:
    Romeo and Juliet is a Goddamn timeless template. I saw it set in Ireland with an all female cast and it still worked, one family was all lesbians and one was all dinosaurs. You just can't fuck it up. You dab your eyes at the end and wonder what is so wrong about the love of a lesbian for a dinosaur.

  • FartacusFartacus __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2010
    Fartacus wrote: »
    Also Fartacus correct me if I am misinterpreting you but you stated

    "Why not simply have men without the accoutrements?"

    Is this to imply that since it is okay to have a black Heimidall it should be okay for a character that would usually be in black face or cross-dressed appear without any alteration?

    No, not at all.

    It was to point out that Podly's suggestion that a white guy could play Othello because suspension of disbelief is involve either way didn't do a good job (in my opinion) of explaining why they didn't just have white guys play Othello back in the day.

    I'm like, trying to explore a more abstract argument from earlier in the thread.

    I do think that it is entirely possible to have a white guy play Othello but there are a lot of scenes and ideas that would need bunches added to them to keep in line with the themes of the work.

    Well that has been done to some decent effect. Podly's argument was that no such modifications are necessary, because of the nature of fiction. My whole original post was purely to deal with this idea. I'm finally starting to see where you got slippery slope from, though

  • AtomikaAtomika (citation needed)Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    FunkyTown wrote: »
    Heimdall is not black. It's not a racist thing, it's an 'Internally consistent' thing.

    Heimdall is a character from Norse mythology whose skin tone and ethnic background play no part whatsoever in the context of his character. He's white because the people who first thought him up were white, and lived in an exclusively white part of the world at that time. Not many Norse had even considered the possibility of non-white people existing, let alone having seen one with their own eyes. Gods of various religions tend to reflect the people who create them, because those people just don't get out much.

    This is goosery.

  • Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User
    edited December 2010
    FunkyTown wrote: »
    Heimdall is not black. It's not a racist thing, it's an 'Internally consistent' thing.

    Heimdall is a character from Norse mythology whose skin tone and ethnic background play no part whatsoever in the context of his character. He's white because the people who first thought him up were white, and lived in an exclusively white part of the world at that time. Not many Norse had even considered the possibility of non-white people existing, let alone having seen one with their own eyes. Gods of various religions tend to reflect the people who create them, because those people just don't get out much.

    This is goosery.

    P.S. The Marvel Heimdall character is not a god. He is an alien superhero. According to Wikipedia he lives in Oklahoma.

  • FartacusFartacus __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2010
    This is like some horrible parody of how Internet debates turn out. I'm going to bed.

  • AtomikaAtomika (citation needed)Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    FunkyTown wrote: »
    Heimdall is not black. It's not a racist thing, it's an 'Internally consistent' thing.

    Heimdall is a character from Norse mythology whose skin tone and ethnic background play no part whatsoever in the context of his character. He's white because the people who first thought him up were white, and lived in an exclusively white part of the world at that time. Not many Norse had even considered the possibility of non-white people existing, let alone having seen one with their own eyes. Gods of various religions tend to reflect the people who create them, because those people just don't get out much.

    This is goosery.

    P.S. The Marvel Heimdall character is not a god. He is an alien superhero. According to Wikipedia he lives in Oklahoma.

    And Superman is from Kansas. What's with all the omnipotent superbeings being from the Red States?


    But I guess that solves it. I've been to Oklahoma. There aren't any black people there. Heimdall is obviously white, and probably a sub-literate ranch hand.

  • Peter EbelPeter Ebel Deus Vult! OsloRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I think it's pretty awesome that Heimdall is being cast as an African American man. It's a positive role and not a stereotype - he's not a brute from some exotic land or comic relief.

    Idris Elba is not American, you imperialist pig dog.

    Fuck off and die.
  • FunkyTownFunkyTown Registered User
    edited December 2010
    FunkyTown wrote: »
    Heimdall is not black. It's not a racist thing, it's an 'Internally consistent' thing.

    Heimdall is a character from Norse mythology whose skin tone and ethnic background play no part whatsoever in the context of his character. He's white because the people who first thought him up were white, and lived in an exclusively white part of the world at that time. Not many Norse had even considered the possibility of non-white people existing, let alone having seen one with their own eyes. Gods of various religions tend to reflect the people who create them, because those people just don't get out much.

    This is goosery.

    I like that word: Goosery. I'm either a Milton-esque sermon-giver or being extremely silly. Either way, Goosery is a classy way of saying it.

    However, I would like to ask about a few films where the reverse could be done:

    1) The Color Purple - Now with Albert being played by a white guy! - Is this a 'Color specific' movie where the defining characteristic of someone is their color? Could we set the Color Purple in Egyptian times and being played by Jewish people? Would the impact be the same?

    2) Boyz in the Hood - Now, Doughboy is being played by Vanilla Ice.

    3) Mortal Kombat - Now, with Raiden being played by a whi... Wait.

    The second is much closer to the first, since color is only as integral to the story as the culture makes it and the third is probably a spot on comparison. Basically, my argument is this: Yes, Heimdall being played by a very non-Nordic looking person is silly, just like Christopher Lambert being Raiden is silly. No, it won't destroy the film.

    It is silly, however. And you have to admit that it isn't internally consistent, either. Why is he the only black guy in Asgard, if they're aliens? Were his parents black? Were their parents? Where are these people? How are Sif and Heimdall possibly brother and sister? Do genetics simply not exist? Was it a cosmic quirk of fate? Did he spend time in coal mines? What? What is the logical reason for him to be black?

    As I said: It's silly. It won't stop me seeing the film, but it is silly.

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I have read this thread, I'm not threadshitting.

    Some of the points were very interesting.

    But to answer the OP- No, it doesn't matter at all.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User
    edited December 2010
    Funkytown: I haven't seen any of those films, but if the character's race is not a plot point then yes, there is no problem with changing it.
    FunkyTown wrote: »
    It is silly, however. And you have to admit that it isn't internally consistent, either. Why is he the only black guy in Asgard, if they're aliens? Were his parents black? Were their parents? Where are these people? How are Sif and Heimdall possibly brother and sister? Do genetics simply not exist? Was it a cosmic quirk of fate? Did he spend time in coal mines? What? What is the logical reason for him to be black?

    Why the hell not? Can aliens not have different skin colours like humans do? If he has the powers of a god, can he not look however the hell he wants? Do these beings even look human naturally, or have they taken on human forms? Is Sif even his sister in this adaptation? How, exactly, do you know it's internally inconsistent when you haven't even seen the movie, and are basing your complaint solely on casting choice? Most importantly, why, out of all the unrealistic and inconsistent aspects of this property, have you singled in on the colour of one of the characters?

  • FunkyTownFunkyTown Registered User
    edited December 2010
    Why the hell not? Can aliens not have different skin colours like humans do? If he has the powers of a god, can he not look however the hell he wants? Do these beings even look human naturally, or have they taken on human forms? Is Sif even his sister in this adaptation? How, exactly, do you know it's internally inconsistent when you haven't even seen the movie, and are basing your complaint solely on casting choice? Why, out of all the unrealistic and inconsistent aspects of this property, have you singled in on the colour of one of the characters?

    To answer your questions in sequential order:

    "Why the hell not?"

    Because it is not internally consistent.

    "Can aliens not have different skin colours like humans do?"

    Yes. And humans tend to have skin colours that run in families. Michael Jackson aside, very few white parents have black children and vice-versa.

    "How, exactly, do you know it's internally inconsistent when you haven't even seen the movie, and are basing your complaint solely on casting choice?"

    I'm basing it upon logic. If Uther Pendragon's child, Arthur, were black and the parents were white? I would call shenanigans. It wouldn't make sense within the context of the story.

    "Do these beings even look human naturally, or have they taken on human forms?"

    Good question! And if it turns out that they're beings of pure energy in the movie(Which I doubt), and that they've taken human form that happens to be white because of the beings they've interacted with, but Heimdall spent time in Africa or South America, then I will admit to being wrong. I sincerely doubt this is the case, which is why I am pointing it out as an inconsistency.

    "Why, out of all the unrealistic and inconsistent aspects of this property, have you singled in on the colour of one of the characters?"

    I didn't single it out. In fact, in my very first post in this thread, I pointed out the large inconsistency of Thor being a Nordic deity, living in America and refusing to speak anything but Olde English. I compared it to a comic about Coyote(A Native American deity) moving to Italy(Which speaks Italian) and refusing to speak anything but Latin(The old language of the area).

    There are a lot of inconsistencies. This happens to be one of them. I feel that your defending this as not being inconsistent seems to indicate less about this not being inconsistent(Which it definitely is, and which you seem to admit by pointing out that there are other inconsistencies as well) and more about your feelings on the subject.

  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Some people have clearly never seen Much Ado about Nothing.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • CasedOutCasedOut Registered User
    edited December 2010
    I think we should do a remake of roots and have all the slaves be white.

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  • WMain00WMain00 Registered User
    edited December 2010
    Hah, Black Heimdall.

    Next thing we'll be having a White Moses.

  • Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User
    edited December 2010
    You're assuming that inconsistencies will arise because of Heimdall's skin colour when you really have no reason to do so. If the movie doesn't establish any blood relation between Heimdall and Sif or the other Aesir? It's not a problem. If they reproduce as gods do, rather than through mortal genetics? Not a problem (I don't remember anyone complaining that Hades in the Disney Hercules movie was blue). If Heimdall is played by a black man, and if certain other criteria are met to cause that to be an inconsistency, then it's an inconsistency. Yes, obviously - that's tautological. On the information we have now, there is no reason to assume there is any inconsistency at all. So why are you?

    Admittedly, arguing that it's internally inconsistent for the Aesir to be different colours is a marginally better argument than claiming he should look Nordic.

    By the way, you don't have to go to Africa or South America to meet black people. Some even live on my street!

  • HonkHonk Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2010
    CasedOut wrote: »
    I think we should do a remake of roots and have all the slaves be white.

    Someone brought this up ages ago.

  • CasedOutCasedOut Registered User
    edited December 2010
    Honk wrote: »
    CasedOut wrote: »
    I think we should do a remake of roots and have all the slaves be white.

    Someone brought this up ages ago.

    I didnt read the whole thread *shrug*

    452773-1.png
  • FunkyTownFunkyTown Registered User
    edited December 2010
    Touche! The Hades thing is correct. This is because part of the suspension of disbelief with Disney cartoons extends to things like Colour. Hades, in that case, was stylistically different. On the other hand, if Mulan was a black guy whose dad was Chinese? I'd have laughed, then said it was internally inconsistent.

    I would like you to ask what you mean by 'If they reproduce as gods do, rather than through mortal genetics'. How do Gods reproduce? According to Norse mythology, Loki shapeshifted in to a female horse, was forcefully mated with by Svaðilfari and gave birth. They didn't give birth to a frog, or a chinese dude or a large Twinkie wrapped in cellophane - They gave birth to a horse, Sleipnir.

    Even Zeus mated with others and created children, like Herakles. Athena burst forth from his head, but this was part of her mythology.

    In order for this to not be inconsistent within the terms of the story, Heimdall would have to be one of the following:

    1) A Child of black parents. This would mean he wasn't the sister of Sif or related to the Aesir.
    2) A shapeshifter, like Loki.
    3) A master of makeup.
    4) Have this specifically explained as part of his mythology.

    My guess? None of those will be the case. I promise: If this is explained in the film, I will come on here and admit I was wrong. I sincerely doubt it will, however, which is why I'm arguing that it's internally inconsistent.

    That's because it is.
    You're assuming that inconsistencies will arise because of Heimdall's skin colour when you really have no reason to do so. If the movie doesn't establish any blood relation between Heimdall and Sif or the other Aesir? It's not a problem. If they reproduce as gods do, rather than through mortal genetics? Not a problem (I don't remember anyone complaining that Hades in the Disney Hercules movie was blue). If Heimdall is played by a black man, and if certain other criteria are met to cause that to be an inconsistency, then it's an inconsistency. Yes, obviously - that's tautological. On the information we have now, there is no reason to assume there is any inconsistency at all. So why are you?

    Admittedly, arguing that it's internally inconsistent for the Aesir to be different colours is a marginally better argument than claiming he should look Nordic.

    By the way, you don't have to go to Africa or South America to meet black people. Some even live on my street!

  • HonkHonk Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2010
    CasedOut wrote: »
    Honk wrote: »
    CasedOut wrote: »
    I think we should do a remake of roots and have all the slaves be white.

    Someone brought this up ages ago.

    I didnt read the whole thread *shrug*

    SOMEBODY ALREADY SHRUGGED IN THIS THREAD.
    Spoiler:

  • Capt HowdyCapt Howdy Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    It's a comic book movie about an alien not God; who gives a fuck if some secondary duder is a different shade of not God color.

    Fuck.

    Besides, if Thor isn't used to black dudes before he gets to Earth, shit could get real. You really don't want some blonde haired blue eyed nordic God hammer smashing black folk on national TV. It won't matter if he's just really confused.

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  • FunkyTownFunkyTown Registered User
    edited December 2010
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    It's a comic book movie about an alien not God; who gives a fuck if some secondary duder is a different shade of not God color.

    Fuck.

    Besides, if Thor isn't used to black dudes before he gets to Earth, shit could get real. You really don't want some blonde haired blue eyed nordic God hammer smashing black folk on national TV. It won't matter if he's just really confused.

    This is my favourite argument given on this thread.

    Howdy? You win one (1) Internet.

  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    One thing to note is that when picking actors to play comic book characters on the big screen, producers already have long-established visual representations of the characters to work with. This is especially true when it comes to the big characters like Batman, Thor, Superman etc. If a producer wants to cast a blonde Wonder Woman, black Spider-Man or morbidly obese Batman, I suppose they can do so. But they are going to have a very tough time getting the serious and even casual fans of the characters onboard.

    For better or worse, 50+ years of comic books mean that we envision Steve Rogers as a blond-haired, blue-eyed all-American from the 1940's. Or when we think of Spider-Man, we think of a nerdy white guy from Queens. This even applies to lesser characters, like Black Lightning or Power Girl, who have established images in the minds of comic book characters.

    But, once you go down in the character hierarchy, it stops mattering so much since the characters' physical looks aren't as iconic. Even among comic book fans, few people could come up with a strong image of what, say, Lightning Lass looks like.

    So, I guess my point is, when we're looking at a character like Heimdall, who is not a particularly important or iconic character (and whose race doesn't really make a difference, character-wise), there's no real reason to worry about who is chosen to play him, beyond being concerned about his ability as an actor.

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
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  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Honk wrote: »
    CasedOut wrote: »
    Honk wrote: »
    CasedOut wrote: »
    I think we should do a remake of roots and have all the slaves be white.

    Someone brought this up ages ago.

    I didnt read the whole thread *shrug*

    SOMEBODY ALREADY SHRUGGED IN THIS THREAD.
    Spoiler:
    I heard it was Atlas.




    8-)

    39kEWYh.jpg
  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    FunkyTown wrote: »
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    It's a comic book movie about an alien not God; who gives a fuck if some secondary duder is a different shade of not God color.

    Fuck.

    Besides, if Thor isn't used to black dudes before he gets to Earth, shit could get real. You really don't want some blonde haired blue eyed nordic God hammer smashing black folk on national TV. It won't matter if he's just really confused.

    This is my favourite argument given on this thread.

    Howdy? You win one (1) Internet.

    So, just so we are clear, you are clearly able to suspend your disbelief enough to watch a movie about space gods wielding physics defying hammers while riding pegasi over a rainbow bridge, but you draw the line at having one character who makes Asgard not look like a clan rally? If I recall, Athena sprang from the head of Zeus, what color is she supposed to be?

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  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Sentry wrote: »
    If I recall, Athena sprang from the head of Zeus, what color is she supposed to be?
    It depends on what type of movie you're making. Is it a movie where the Olympians are actually the gods envisioned by the ancient Greeks in their myths, or something more along the lines of the Asgardians in the Thor comic book/movie?

    If the former, casting a black Athena would be an odd choice, given the context of the characters.

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Sentry wrote: »
    FunkyTown wrote: »
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    It's a comic book movie about an alien not God; who gives a fuck if some secondary duder is a different shade of not God color.

    Fuck.

    Besides, if Thor isn't used to black dudes before he gets to Earth, shit could get real. You really don't want some blonde haired blue eyed nordic God hammer smashing black folk on national TV. It won't matter if he's just really confused.

    This is my favourite argument given on this thread.

    Howdy? You win one (1) Internet.

    So, just so we are clear, you are clearly able to suspend your disbelief enough to watch a movie about space gods wielding physics defying hammers while riding pegasi over a rainbow bridge, but you draw the line at having one character who makes Asgard not look like a clan rally? If I recall, Athena sprang from the head of Zeus, what color is she supposed to be?
    Grey

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  • iguanacusiguanacus Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Just to put it out there, what with people saying that the Asgard aren't gods in Marvel lore. Marvel has severely backed off on the whole 'advanced aliens that had contact with the ancient Norse' in recent years. They've been playing up that all the god's of the various pantheons are actual gods for the last couple of major cross-over events.

    I dunno, I take you seriously on some topics and dick rider is your profession
  • FunkyTownFunkyTown Registered User
    edited December 2010
    Sentry wrote: »
    FunkyTown wrote: »
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    It's a comic book movie about an alien not God; who gives a fuck if some secondary duder is a different shade of not God color.

    Fuck.

    Besides, if Thor isn't used to black dudes before he gets to Earth, shit could get real. You really don't want some blonde haired blue eyed nordic God hammer smashing black folk on national TV. It won't matter if he's just really confused.

    This is my favourite argument given on this thread.

    Howdy? You win one (1) Internet.

    So, just so we are clear, you are clearly able to suspend your disbelief enough to watch a movie about space gods wielding physics defying hammers while riding pegasi over a rainbow bridge, but you draw the line at having one character who makes Asgard not look like a clan rally? If I recall, Athena sprang from the head of Zeus, what color is she supposed to be?

    I believe the last post I had discussed an actual argument in mentioned Athena specifically as an exception because her birth is part of her mythology, while almost every other deity was birthed in the normal way.(Almost - Aphrodite wasn't either, for instance).

    I find it interesting that you say 'Having one character who makes Asgard not look like a clan rally'. May I ask why you automatically play the race card in your defense? You could have just as easily said, 'Made Asgard not look like a gathering of Nordic Gods', for instance, or 'Made Asgard not look like a village in Northern Canada'.

    I'm asking because I feel that the heat in this thread is disproportionate to what is actually being discussed, which is 'Does it make sense that a Nordic deity is a Londoner black guy'.

    In response to your question, so I'm not avoiding it: Suspension of disbelief requires internal consistency. In this case, if I saw an eight-legged horse, it would be internally consistent.

    On the other hand: If Odin went to Papa Smurf for advice, or if Fenris was actually a cleverly disguised lampshade, it would pull me out of the reality of the play in a jarring way and break internal consistency.

  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I'll respond to the rest of your post in a second, but does this POSSIBLY make any difference to you?
    Wikipedia wrote:
    Heimdall (Old Norse Heimdallr, modern Icelandic Heimdallur) is one of the æsir (gods) in Norse mythology, in the Edda called the "white god" (hvítastr ása "whitest of the aesir Sæm 72ª; hvíta ás "white as" Sn. 104).

    Heimdall is the guardian of the Bifrost Bridge (i.e. the rainbow), and thereby the link between Midgard and Asgard. Legends foretell that he will sound the Gjallarhorn, alerting the æsir to the onset of Ragnarök where the world ends and is reborn. Heimdall was destined to be the last of the gods to perish at Ragnarök when he and Loki would slay one another.

    Heimdall, as guardian, is described as being able to hear grass growing and single leaves falling, able to see to the end of the world, and so alert that he requires no sleep at all. Heimdall is described as a son of Odin, perhaps a foster son

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    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Does this mean that it only matters if it happens to people who arn't white?

    When has Hollywood fucked up by having non-white actors fill roles that, for narrative's sake, should have been played by white actors?

    When Mel Gibson makes his historical bloodbath about the Vikings and he casts Djimon Hounsou as Harald Bluetooth, get back to us. In the meantime, "what about white people HUH you don't care THEN" is, in the kindest interpretation, silly goosery.

    BTW, Fartacus, you may remember that Kenneth Branagh cast Denzel Washington in Much Ado About Nothing without jarring or trashing the play.

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  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    iguanacus wrote: »
    Just to put it out there, what with people saying that the Asgard aren't gods in Marvel lore. Marvel has severely backed off on the whole 'advanced aliens that had contact with the ancient Norse' in recent years. They've been playing up that all the god's of the various pantheons are actual gods for the last couple of major cross-over events.
    That's the nature of comic books, sadly. Every few years everything gets retconned. And characters are written differently (and sometimes in a totally contradictory manner) depending on who is doing the writing.

    Reed Richards has basically gone from a fairly normal very smart guy to borderline autistic idiot savant, as an example.
    BTW, Fartacus, you may remember that Kenneth Branagh cast Denzel Washington in Much Ado About Nothing without jarring or trashing the play.
    The setting for Shakespeare's plays and the races of the actors playing most roles are pretty much irrelevant. You could put on a Japanese production of MacBeth (er, excuse me, "The Scottish Play") set during the Meiji Restoration, and that wouldn't harm the story in any way.

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  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Verr wrote: »
    This whole debate is very similar to the one about 'The Merchant of Venice.'

    There is a rich Jewish guy (who's a converted Catholic) who loans money. And every character in the play hates him. It isn't because he's Jewish, it is because he loans money with interest, a terrible sin back then, as money making money was "bad thing."

    So when someone goes and tries to cast someone as Shylock, there is almost, without fail, a shitstorm about antisemitism. Should a Jew play him, should it be someone else, yadda yadda.

    Much like the Heimdall debate, it really doesn't matter. It's just semantics about a part that could be played by anyone of any race.

    Is this the debate about Merchant of Venice that takes place on Earth Prime? Because on Earth, Shylock being Jewish is very much the point of the play, and is why every character hates him. You DO know that "back then", Jews lent with interest because moneylending was one of the few occupations permitted to them, right? And you DO know about that whole "Hath a Jew not eyes" speech and the angst when Shylock's daughter marries a Christian? And that the "shitstorm" is not whether a Jewish actor should play Shylock, but about the problem of presenting a Shakespearean play whose message is "Hurray, we defeated the Jew"?

    Or perhaps you were just making shit up. You tell me.

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  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Sentry wrote: »
    I'll respond to the rest of your post in a second, but does this POSSIBLY make any difference to you?

    When people start screaming that the movie-Thor is wrong because he's actually kind of intelligent and speaks English, get back to me on that whole "doesn't fit the real myths" thingy.

    ETA:
    Modern Man wrote: »
    The setting for Shakespeare's plays and the races of the actors playing most roles are pretty much irrelevant. You could put on a Japanese production of MacBeth (er, excuse me, "The Scottish Play") set during the Meiji Restoration, and that wouldn't harm the story in any way.

    Just like you could take the Thor myths and put them on an Edgar Rice Burroughs-style world and.....but we're talking about the story in its "official" setting, not a reimagined play (not that there's anything inherently wrong with that). Having a Japanese actor play Henry IV in a straight production might be a little odd. But having a black actor in the "straight" play as Don Pedro didn't make any difference, and actually gave some interesting subtext to the tension between Don Pedro and Don John.

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  • DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    You know, for all the non-white historical characters played by white people that are now considered classic roles, it's really not very logical for white people to get pissed off by a black guy playing god-space-alien-wierd-thing that probably appears in the movie for like one minute anyway.

  • Psycho Internet HawkPsycho Internet Hawk Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Just to put this out there, but is there any reason the norse Gods would be white? I mean assuming these are the existed-since-the-beginning-of-man type of Gods, wouldn't they be the original color of man? You know, black?

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  • FunkyTownFunkyTown Registered User
    edited December 2010
    mythago wrote: »
    Does this mean that it only matters if it happens to people who arn't white?

    When has Hollywood fucked up by having non-white actors fill roles that, for narrative's sake, should have been played by white actors?

    When Mel Gibson makes his historical bloodbath about the Vikings and he casts Djimon Hounsou as Harald Bluetooth, get back to us. In the meantime, "what about white people HUH you don't care THEN" is, in the kindest interpretation, silly goosery.

    BTW, Fartacus, you may remember that Kenneth Branagh cast Denzel Washington in Much Ado About Nothing without jarring or trashing the play.

    Every time you use the term 'Goosery' to describe something you consider suspect, my respect for you grows. I love that term and hope to start using it myself.

    Having never seen Much Ado about Nothing, I can't say it would pull me out of my suspension of disbelief. Are any of the characters supposed to be from a specific place?

  • EgoEgo Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Just to put this out there, but is there any reason the norse Gods would be white? I mean assuming these are the existed-since-the-beginning-of-man type of Gods, wouldn't they be the original color of man? You know, black?

    I was thinking about this and 'glowing' special effects for gods. Mostly 'cause of that horrible horrible 3d movie with the kraken that was out. I don't know the name. I've successfully repressed most of it from my memory.

    I mean, people don't glow. So is that realistic? I think not. Does it break suspension of disbelief?

    Like, if these guys were bright glowing red with lightning eyes and thunder talking, would the movie not work?

    Erik
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    mythago wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    The setting for Shakespeare's plays and the races of the actors playing most roles are pretty much irrelevant. You could put on a Japanese production of MacBeth (er, excuse me, "The Scottish Play") set during the Meiji Restoration, and that wouldn't harm the story in any way.

    Just like you could take the Thor myths and put them on an Edgar Rice Burroughs-style world and.....but we're talking about the story in its "official" setting, not a reimagined play (not that there's anything inherently wrong with that). Having a Japanese actor play Henry IV in a straight production might be a little odd. But having a black actor in the "straight" play as Don Pedro didn't make any difference, and actually gave some interesting subtext to the tension between Don Pedro and Don John.
    Oh, I see what you're saying.

    Yeah, I guess I tend to agree that if you use the original settings for Shakespeare's plays, casting a black Hamlet is a rather odd choice if you want to maintain historical accuracy.

    But I guess it doesn't bother me all that much, since the original settings aren't that important to me. The point of Hamlet isn't really that it's set in Denmark. I think it's really easy to avoid the oddness of having a black Hamlet by simply changing the setting of the play to somewhere where the race of the actors isn't all that important. If I was a director of a play and the guy I wanted to cast as Hamlet was black, I'd just change the setting to avoid any oddity when it comes to a Danish prince's race.

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  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    FunkyTown wrote: »
    Every time you use the term 'Goosery' to describe something you consider suspect, my respect for you grows. I love that term and hope to start using it myself.

    Having never seen Much Ado about Nothing, I can't say it would pull me out of my suspension of disbelief. Are any of the characters supposed to be from a specific place?

    Unfortunately I can't take credit. It's a PA forum rule that the only permitted insult is "silly goose".

    Don Pedro is a Spanish prince, so it's not really a strain.

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