Movieguide, Ted Baehr’s powerful Christian conservative movie site, says conservative movies made three times as much as leftist films last year — which doesn’t even include the 300-plus-million smackers domestic American Sniper has racked up. It’s good news, but not as clear as all that.
There’s a nice, smart piece by Matt Lewis over at The Daily Beast, asking what exactly the Movieguide report means by “conservative” in this context — an excellent question, well explored in the piece.
Make no mistake, the movies killing it at the box office aren’t generally wholesome tales about places like Mayberry, don’t hearken back to the Leave it to Beaver era, nor are they explicitly Christian (like Left Behind) or overtly political (like Atlas Shrugged, which was a box office disaster).
As defined above, many of these are movies with strong “patriotic and/or capitalist content.” As such, movies considered “conservative” include The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Lego Movie, and Godzilla. Meanwhile, movies deemed liberal included Boyhood, Maleficent, Nymphomaniac, and The Imitation Game.
If being conservative requires me to watch Jennifer Lawrence kick butt, then so be it. But the fact that Selma is considered by the group to be a conservative film demonstrates how arbitrary terms can be—and how difficult it is to create a truly objective standard for quantifying ideology in movies.
Well, right. My own sense is that the explosion in new media, the voices of protest from the right, and the money that rolls in every time a powerhouse like Clint Eastwood or Mel Gibson manages to break the blacklist have made serious inroads for the cause of pro-liberty entertainment. Plenty of great and successful movies — the Dark Knight trilogy, Lord of the Rings, Toy Story 3, The Giver, etc. — promote the best values imaginable.
But I’d like to see a lot more true stories like Sniper that tell history as it was instead of the way the left continually rewrites it. If you’ll notice, it’s the history films that drive the left crazy. Clintonites despicably but successfully blocked the release of Path to 9/11 on DVD because it honestly shows how Clinton’s cowardice and his preoccupation with sex compromised his dealing with Osama bin Laden (watch the scene above); and Kennedy-ites bullied the mini-series The Kennedys onto an obscure cable channel. Meanwhile, failed and dishonest garbage like Fair Game and Iron Lady circulate on late night cable endlessly, becoming what young people think history really was.
Leftists can deal with conservative principles — individual liberty, the rule of law, moral behavior — because they can always twist their ideology around so it seems to fulfill those principles. What they can’t deal with are the facts: history being told as it really was, with leftists increasing misery and decreasing liberty every single time.
We’re winning the culture wars. History is the next piece of ground we need to take.