The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly (aka the official magazine of office receptionists) takes a stab at listing the 25 most controversial movies of all time. “Every now and then, a film comes along that can genuinely get someone’s goat without any studio goosing. Films whose incendiary elements can inspire an offended party to pick up a picket, call for a boycott, even pray for divine intervention. These can be important, progressive, taboo-shattering films–or merely films that feature a lot of randy humping. They can also be films that are truly, objectively despicable.” I have real problems with EW‘s list: it’s as if only the post-Star Wars prequel generation came up with it (yet they forgot Brokeback Mountain). I mean, where’s Carnal Knowledge? Blackboard Jungle? Easy Rider? Straw Dogs? Apocalypse Now? I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang? Dr. Strangelove? Gentlemen’s Agreement? Bad Day at Black Rock? Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Midnight Cowboy? Not to mention the original Manchurian Candidate which after the JFK assassination was withdrawn from circulation for 25 years? Or Song of the South, which is still Disney’s biggest embarrassment for showing “happy slaves” onscreen. And since they’re counting foreign films (Triumph of the Will is included), then where’s L’Âge d’Or, for that matter? I could go on and on.
But here’s their roster: 1) THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST (Marty Scorsese’s Last Temptation of Christ generates cross-burning on then Universal studio head Lew Wasserman’s front lawn even though hardly anyone went to see it but is only #6, while this humongous box office pleaser tops the chart. Huh?). 2) A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. 3) FAHRENHEIT 9/11. 4) DEEP THROAT. 5) JFK. 6) THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST. 7) THE BIRTH OF A NATION. 8 ) NATURAL BORN KILLERS. 9) LAST TANGO IN PARIS. 10) BABY DOLL. 11) THE MESSAGE. 12) THE DEER HUNTER. 13) THE DA VINCI CODE. 14) THE WARRIORS. 15) TRIUMPH OF THE WILL. 16) UNITED 93. 17) FREAKS. 18) I AM CURIOUS (YELLOW). 19) BASIC INSTINCT. 20) CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST. 21) BONNIE AND CLYDE. 22) DO THE RIGHT THING. 23) KIDS. 24) CALIGULA. 25) ALADDIN.
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