Have you checked the headlines in today’s Austin-American Statesman?
Texas Film Commission has denied incentives for “Machete,” the controversial immigration-related feature film from Robert Rodriguez’s Austin-based Troublemaker Studios
Reasons: Katherine Cesinger, spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Perry, says its inappropriate content portrays Texans in a “negative fashion.”
I wonder what she’s wearing right now. My guess? A red shoulder-padded suit with a matching handbag containing only two items inside: a sad, shriveled Texas flag and Rick Perry’s equally described excuse for balls. (ouch!)
According to screenwriter Alvaro Rodriguez, at The Austin Film Society’s panel at Austin Comic-Con this past November, Robert chose to film Machete in Austin in order to give jobs to native Texans, and to help stimulate our economy. Machete reportedly brought in $10 million in box office sales. Shouldn’t Gov. P be kissing Rodriguez’s feet right about now? He practically did Perry’s job for him.
Apparently, the film subject—illegal immigration and government corruption/conspiracies— hit too close to home.
While my feelings on Perry and how he chooses to handle border control are not the point of contention, my feelings on art, Texas image, and what this decision to deny funding has on the future films set in Texas, does.
Perry is practically setting the precedent for other directors, saying “Yes, please set your film in our state… but only if it makes me, and my fellow Texans, look good with our smokin’ hot censorship and power-driven defenses. Did I mention we look damn fancy in cowboy hats?”
I have a better idea: let’s pull our money together, hire Michael Moore to showcase why this man, and all of his decisions, blow, so that Perry bans the documentary from Texas theaters, thus forcing all the residents to secretly sneak off to California to see it, realize California is way cooler (and less humid), completely deplete Texas economy and our funds for border control, so that a group of hot shot illegal immigrants can hunt him down with machetes. . .
Okay. Bad idea. I actually like Texas. Most of the time. When we allow art to cultivate community, raise questions, seek truth, and comment on the situations we face as individuals and as a country based on freedom.