Mel Brooks, The Producers and the Ethics of Satire about N@zis

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Lindsay Ellis

Lindsay Ellis

Hace 2 años

You're not Mel Brooks.

Twitter: @thelindsayellis
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1. Kael, Pauline. “Onward and Upward with the Arts: Bonnie and Clyde” The New Yorker. 21 October, 1967. Print.
2. Rau, Petra. Our Nazis: representations of fascism in contemporary literature and film. Edinburgh: Edinburgh U Press, 2013. Print.
3. Gross, Andrew S., and Susanne Rohr. Comedy--Avant-Garde--Scandal: Remembering the Holocaust after the End of History. Vol. 183. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag WINTER, 2010. Print.
4. Online, Spiegel. "SPIEGEL Interview with Mel Brooks: “With Comedy, We Can Rob Hitler of his Posthumous Power?” SPIEGEL ONLINE, 16 Mar. 2006. Web.
5. Insdorf, Annette. Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009. Print.
6. Gonshak, Henry. Hollywood and the Holocaust. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. Print.
7. Reimer, Robert C. "Does Laughter Make the Crime Disappear?: An Analysis of Cinematic Images of Hitler and the Nazis, 1940-2007." Senses of Cinema 52 (2009). Web.
8. Cole, Robert. "Anglo-American anti-fascist film propaganda in a time of neutrality: The Great Dictator, 1940." Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 21.2 (2001): 137-152. Print.
9. Rau, Petra. Our Nazis: Representations of Fascism in Contemporary Literature and Film. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2013. Print.
10. Variety Staff. "Politician Jason Kander Puts Down ‘Alt-Right’ Leader Richard Spencer Over ‘Cabaret’ Tweet." Variety. Variety Magazine, 21 Mar. 2017. Web. 18 Apr. 2017. Web.
11. Packer, Sharon, Jody W. Pennington, and Aaron Barlow. A History of Evil in Popular Culture: What Hannibal Lecter, Stephen King, and Vampires Reveal about America. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, an Imprint of ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2014. Print.
12. Doherty, Thomas Patrick. Projections of War: Hollywood, American Culture, and World War II. New York: Columbia UP, 2005. Print.
13. Symonds, Alex. “An Audience for Mel Brookss The Producers: the Avant-garde of the Masses”, Journal of Popular Film and Television 34/1: 24-32. 2006. Print.
14. Gubar, Susan. “Racial Camp in the Producers and Bamboozled.” Film Quarterly 60/2: 26-37. 2006. Print.
15. "Darryl Strawberry/Mel Brooks on Broadway/Stolen Lives." 60 Minutes. CBS. New York, New York, 15 Apr. 2001. Television.

mel brooksthe producersblazing saddleslindsay ellis

Ploppy Plop
Ploppy Plop Hace un hora
We have the same kind of problem here in france where right-leaning comedians try to justify their racist comedies about oppressed groups using "Rabbi Jacob" as a sheild, a movie made to mock anti-semitism and racism. They also try to defend themselves using the saying "you can laugh about everything, but not with everyone", said by comedian Pierre Desproges, completely ignoring the rest of the quote where he says that by "not everyone" he ment that he'd rather "laugh about auschvitz with a jew than play chess with klaus barbie". The usual interpretation of the quote being "i will make jokes about anything, if you're offended you're just not my public" (implying that you should be, my joke is funny you're just not smart enough). Its unbelievable how people go to great lenght to justify their offensive comedies, even using people who completely disagree with them
Unchallenged Mediocrity
Unchallenged Mediocrity Hace 2 días
Frankly, I think it's long overdue for society to move on from Hitler and the Holocaust. I understand that it resulted in many deaths, but it was over 70 years ago. We need to focus on the here and now. Nazis have not existed since 1945. Neo-nazis are just a small group of mentally ill posers. Communism is the only real ideological threat from the 40s that still significantly exists.
gpwnedable Hace 3 días
You don't think Airplane is funny? Surely you can't be serious!
Katie Hay
Katie Hay Hace 6 días
Also we should find Winston Churchill of MANY things..including his own genocidal actions with india.
Katie Hay
Katie Hay Hace 6 días
The movie feela.. restrained.. or like ppl who were saying the lines and doing the dances were confused why they weren't supposed to be serious..
SpunkySpade Hace 7 días
Tomorrow Belongs to Me being used by white nationalist groups is the funniest thing ever because the song was written by two Jewish men.
Benjamin Raskin
Benjamin Raskin Hace 10 días
Look you yupes you're all human beings just try to be decent and let's get on with our day if you say you're white you're ignoring that you're human, your pigment decides nothing except how much sunscreen to use
Warren Rhinerson
Warren Rhinerson Hace 11 días
I understand where you are coming from, however, I do think you are missing the point people are trying to make by saying you cant make a Mel Brooks movie today. They are saying that people have gotten overly sensitive and WAY too politically correct to allow these types of films. Most of the greatest comedians like Jeff Dunham or Raphie May often ignore political correctness and focus entirely on the comedy. For context: one of Dunham's most famous characters is a dead terrorist( ironically he is the most popular comedian in the middle east) and before his death, May would ask the whites in the audience to find they nearest black person to let them know it was ok to laugh at controversial jokes he may make. Even in modern culture, people sometimes focus too much on race of gender than what is actually being said. There are two great examples of this in American Politics: the 2012 and 2016 Presidential Elections. In 2012, a lot of people claimed that if you voted for Republican Mitt Romney over Democrat Barack Obama, it couldn't have been because you thought Obama was a terrible President or you agreed with Romney more, it had to be because you were a racist. In 2016, if you voted for Republican Donald Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton, it couldn't be because Clinton was part of two Administrations with none stop scandals, has a history of scandals herself, or you simply agreed more with Trump, it had to be you were either a sexist for not voting for a woman, or you were racist for voting for Trump based on things he didnt say or things taken way out of context. I remember in 2015, I simply corrected a misconception on what then Candidate Trump said (I did not support him, but I wanted to correct it as it was a very unfair statement about something taken out of context). After that five people (three I considered friends at the time) calling for me to be assassinated because i was "defending a racist".
Alfred The Great, King Of Wessex
Alfred The Great, King Of Wessex Hace 12 días
“What is your beef with the nazis?” -Jiminy Glick
Ilovehotchocolate Hace 18 días
Plz review Jo Jo rabbit
jdprettynails Hace 19 días
I think I've watched this video at least twice a year since it was posted. It just gets more relevant each time.
Joy Denebeim
Joy Denebeim Hace 20 días
That was one of the best documentaries I've ever seen
Jaxon Garside
Jaxon Garside Hace 21 un día
He rhymed day with day
aboomination Hace 21 un día
The perfect woman doesn't exi...
Checkmate Hace 22 días
I agree that there should be limitations about satire striving for upholding equality and tolerance rather than racism but at the same time the idea that only people belonging to a minority group can make satire avout said group is dangerous. If only jews can make fun of jews, germans can make fun of Nazis, americans of americans and so on and so forth we risk going down a rabbit hole of self censorship that will turn against us. And that is why, despite me not liking them much, ligh hearted comedy like Rick and Morty and South Park are sorely needed, besides of course a more respectful way of portraying certain sensitive topics. Speaking of which Id really love to hear your opinion on Spike Lee's career
Babbleplay Hace 24 días
This specific video has become one of the things my autism has locked on to, and hard. I estimate I have watched it 40-50 times; it is informative, and amusing. I find it comforting.
Ilovehotchocolate Hace 18 días
Babbleplay same lmao
Madeleine Wack
Madeleine Wack Hace un mes
I honestly don't know what I'm more impressed with, the depth of this analysis or the fact that you somehow managed to make a Phantom of the Opera reference.
Darman's Bar
Darman's Bar Hace un mes
The point of Life is Beautiful is another, but Amazing video
elnotta Hace un mes
17:10 Thank you Lindsay, I thought I was alone, Life is Beautiful just sucks
Mer cordi
Mer cordi Hace un mes
Note: why only the Spanish Inquisition there were more in EUROPE...
Erick FM
Erick FM Hace un mes
sadly you realized that a good satire of nazis is make them gay. People hates gays, and gay things that would never make Hitler simpathethic to white supremacist, they are fond to male supremacy, male wounded ego, male insecurity
Epic Remarc
Epic Remarc Hace un mes
1:28 is that mr Shue?
It is!
Mckenzie .Latham
Mckenzie .Latham Hace un mes
It's also a fact that the nazis were heavily anti having a literal effeminate queen play him in the producers, it mocked the anti homosexuality and masculinity the nazis wore about themselves.
Churchill Osimbo
Churchill Osimbo Hace un mes
So, I'm just gonna assume you liked JoJo Rabbit?
d81390 Hace un mes
Hey what's the puppet show thing that Lindsay shows at 37:40?
RomanceThief Hace un mes
we're all gunna fucking die
Tom Satchel
Tom Satchel Hace un mes
Am always in awe - awesome vid.
Diego B
Diego B Hace un mes
This is brilliant! Super in agreement on practically everything. Including South Park / Family Guy (which tries to substitute very serious, holy, and conscientious anti-fascist irreverence with categorically flippant nihilism). Would love to hear your take on starship troopers and jojo rabbit sometime (do it, pleeease!) My question for you would be (genuine curiosity, cause I have no idea what the answer is): do you think it's more a problem of the form of representation, or more a question of audiences being able (or no) to read satire properly? I think you're making a really convincing argument about the possibility of creating a satire immune to misreadings, but I'm also interested in the potential for films that can turn people off from it, even as they're consuming it in their day-to-day lives (my personal take on Starship Troopers, for instance, is that it's generally effective as both satire and pedagogical text about/against fascism and militarism, but by no means immune to the kind of destructive misreading you call out- see the really positive RLM review, which I generally like but have a couple of issues with, namely that it does seem to take what you're saying into account, by generally and irreverently calling people who misread the film idots, but maybe not taking those idiots as seriously as they should be). In your mind, is the most important question a) what could Paul Verhoeven (or like-minded author) have done differently? b) Should Verhoeven have even made it at all? or c) what would it take to make sure people don't misread something like this? Are they all important? Is (c) even possible? Anyway, many questions still. But really enjoyed!
MathisMagic Hace un mes
I desperately would love even a mini, off the cuff vid following up on this video discussing your opinions on jojo rabbit.
Joseph Davidson
Joseph Davidson Hace un mes
Great video. This is why Jojo Rabbit was so good.
Joseph Pierce
Joseph Pierce Hace un mes
It’s so dumb she had to change the title.
David Brown
David Brown Hace un mes
We had to learn to "love the bomb" in the 60's, right up to the 1980's, I've just discovered your channel, fantastic, hi from the UK. Are there some subjects beyond satire?
Mitch Obrien
Mitch Obrien Hace un mes
That was genuinely the best youtube video essay ive ever seen
XShrike Hace un mes
38:22 Subtitles say "historically Shadowkhan group". Ha.
Emma Da Diddit
Emma Da Diddit Hace un mes
@Lindsay Ellis, I'd be interested in a follow-up to this with Jojo Rabbit.
A Disappointed Horse
A Disappointed Horse Hace un mes
I just had a look at the comment sections on some AHX clips. I am seriously freaked out.
J Pennant
J Pennant Hace un mes
I remember watching this essay on satire by Mel Brooks and Fascism and their adherents like Trump and many in the GOP, people of the common earth even, who would be truly shocked to find out they are indeed functioning Nazis, as they see themselves as regular "Good People" that would never actually do anything bad. The academy award winning prisoner of war WWII movie "Stalag 17" had a funny but impactful line during a scene mocking Nazi indoctrination techniques: "Are we all goot leetle Nazi's?" "JAWOHL!". The Nazi guard, tho finding it funny pleaded with the POW's to tone it down asking "Are you guys trying to get me shot?!" Immediately all answered: "Jawohl.."
Tessa Veldhorst
Tessa Veldhorst Hace un mes
Curious how you would critique Jojo Rabbit within this topic...
C. Hopper
C. Hopper Hace un mes
Brilliant breakdown and explanation of why people need to stop hiding behind the name of Mel Brooks and start owning the reality that their 'satire' is actually a lame, offensive attempt at humor. ;p
Ed Tschoepe
Ed Tschoepe Hace un mes
Interesting. In chapter 7, I expected you to say the intended butt of the satire was the broadway audience itself and not the nazis at all.
Kate C
Kate C Hace un mes
I've watched this video like six times and I only wish that it had come out two years later because I would've loved to see you put Jojo Rabbit in!
DGPrepper Hace un mes
When people say, "You can't make today," what they mean is that no studio would back it and no audience would watch it. However, you CAN make any movie you like. There's no law against making a bad, unfunny or offensive movie. Its only the social conscience that has changed - and that's generally a good thing. Now if only we could make some progress in shattering some of the puritanical, repressive, arbitrary "moral" codes that continue to dog the media still. Why is nudity and offensive language still considered more harmful to society than violence and gore? Makes no sense.
James A. Franklin
James A. Franklin Hace 2 meses
1:05 I remember thinking that version of the song was an urban legend until I heard it in the background of a BMX game. It felt like that M&Ms ad, “He does exist!”
craisins95 Hace 2 meses
Still one of my favorite video essays you’ve made and that’s saying something because they’re all great.
BearyOjal Hace 2 meses
The band at the start, oh God the cringe
An Awesome Comrade
An Awesome Comrade Hace 2 meses
Jesus Christ, the genuine nazi salutes at Trump Jrs speech is so horrifying
Reagan Bartels
Reagan Bartels Hace un día
That's not Trump Jr. That's Richard Spencer.
Artdefines Hace 2 meses
Our high school had to take out all references to race when putting on a production of Hairspray. It was so ridiculous because no one understood that the whole point of the musical was to say racism is bad, not good. It just became a show about someone wanting to dance.
HERSHISKISS Hace 25 días
Then what was the point of doing the play in the first place?
Link Hace 2 meses
I appreciated your use of Monty Python's Mr. Hilter sketch. I feel like Holy Grail gets all of the attention today.
Link Hace 2 meses
What's the song at 2:56?
Harmony Saolgrá
Harmony Saolgrá Hace 2 meses
I remember in HighSchool, a girl who was Very conservative, but Loved Steven Colbert. I never understood that until this. She literally didn’t understand that he was meant to mock what she believed
I don't want a channel
I don't want a channel Hace 2 meses
I'd love to see you update this in light of JoJo Rabbit O.O
Ray Caster
Ray Caster Hace 2 meses
When we say “you couldn’t make a Melbrook’s movie today” we are NOT saying you couldn’t make something like the producers or blazing saddles. Because the targets of their humor (The Nazis and The Mythology of the American Western) Are perfectly acceptable targetsFor ridicule today. Because today we know it’s OK to laugh at the Nazis and that the American west was a terrible racist era we shouldn’t mythologize. They were the holy cows of their era of film and it was satisfying and hilarious to see Mel Brooks tear them down. We ARE saying you couldn’t make something that BBQs modern day cultural holy cows the way “Blazing Saddles” did for the ones in its generation. Because if you did you would face horrible real world consequences to both your career and your social standing. Because social media has enabled overly sensitive people to shut down any kind of art they disagree with. If social media had existed when Mel Brooks was around producing Blazing Saddles, when the political right held power. Blazing saddles would’ve been shut down before it even got past preproduction. I dare you to try and produce a movie like blazing saddles or the producers but goes after. . . I dunno. Radical Feminism, or Islam, or violent Transgender Rights activists. (Basically anything that people in today’s world adamantly refuse to accept any satire about). It wouldn’t get past preproduction because those are cultural holy cows of our day. And nobody wants to take the risk out of fear of backlash from the people who have an interest in protecting said holy cows.
Adek Kamalov
Adek Kamalov Hace 2 meses
Made this too early with Jojo Rabbit having come out recently and all...
Erich Keser
Erich Keser Hace 2 meses
Magnificent video that goes deep and wide with unwavering brilliance and honesty.
Spirited Awaaay
Spirited Awaaay Hace 2 meses
Totally relevant because of Jojo Rabbit.
brad Hace 2 meses
I like the producers movie....and mel brooks.... before and after this video.
Der Giggler
Der Giggler Hace 2 meses
God you're really good holy shit
PhazonSpaceSystems Hace 2 meses
"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"
sira castori
sira castori Hace 2 meses
And to add insult to injury, 'Life is beautiful' shows American troops liberating Auschwitz, which was sort of liberated by the Soviets: I'm kind of sure that the reason why you guys gave that piece of shit film an Oscar. Btw, Brooks himself said that his pictures could not be made today because, of, I quote, 'PC culture', so maybe the truth on this topic is somewhat in the middle.
Diabetic Alien
Diabetic Alien Hace 2 meses
Nothing rubs me the wrong way more than people who say: "yOu cAn'T MaKe jOkEs aBoUt iT PeOplE DIeD" Am I going to be running around making childish jokes about how people died and thats sooo funny? No. But as you said, more dramatic pieces which show the true face of historical and modern fascism have been adopted by hateful groups than comedies. If anything, historical comedies have done MORE to push people AWAY from hateful ideologies. This isn't to say dramatic pieces are bad and we should stop showing history as it was, on the contrary. But satirizing history can be an effective way to, well, eliminate cultural PTSD, I suppose?
daniel claro
daniel claro Hace 2 meses
I see Hannah Arendt I upvote
Fire Tarrasque
Fire Tarrasque Hace 2 meses
I, personally, am an advocate for the Starship Troopers route. If we tell people that the fascist system is fucking horrible and bad, no one fucking listens, so let's just give them what they want. The *perfect* fascist society, all their ideals, and all it's good for is killing *fucking BUGS.*
Bennett Davies
Bennett Davies Hace 2 meses
I like the thought and dedication you put into your work.
Adam Norfolk
Adam Norfolk Hace 2 meses
What're you thoughts on Jojo Rabbit?
Uncomfortable Cat
Uncomfortable Cat Hace 2 meses
6:24 Ah! Finally i found a person who thinks Airplane is Meh.
Totally Nameless
Totally Nameless Hace 2 meses
Thank you! Thank you thank you thank you! You are a blessing upon the world, Lindsay Ellis. I don't know how you make it through your videos without screaming at some of the things people do.
Fernando Rufino
Fernando Rufino Hace 2 meses
Wow, I've been binging on your videos in the last days, and this is exceptionally great. Congrats and thanks.
Maya Gilstrom
Maya Gilstrom Hace 2 meses
Lindsay, watching this now really makes me wonder what your thoughts were on JoJo Rabbit, if you saw it. I personally thought it was the best movie of 2019, but I'd be really interested to hear your take.
Sawyer Phillips
Sawyer Phillips Hace 2 meses
1:28 is that mr shue?
Imani** Hace 2 meses
That's also part of why you can take justifiable issue with Tropic Thunder(2008). To make fun of racists and people who do blackface is one thing, but actually putting on blackface is another. In doing blackface, you change the target of the ridicule from the racists to the actual blacks, making you no different from what you're trying to satirize.
Aysa Hace 2 meses
Whites doing blackface or saying the n word are equally racist, and the n word is used a lot in Blazing Saddles. That being said I don’t remember enough about tropic thunder to say if it was effective satire but blackface could arguably be a tool for satire
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