February 1, 2004
Remember that Woody Allen film where he’s standing in a movie line and the guy in front of him is pontificating about the media, quoting Marshall McLuen (the media sage who said: “The medium is the message”), and Woody can’t stand it anymore and confronts the guy on his idiotic musings, and when the guy tries to argue with Woody, he pulls the real Marshall McCluen out from behind a coke machine and Marshall lays into the haplass cretin and tells him he has no idea what he’s talking about?
Well, if you have read my take on the sneak preview of Hidalgo (see January 29), here’s John Fusco’s response:
“Wanted to respond to your observations about insensitive world politics. I wrote HIDALGO two years prior to September 11. Metaphor never entered my mind and was never part of the creative vision. Iraq is indeed a part of the Desert Race mythology and is on Hopkins' race map as a key leg.
Regarding the Arab horseman killing his horse. That horse falls and
breaks his leg in the middle of the desert. A horseman, no matter what
culture he is from, knows what he has to do at a time like that. The
Arab rider in the film weeps for his horse, calling him his "brother"
in Arabic. The only attack on that scene has come from a certain interest who is looking for anything he can find to hurt me and my movie.
We shot in Morocco with Arab consultants on every aspect of horsemanship, custom, language, accurate period dress, etc. Jeff Kurland, our Academy Award winning costume designer researched 1890's Arabian costume in great detail, working with a team of Arab historical consultants.
Lastly, Hopkins can be called a blow hard, but it is only one side of the story, and one part of Frank Hopkins. He was also the most influential proponent of Mustang preservation during the 30's and 40's. His activist writings on the subject remain some of the most powerful and profound even today. He certainly influenced and inspired later mustang conservators such as Robert Brislawn and Gilbert Jones. He wanted his stories to save the mustangs. In many ways they have.”
“I sometimes give myself admirable advice, but I am incapable of taking it.”
—Mary Wortley Montagu
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