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David Mamet's Gone Right-Wing, Taking On Affirmative Action In Next Screenplay

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist May 19, 2011 at 4:57AM

Day two of Von Triergate, and... oh, sorry, it's become almost automatic at this point. But enough of directors who haven't actually suddenly displayed right-wing tendencies, how about a director who actually has! David Mamet's always been a controversial figure, since at least his troublesome sexual harassment play "Oleanna." But a shift has started to be seen in his recent work, one explained in full by a lengthy article in the Weekly Standard.
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Day two of Von Triergate, and... oh, sorry, it's become almost automatic at this point. But enough of directors who haven't actually suddenly displayed right-wing tendencies, how about a director who actually has! David Mamet's always been a controversial figure, since at least his troublesome sexual harassment play "Oleanna." But a shift has started to be seen in his recent work, one explained in full by a lengthy article in the Weekly Standard.

The piece, uncovered by Vulture, explains that that the writer-director, like most old people, has now disavowed his status as what he calls a "Brain Dead Liberal," swung to the right, and is increasingly reflecting that in his work, from a new book "The Secret Knowledge: On The Dismantling Of American Culture," to a play set to debut in London at the end of the year about a 60s radical clashing with a reactionary prison warden. And it looks like he wants to take on a major bête noire of the right in filmic form.

The end of the piece involves Mamet mentioning a new screenplay he's working on that tackles the always-thorny issue of affirmative action, an issue loathed by those who can't grasp how shitty most public schools are, and who don't understand the meaning of the word 'potential'. The plot will involve a young rich girl turned down by Harvard, who reapplies as an Aztec in order to qualify for affirmative action. An Aztec! Hilarious. We have to commend Mamet on his decision not to make her pretend to be an Eskimo.

We thought that Mamet's last directorial effort, "Redbelt" was somewhat underrated, but this sounds fairly miserable in premise -- we're sure that someone could make a biting close to the bone satire about affirmative action if they really wanted to, but we're not convinced that Mamet, who seems to be edging closer and closer to becoming a Fox News pundit, is the guy to do it. The film doesn't seem to have funding yet, or any actors attached, but we may see both materialize soon. And if they don't, it will of course because the liberal elite buried it.

This article is related to: David Mamet


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