Borat = Mahir 2.0, but ees niiiice.
I am reluctantly, belatedly, but now utterly psyched about "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan". When I first saw the schtick, all I could think was: he's lifting this from Mahir "WELCOME TO MY HOME PAGE! I KISS YOU!" Çağrı, (shaking his hand at the 2000 Webbies remains one of the most awesome moments of my life) .
But all that's changed now. And between Borat's MySpace hijinks, the tons and tons of looks-like-homemade promo videos... this is the first big-studio movie that seems like it's nailing online viral promotion perfectly. How smart was Fox? MySpace, which Fox bought for $580 million, doing online street promotion for Borat, a Fox property... this is no "Snakes on a Plane" accident.
The first four minutes of the Borat movie are now online. I scour YouTube daily for new Borat junk, but I'm sure there's tons of other stuff I haven't seen yet: Link. Kazakhstan, I surrender.
Hollywood, four words: Borat/Mahir buddy flick.
Update: Defamer has an item today about Fox scaling back the number of US theaters screening Borat from 2000 to 800: Link. Contains the brilliant term, "neon-benutslinged." Points to this LA Times article, which reads in part:
Despite the slimmed-down release, "Borat" is almost certain to make money for Fox given that its production budget was a modest $17 million. Edward Douglas, who writes a box-office column for ComingSoon.net, said he expected "Borat" to open at $8 million to $9 million and ultimately gross $50 million.And Sean Bonner says there's an item in the new Wired about the Borat/Mahir connection: page 88, 3/4 page, QA with Mahir by Steven Leckart. Apparently Mahir is trying to sue "Borat" creator Sacha Baron Cohen over the matter:
WIRED: In the moc-doc, Borat is a globe trotting journalist, Are you also a man of letters?Reader comment: Dave Krooshof says,
Cagri: I do journalism as a freelancer sometimes. I go travel sometimes and take pictures video-write, meet people for documentary.
WIRED: Borat's signature is his mustache, didn't you rock it first?
Cagri: I start first grow mustache, 10 or 15 years ago. Sometimes I been no mustache. I am male and mustache shows a male mature.
We were invited [Ed. note: Dave, I believe you mean "invitated"] to the pre-screening of the movie.Amos Kleiman says,
I went to have a good time with my fellow bloggers, but I did not like the Borat role. I mistook it for making fun of Kazakhs, like so many other people do.
But the movie made me change my opinion 180 degrees. Borat confronts, and when you think he goes to far, he goes futher, trespassing social borders. And then futher. This is social horror. There were moments I was watching through my fingers, like I watched "The Blob" as a kid. And in the and it's very clear that the rednecks do think like Borat does. But they are real, Borat is a character.
This movie is a much more shocking portrait of the American society then Michael Moore's movie about Flint, MI. The Kazakhs need not worry. The joke is not on them.
To make matters "worse" all the Kazakh / gibberish spoken by Borat on the four minute preview is actually Hebrew. I wonder how that will go down...Particularly interesting because the majority religion in Kazakhstan is Muslim.
Reader Kyle Goetz says,
I just thought it was interesting that on the map in the first 4 minutes of the movie that shows where Kazakhstan is has all proper Russian (you can easily see "MOCKBA" which is "MOSCOW" written in Russian Cyrillic), but the "Cyrillic" label for Kazakhstan is gibberish (says something like KFYFLYEFI). And then I noticed that Φ occurs many times in the "word." Someone used a Cyrillic font in Word or something and typed "kazakstan." In this font (some faux Cyrillic font), K=K, a=Φ, z=Я, k=л, s=ы, t=Е, and n=й.Jesse Thorn from The Sound of Young America says,
Sacha Baron Cohen, who plays Borat, is an observent jew whose mother was born and raised in Israel. While in character, he often keeps notes and interview questions in Hebrew for his reference, with the idea that it's extremely unlikely that his marks will recognize the language as anything other than Kazakh. Or whatever they speak in Kazakhstan.Pearse says,
Simon Baron-Cohen is Sacha's brother and one of the leading authorities on Autism and also how the male brain differs from the female. I wonder does Sacha read his books :) Link.
posted by Xeni Jardin