Friday, January 21, 2011

Chariots of Shit

Hugh Hudson, the Academy Award winning director of Chariots of Fire, has signed on to direct a sequel called Chariots of Shit. The year is no longer 1924, but sometime in the second decade of the 21st Century, and the arena has changed from competitive running in England to politics in the United States. Two candidates are running for election, one is a conservative Republican who believes that no American should receive health care, that aborted babies should be stuffed back into their mother’s uteruses and that the rich should pay little or no taxes while their employees support the few public programs that remain, such as work-placement making coins at the U.S. Mint. The film will highlight the importance of coins even in the age of electronic transfers, since the American economy will be in such dire straits that begging for them will be one of the few employment opportunities for graduates from elite colleges. The Democratic opponent is a hedge fund manager whose guilt over the enormous profits and tax breaks she has received has turned her into a progressive. She owns an island in the Caribbean to which she retreats on her private plane, but she is the female version of Prince Hal, making forays into the real world and playing the part of everyman in disguise. No, Chariots of Shit will not be a remake of Preston Sturges’s classic Sullivan’s Travels. Instead, our idealistic Democrat learns little from what she sees when she ventures out into the real world, loses the election and simply retires to her island, where in a culminating scene she is shown reading Plato’s Republic, as her Hawaiian “Man Friday,” wearing a lei (and little else), brings her a tall, exotic drink with an American-flag stirrer.

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