[Marxism] The Confidence Men » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Sheldon Ranz sranz18 at gmail.com
Fri Jan 3 15:34:05 MST 2014

Whoever said that American Hustle does not address the racism of the name
'Abscam' is incorrect.

In one scene, the Mexican FBI agent impersonating the sheikh complains to
the Christian Bale character about the name of the operation: "Abscam? Arab
scam.  That's racist!"  Bale looks at him and says, "I don't believe this.
What do you care?  You're Mexican!"  The scene is pitched in part as a
laugh line, in part as a criticism of the Bale character that he doesn't
see the big picture of what he's unleashing.


On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 1:25 PM, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:

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> When Scorsese Imitates Scorsese
> The Confidence Men
> In addition to sharing the inside track for a fistful of Oscars in
> January, both David O. Russell’s “American Hustle” and Martin Scorsese’s
> “The Wolf of Wall Street” feature confidence men as antiheroes. They also
> are based on actual historical events, with the late 70s Abscam sting of
> American politicians featured in Russell’s film, and the rise and fall of
> penny stock swindler Jordan Belfort in the late 80s dramatized by Scorsese.
> Although both Abscam and the Belfort tale are ripe for social commentary,
> the primary goal of these two “prestige” directors is to make entertaining
> films that dance around the social problems they should address. Finally,
> both films are imitations of Martin Scorsese, a director who has seen
> better days. “American Hustle” borrows liberally from the tricks of the
> Scorsese trade and so does Scorsese himself, who in his 25th film since
> 1972 ends up plagiarizing “Goodfellas”.
> http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/01/03/the-confidence-men/
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