Thu Mar 30th, 2006 at 05:35:12 AM EST
I'm sure you've seen the poster for Basic Instinct 2, displayed for the public eye in the wake of the "Oh-I-Can't-Wait-To-See-Sharon-15-Years-Later-Playing-The-Same-Crappy-Role" premiere. She sits on a black chair, a caricature of the most notorious spread-eagle of the world she herself coined in her "masterpiece." The back of the chair covers the area that made the "BI 1" investigators ooze sweat from their eyebrows, as if to say: If you come and see the movie, I will turn around... Despite her lascivious pose, perhaps due to her limp, greenish-blonde hair that's dark at the roots (spending too much time at the pool?), she looks a bit tired. She exudes the air of a been-there, done-that attitude that, at least in my eyes, would extinguish any potential spark of interest or enticement a viewer might feel.
Don't get me wrong. I think she looks pretty amazing... especially considering the fact she'll be fifty in two years. It's good Michael Douglas decided to spare himself the embarrassment... he was already a bit saggy in the first film and it's only wise he reserves his "goodies" for Catherine these days. (Mind you, I don't have anything against older men nude on the screen, but I do mind when they are stylized into the role of a sex god).
But the fact that Sharon's doing a sequel to a movie that celebrated and mystified the worst in man is not the main reason for my antipathies. I have a much more personal reason. One of my fellow interpreters that I met in January works each as an organizer of the Film Festival in Karlovy Vary. She was there also last year, when Sharon Stone was invited to represent the film Broken Flowers. The place was packed, naturally. Sharon Stone entered the stage. The visitors held their breath. She took the microphone and began her speech. In English, of course. She talked and talked. The interpreter stood nearby, dutifully writing down notes. Ten minutes later she finished. The interpreter stepped forward, clearing his throat. But Miss Stone said: "Why, there's no need to interpret...everyone here understands English, right?" She chased the dumbfounded interpreter away and went to sit down. Shortly thereafter, the Broken Flowers began. Without subtitles.
Hollywood stars are usually not known for their good manners. But to come to a country that welcomes you with open arms, and then not allow an interpreter to do his job so people can understand, and consequently force the audience to sit through two hours of reading nothing but body language, is the ultimate insult. Not only to the interpreter, not only to the audience, but to our entire country. It sends a clear message: Sharon Stone feels superior to us mere mortals not only because she is a celebrity; she also feels superior to us Czechs because she is an American. Her country is so much more important that it is our DUTY to know English. She represents the ugliest side of the superpower's way of thinking, the kind of attitude that gives Americans a bad reputation around the world.
Just imagine what memory of this show the audience would have brought home had Sharon Stone let the interpreter do his work, and then maybe added a "Thank-you" in Czech. The visitors would have left content, and maybe, out of solidarity, would go and see Basic Instinct 2, although they'd know it would be a waste of time. Now, however, I think that every time they see two-dimensional Sharon with her greenish, trashy locks and a steely number 2 between her thighs, their basic instinct urges them to scream the ever so popular four-letter English word, which even the Czechs know.