Here's another one for the Irrational Caution in the Name of Political Correctness file: earlier this summer, Sony Pictures chairman Michael Lynton told filmmaker Albert Brooks (the man responsible for Lost in America, one of my favorite films ever, as well as Real Life and Defending Your Life) that they would not release his latest film, Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World, unless he changed the title. The picture, about a comedian (Brooks) hired by the U.S. government to travel to India and Pakistan to figure out  what kind of comedy appeals to Muslims, is a self-referential satire about the U.S. and comedians, and is unlikely to cause discord amongst Muslims themselves. Lynton's verdict came on the heels the heavily disputed Newsweek story about U.S. investigators supposedly flushing a copy of the Koran down a toilet at Gitmo; he maintains that his studio's (over)caution is an effort to avoid sparking the kind of violent reaction amongst Muslims that that article caused. "I do believe that recent incidents have dramatically changed the landscape that we live in," he wrote in a letter to Brooks, "And that this, among other things, warrants changing the title of the film." The film has since been picked up by Warner Independent Pictures, who plan to release it in early 2006.
categories Movies, Cinematical