Let Them Eat Something Else

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In the trailer for Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, a dolled up Kirsten Dunst downs various types of cake. Antoinette anti-defamers are highly disturbed by the choice of baked good; Marie Antoinette Association Prez Michele Lorin explains:

"We've spent years trying to convince people that the queen was not just a libertine who told the starving to eat cake. What do you see on the trailer? You see Marie Antoinette eating cake. You see her lying naked on a chaise lounge.

"I fear the film is going to set us back many years."

Unconcerned with the long, hard years of de-caking ahead, Dunst retorts: "It's kind of like a history of feelings rather than a history of facts."

One of those feelings presumably being: Let them eat cake.

Tim Cavanaugh's classic, must read meditation on the anti-defamation industry is here.

Related: The Center for Science in the Public Interest called carrot cake "food porn" a few years back, arguing "Some people are misled into thinking the carrot cake is healthful because it contains carrots."

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  1. Marie Antoinette Association Prez Michele Lorin explains:

    There really is a group for everything, isn’t there?

    The Center for Science in the Public Interest called carrot cake “food porn” a few years back, arguing “Some people are misled into thinking the carrot cake is healthful because it contains carrots.”

    As usual, the CSPI is all wrong. Their article is food porn. That’s what got my mouth watering, thinking about a luscious, spicy slice of carrot cake with sensual cream cheese frosting. Eating the cake is like having sex.

  2. Mmmmmmmm, cream cheese icing. I requested just that thing for my 40th birthday party, though in the form of a Red Velvet cake. Yum. It was de-licious.

  3. Red Velvet cake…ooooh….ohh yeah….ungh…

  4. “I fear the film is going to set us back many years.”

    Set them back? They have some sort of goal? Are they planning on reinstating a French monarchy?

  5. Pro L and smacky, the Randall’s bakery near my house used to sell a package consisting of one quarter of a red velvet cake, one quarter German chocolate, one quarter carrot, and one quarter Italian cream. It was a delight for the indecisive gormand.

  6. that trailer is the funniest movie of the year.

    what’s with the breakfast club-ish soundtrack?

  7. highnumber:

    That would be totally sweet. I’ll bet the new French royal family’s exploits would make Britain’s look like an Amish sewing circle. Let the whore-off begin!

  8. Would this be an inappropriate forum for an allusion to “getting head” from Marie Antionette?

  9. Would this be an inappropriate forum for an allusion to “getting head” from Marie Antoinette?

    stupid keyboard

    stupid server squirrels- the typos go straight through before I can stop them.

  10. “Are they planning on reinstating a French monarchy?”

    Why not? The Fifth Republic is near the expiry date for French Governments anyways.

    Hmm. There’s a thought. Governments labelled with expiry dates: “Monarchy – Best before 1789.”

  11. Karen, if someone told me that I could eat cake and meant that package of goodies, why I’d skip the storming of the Bastille to stay home and eat. German chocolate rules, too.

    If the French restore the monarchy, my thinking is that they should dump the Bourbons and go back to the Merovingian dynasty. I think I can come up with some sort of lame proof of my descent from Clovis, so I humbly, with great honor, accept the crown of France.

  12. “Kirsten Dunst . . . lying naked on a chaise lounge.”

    Well, there’s one ticket sold, anyway.

    “It’s kind of like a history of feelings rather than a history of facts.”

    Will no one tell these idiot actroids to keep their mouths shut unless reading from a script?

  13. Kirsten Dunst naked on a chaise lounge? Who the hell needs cake when you got pie like that?

  14. She could eat crackers in my BED!

  15. Now fellas, how old is Kirsten?

    Pedophiles! 😉

    The movie looks spectacularly bad, and I love period pieces.

  16. Sticklers for historical accuracy, but they don’t know that it’s ‘chaise longue‘, not ‘chaise lounge’.

  17. i think as long as they aren’t making a film intended to make some form of social change (i.e. michael moore)and are open with the fact that it’s not the plain truth, then i don’t care what writers and filmmakers do with any kind of history.wanna make lincoln and charles manson superheroes? go for it. whereas as films or documentaries with some kind of purpose or agenda need to stick to the facts they can prove even if that sacrifices making the film less exciting then it would be. of course, as a libertarian, i would never impose any kind of rules on anyone else. if they really wanna make a dishonest film then they shouldn’t be stopped but it makes it that much easier for their opposition to scold the film.

  18. Pro L, it was pretty amazing. Also, the sections were big enough to make two decent-sized cake slices, so my husband and I never had to negotiate over a flavor.

    As for the Merovingians, John Steinbeck wrote a delightful little book called The Short Reign of Pippin IV, which I read in high school. It’s quite entertaining on this subject.

    Final Marie Antoinette thought and lesson in just how informed the public is: I have a set of Peggy Nisbet portrait models (those are dolls for adults, much like “action figures” are dolls for boys) of Henry VIII and his wives, which I display in a case in my office. At a previous job, I had the ladies on display and one of the secretarial staff asked to see them, and inquired of me “Which one is Marie Antoinette?”

    She was the product of a private school, too.

  19. This movie’s going to suck because a) it’s directed by Sofia Coppola, and b) it’s another one of these period costume dramas where they apparently play the Smiths and the Pixies and Belle & Sebastian and stuff on the soundtrack. The only movie where that worked was Ella Enchanted, and it only worked there because Ann Hathaway could read the phone book and make it compelling.

  20. Back then it was rich people telling poor people to eat cake. Now it is rich people telling poor people to shop at Whole Foods Market.

    People really miss the context of the whole “let them eat cake thing”. The person who said it (who wasn’t Marie Antoinette), was simply trying to give practical advice as they understood it to starving people of France. It is the same as the yuppy I saw lecturing the homeless guy on the evils of fast food and rainforest beef, when the homeless guy asked him for money to buy a hamburger.

    The only difference between then and now, is a modern day Marie Antoinette would be trying to make it illegal to eat anything but cake… the same way bougious leftists tried to make anything but fair-trade organic premium coffee illegal in Berkley California. Or the same way New York is trying to ban trans-fats, which just so happen to be a more important ingredient in the foods that working class people eat (quickly prepared during the lunch hour), than those who enjoy the three martini lunch with clients.

  21. isildur, that reminds me of one of my pet peeves, see Wikipedia’s entry on hyperforeignism.

    Next time I hear someone say “coup de gras” I’ll be tempted to illustrate it for them.

  22. “bougious leftists ”

    ?

  23. I kinda sorta liked Lost in Translation, but it’s been downhill for Sofia since then. I don’t like modern attitudes, dialog, or music tossed into my period pieces, either, so I’ll be eschewing this production.

    Karen, sounds yummy. As for the restoration of the Merovingian dynasty, I intend to take the name, Clovis II. Or maybe something similar to Charles Martel (“Charles the Hammer”). I’ll be reclaiming all of the lands originally held by the Franks, naturally. Europe needs some excitement.

    I used to be able to name all of Henry’s wives, but the mind is slowly going. Oh, well. Your secretary only missed by a couple of centuries and one country. At least she named the wife of a monarch who got executed, which describes more than one of Henry’s wives, too.

    Speaking of Henry VIII, he’s a really interesting character, too. He needs a (good) movie, one that isn’t primarily about Thomas More or anyone else. And not a production of that Shakespeare play, either. Tudor-related plays written during the Tudor dynasty are a wee bit unobjective.

  24. Learn how to spell:

    “bourgeois leftists”… happy?

    I didn’t mean to insult your political affiliation by mispelling its name. I apologize!

  25. …it’s another one of these period costume dramas where they apparently play the Smiths and the Pixies and Belle & Sebastian and stuff on the soundtrack.

    Argh, to coin a phrase…the only thing worse would be an updated, hip-hop version like what they did with Romeo and Juliet a couple of years back…

  26. I hated the recent–and god awful–Count of Monte Cristo movie, mostly because the original Dumas story was gutted and the characters acted like they were straight out of the 21st century, except with swords. Bah!

  27. One can easily count all of the historically-accurate Hollywood movies that have ever been made on zero fingers.

  28. “This movie’s going to suck because a) it’s directed by Sofia Coppola”

    Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation?!? Even if you did not care for those films, to deny that she has directing ability is just silly. I will grant your second point that having modern music in a period piece is a horrendous idea.

  29. i think as long as they aren’t making a film intended to make some form of social change (i.e. michael moore)and are open with the fact that it’s not the plain truth, then i don’t care what writers and filmmakers do with any kind of history.wanna make lincoln and charles manson superheroes?

    Run-on sentence anyone?

  30. Tudor-related plays written during the Tudor dynasty are a wee bit unobjective.

    Plantagenet-related plays written during the Tudor dynasty are a wee bit unobjective too. Hence the myth of Richard III murdering his nephews.

    But then anyone writing anything that didn’t make the Tudors look good was likely to come to a bad end.

  31. Tim – you ain’t kiddin’ ’bout Ms Hathaway – smokin’!

  32. Poor Sofia Coppola…they’re still blaming her for New York Stories and Godfather III

  33. Tim – you ain’t kiddin’ ’bout Ms Hathaway – smokin’!

    Huh? I used to watch The Beverly Hillbillies all the time as a kid and I never thought she was that hot.

  34. Plantagenet-related plays written during the Tudor dynasty are a wee bit unobjective too. Hence the myth of Richard III murdering his nephews.

    Isaac Bartram,

    You are absolutely correct. In fact, Shakespeare is a lousy source for history, which just goes to show that Hollywood’s “abuses” in that regard, while unfortunate, are hardly a sign of any recent artistic decline.

    Shakespeare does a little better with the non-English histories (I believe his Roman efforts relied on Tacitus, who isn’t a terrible source). Still, he’s writing to entertain, not to educate.

    Richard III is an interesting study in the winners writing the history. While I haven’t heard that he has been exonerated for the deaths of his nephews, it appears that he was a decent king, otherwise. And even if he offed the kids, he would hardly be the first to get rid of the competition. There’s one reason hereditary monarchies are less than desirable. Or any other kind of monarchy, for that matter.

  35. Oops…Mea culpa…Sofia Coppola did not play Zoe in New York Stories (it was Heather McComb). Now Ms. Coppola is getting blamed for bad movies she didn’t even appear in…

  36. Stevo, if Ann Hathaway had played (temporal issues aside) Jane Hathaway, the series would still be on. She’s quite distracting.

  37. Huh? I used to watch The Beverly Hillbillies all the time as a kid and I never thought she was that hot.

    Dang, Stevo beat me to it!

    Curse you, Stevo!

  38. Stevo, if Ann Hathaway had played (temporal issues aside) Jane Hathaway, the series would still be on. She’s quite distracting.

    Not to mention that Jethro would have been much more likely to return her affection.

  39. Pro L, Henry’s wives are, in order: Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymore, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr. Henry VIII definitely deserves a movie of his own, especially one that focuses on just how precarious his position was without a male heir. I can be quite boring on the subject of why Henry wasn’t a bad king and why, had he died with only Mary as his heir, England would have been incorporated into the Hapsburg Empire and all European liberty extinguished. I have been known to discourse on Henry’s virtues to my Roman Catholic in-laws, but only when they’ve been drinking more than I have.

  40. Pro Liberte

    I believe the more or less accepted view today is that Henry VII murdered the children of Edward IV since they both had a stronger claim to the crown than he.

    However it is possible that Richard did it but most of the other stories about him are false. He was generally a good ruler especially for improving the status of commoners.

  41. Whether Henry was a particularly good king is one question, but his significance is unquestionable. There’s the break with the Church, of course, but he also managed to get money out of Parliament (ask the Stuart kings about that the importance of that trick), and he used the sale of Church lands to fund the building of a navy. While the navy had to be rebuilt during Elizabeth’s reign, the technical knowhow and the trained men were put in place thanks to Henry. There’s also the fact that he filled his court with the kind of thinkers that helped launch the English Renaissance (which really flowered during Elizabeth’s able reign). He did other stuff, too, but I must leave now 🙂

    I remember the first three wives without any trouble, but I usually get reduced to saying “Catherine somebody” for the rest. Oh, well.

  42. Pro Liberate

    ” I think I can come up with some sort of lame proof of my descent from Clovis, so I humbly, with great honor, accept the crown of France.”

    Since Clovis lived around 500 CE, approximately 60 generations have passed. 60 generations ago, you would have had 2^60 ancestors [without allowing for overlaps]. Given the population of Europe at the time was of the order of 50 million, and assuming you are of mainly european descent, you are likely descended from Clovis through 20,000,000,000 lines of descent.

  43. “The person who said it (who wasn’t Marie Antoinette), was simply trying to give practical advice as they understood it to starving people of France.”

    You don’t know the story, Rex, and you’re advertising your ignorance for everyone to see.

    Neener neener nee-ner.

  44. Why, Aresen, I am of European descent. Therefore, none can bar my claim.

    One of the Scottish clans from which I am descended is part of the Siol Alpin, which is a group of clans claiming descent from Kenneth Alpin, the first king of the Scots. Which means that my claim to the Scottish throne is even stronger. This is great. I love my people!

    joe, be quiet and eat some nice brioche, please 🙂

  45. Sofia’s films seem to center around cool soundtracks and lots of lingering shots of very, very pretty girls. There is very little substance to them, but that isn’t always the point. I like them for what they are.

    They’re like chick films that are really for dudes.

  46. Does anyone else here appreciate how inexpensive a box of crackers from Wal-Mart is?

  47. “wanna make lincoln and charles manson superheroes?”

    no, i want you to make this fucking movie. i have $10 with your name on it.

  48. ahahahahahahahahaha…

  49. Pro Libertate,
    Thank you so much for bringing up Chuckles “The Hammer” Martell. That was my nickname in high school after a service project where I did some serious damage with a sledgehammer. Also my super-lame World of Warcraft hammer-weilding dwarf’s name.

  50. Think what you want about the French, but the Franks were cool and had cool names. I may name my son Clovis, even if I don’t get the French crown.

  51. “Argh, to coin a phrase…the only thing worse would be an updated, hip-hop version like what they did with Romeo and Juliet a couple of years back…”

    The English Lit major in me has to comment here.

    Baz did the best Romeo and Juliet on film. He captured the spirit of WS’s play better than any previous version filmed. To disagree is unacceptable…

    🙂

  52. I rarely like modern dress Shakespeare, unless it’s either just following the plot line or has elements that transcend the time period. Branagh’s Hamlet mostly works (its flaw, in my opinion, is too many cameos, not using the wrong period) as does Ian McKellen’s Richard III. But even with those movies, I’d have preferred the period be correct. Oftentimes, the attitudes and actions of the characters make little sense if plucked from their time period. Romeo and Juliet is, in my opinion, an example of that.

  53. just so you all know, showtime has just finished a ten part drama on Henry the eighth staring johnathon rhys meyers, sam neil and jeremey northam, it’ll be out next march, Ive just seen the trailer online and it looks absolutly beautiful

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