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How to Make Exciting Journalism Movies, Cont.

Make a movie about dashing young investigative reporter Tintin! Although maybe not in motion capture, since it seems that the technique’s going to be a bit uneven at conveying the cartoonish delight of the characters — Thomson and Thompson fare a bit better than Captain Haddock, in this trailer, at least:

One of the running jokes of the comics is that the character probably has the highest expense-account-to-stories-filed ratio in the business. Given how irrelevant Tintin’s actual journalism is, I kind of assume they’re just going to make him a youngish detective or adventurer rather than a reporter — although, it would be an interesting way to reclaim the character by keeping him a journalist because in the story arc that’s apparently going to be included in the movie, Hergé had Tintin give up his reporting career to make the comics more acceptable to Nazi censors. That isn’t the only way that Hergé’s politics, and as a result, Tintin’s, were complicated. He was anti-big-business, and was particularly suspicious of oil companies. He worked for a collaborationist newspaper during Germany’s occupation of Belgium, and after World War II and the founding of the state of Israel, redrew a story that originally featured Jewish terrorists in Palestine to make the terrorists Arabs instead. And storylines that set up Belgium’s rule of Congo as a marvelous thing look dreadful in retrospect.

I don’t know how it would have been possible to reconcile those competing impulses in a movie, but at the very least, parents of some kids who will go to this movie and go off to read the comics had better be prepared for some engaged discussions afterward.

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