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posted: 1/10/2014 6:00 AM

Swear words used like assault weapons in 'Wolf'

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Dear Dann: I just heard that "The Wolf of Wall Street" set a record for profanity. I find it funny that for this sex romp of a movie, the biggest buzz is about language. Especially the way women are represented as disposable items or hookers.

There should be a better argument for why there aren't good roles that represent women in a better environment or station in life. Plus, with all the debauchery they tried to put into the film, it still lasted longer than a miniseries.

Martin Scorsese showed he lost his (testicular courage) when it comes to black people. He must really be scared of the PC police in the scene where Jonah Hill's character tells Leo's Jordan that he's in real trouble because he used "the N word." -- Thomas Egan, Hoffman Estates

Dear Tom: I agree that Hill's hedonistic, amoral sales guy would probably not be constrained by the same PC considerations as Scorsese's movie obviously was, at least in terms of using racial slurs.

As for the bleak depiction of all women as hookers (professionally and personally), we must remember that we see the world in "The Wolf of Wall Street" through the eyes of Leonardo DiCaprio's corrupt and self-centered misogynist.

Just as we are given a skewed and inaccurate account of his drug-fueled, late-night joy ride home, we also receive a skewed and inaccurate view of women in his superficial lifestyle. If only we could say the same about the depressing depiction of capitalism's dark side of unbridled, predatory greed.

Finally, I have two thoughts about "Wolf" setting the record for movie "profanity" with 506 F-bombs:

First, the F-bomb and barnyard epithets do not profane deities, therefore cannot technically be referred to as "profanity" -- at least for purists like me.

Second, it's not the number of swear words in movies that matters, in terms of quality at least. It's how well they've been employed. And nobody employs swear words in a movie better than Martin Scorsese. In Martyworld, swear words are assault weapons.

By the way, if anyone were to dare to remake "Citizen Kane," I vote for DiCaprio and Scorsese to do it. DiCaprio has elevated hubris to an art form in both "Wolf" and "The Great Gatsby" (he even looks like Orson Welles!), and who better than a master filmmaker of his generation to remake the work of a master filmmaker of his own? -- Dann

• The After Hours Film Society presents Zachary Heinzerling's documentary "Cutie and the Boxer" at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13, at the Tivoli Theatre, 5021 Highland Ave., Downers Grove. The movie follows the complex relationship between married Japanese artists Ushio and Noriko Shinohara. General admission is $9 ($5 for members). Go to

• The Gorton Auditorium at Lake Forest's Gorton Community Center will be renovated and renamed The John and Nancy Hughes Theater. That means the center's auditorium will get a real makeover, including new projector, lighting, sound system, screen, plus new exterior and interior entrances.

The renovation is being financed by Nancy Hughes, wife of the late Chicago filmmaker, noted for "The Breakfast Club," "Pretty in Pink" and other films, many shot in the Chicago area at his insistence.

• Daily Herald Film Critic Dann Gire's column runs Fridays in Time out!

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