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Ali G, Innit [DVD]
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Ali G’s unique style of questioning on The 11 O’clock Show brought him instant fame and notoriety. Now the ‘official voice of the youth’ returns to DVD. With all the best bits from 20 of Ali G’s Interviews, he tackles interviewees with questions…such as ‘Is King Dong really a King?’, ‘What did Van Gogh cut his knob off?’, ‘Why don’t they teach proper maths in school, why teach in kilos and grams when you should deal in ounces, quarters and eights?’ Ali G takes us on a tour of his home town, including visits to all the Berkshire massive hangouts. Boyaskasha!
An oasis of chortles in the laugh desert that is Channel 4's The 11 O'Clock Show, Ali G has since progressed to both his own programme and comedy icon status. Innit, meanwhile, rounds up the finest moments from the rapper's time on 11 O'Clock with some extra footage thrown in for good measure, which show Sacha Baron Cohen's vowel-dropping, dope-smoking gangsta wannabe at home in his Berkshire "hood". However, it is the previously seen interview material that produces the best moments as Ali, resplendent in a series of eye-searing day-glo tracksuits, grills the likes of ex-film censor James Ferman ("Why did they ban Chocolate Orange?"), the late Tory educational expert Sir Rhodes Boyson ("Do you think porn stars ought to teach sex education in schools?") and a pre-Clapham Common Ron Davies ("What is so good about Wales? Because, no disrespect, but me's hears it's crap.") Exactly who is being lampooned--publicity-hungry celebs? misogynistic rappers? white middle-class wiggers?--is never entirely made clear but the results are rarely less than hilarious. Only the ever-argumentative Tony Benn succeeds in taking on his shades-sporting persecutor. Anyone yet to fall under Ali G's spell, though, is unlikely to be convinced by his opening assertion that 85% of the video's cost price will be spent on top-quality marijuana. --Clark Collis --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Rhodes Boyson perhaps comes across worst of all, completely missing what Ali meant by 'caned' and 'women who drink from the furry cup' and as such making me glad his role in politics ended many years ago. His method of trapping the famous judge into attempting to define which language is offensive enough to turn murder into manslaughter, and later his justification for why women should not be on juries, is hysterical. Decribing James Ferman as "the guy who writes his name on the films" still provokes a chuckle no matter how many times I see it.
The interview with the army hero is an early one, and the look and lingo aren't especially convincing, but the brilliant question "does it help if you've ALREADY killed someone?" regarding entrance requirements still shines through, as he obliviously goes into a story about 'me mate Dave'. The interview with Sir Teddy Taylor is yet another highlight, especially his astute and improvisational expansion on the concept of 'horse-trading', which he pretends to completely fail to understand - "So the horses vote then?" - and Teddy's reaction to his fear that hardcore Dutch pornography won't be available under a united Europe.
Ali G touches on awkward political issues - Welsh devolution, gays in the military, work-shy single parents and the public's stereotyping of them, Northern Ireland - and manages to provoke some very surprising reactions. Can you imagine Jonathan Dimbleby or even Jeremy Paxman getting the same results? It goes to back up the extent to which hard-looking youths frighten the 'moral majority'.
The guy who suggested that the humour here is racist is completely missing the point. In many areas of Britain, white youths routinely act in the way portrayed in the sketches here, trying to use black slang without ever really hitting the crux of the culture, and certainly not fully understanding it. Furthermore, all too many white people in this country (older ones at least) still believe that the negative attitudes, and fail to appreciate any other element of African/Jamaican cultures. Lest we forget that Cohen is himself Jewish. As for being offended by the masturbation jokes at the beginning, please grow up and appreciate the remark in its context.
Anyway this was the original Ali G. The spoof interviewer was sent to represent yooff (youth!) and many people fell for it. Interviews with Tony Benn, Judge Pickles, art experts, welsh teachers, Orange Order me.... I cannot put into words how funny these are, and while the films and the tv series that followed are good these are the best.
The other highlight (or lowlight) is for anyone who has ever been to staines, middlesex (or berkshire as Ali seems to say), there are clips of the town spotted in the DVD. The now demolished ABC Cinema, The Crooked Billet before it was burnt down. Surely seeing these images is worth the price alone!
Ali G: "should kids be cained in school?"
Sir Rhodes Boyson (Tory education expert): "Yes"
The best thing in my opinion about this video (or dvd) is that the interviews were taken before the mass attention sprung upon Staines favourite son, thereby the people getting interviewed are unaware of Ali's personality and thus dont know what they are in for.
Ali tackles such questions as 'is art more about drawing or colouring in?', 'is tony hart the greatest artist ever?' and the classic (to the police present at a tree protest) 'do you think this protest is gonna come to iraq?'!
Pre all the hype, pre the film, pre borat etc this video is pure Ali G at his best; interviewing. A must for anyone who has liked future releases 'bling bling' and 'aiight', for anyone unaware of Ali's material will like it if prepared for his sharp tongue and colourful language, supposably representative of living in 'the hood'!
sexist: In this video, Ali G. states that he uses Britney Spears videos for masturbation.
homophobic: In this video, Ali G. states that gay people should use "Queer As Folk" videos for masturbation, and not this video.
xenophobic: In this video, Ali G. makes beatbox noises while standing in the middle of a pristine Welsh choir, strongly implying there is no room in Britain for foreign cultures.
racist: this video is one long racial slur against blacks, Jamaicans and Africans. It strongly implies that all members of these groups are stupid, drug using, drug pushing, pimping fools. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at Ali G.'s popularity in a country where an entire football stadium makes gorilla grunting noises wherever a black player get control of the ball (according to Bill Buford in "Amonst The Thugs").
Very sad. I pity any women, asians, foriegners or blacks trying to live in Britain, especially blacks.
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