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Today The Dictator opens in theaters everywhere, starring Sasha Baron Cohn as a dictator desperate to keep democracy out of his oppressed country.
The dictator's fictional country of Wadiya recently launched its own tourism website promoting its many attractions like the Wadiyan State Zoo where, "many dozens of endangered species can be found caged, including pandas, white tigers, and Amnesty International officials." The site also endorses the Wadiyan Museum of Tolerance, "Open daily from 9 to 5. Women, Jews, and disabled not allowed."
Maybe you've heard of this Bruno guy, a proud gay Austrian fashion reporter who's been terrorizing the Midwestern United States for the past year? Sasha Baron Cohen took a whirlwind tour of the U.S. as Bruno by creating more than 30 fake companies to trick unsuspecting interviewees into taking part in his film. All of his hard work pays off tonight when the movie opens nationwide, to the dismay and embarrassment of some of his interview subjects.
If you fell for his Bruno schtick, then needless to say you'd have a pretty grim view of Austria. To counteract this, we've done a little research to compile a mini-guide to Austria's very fashionable capitol; we're sure Bruno would approve.
Where to Stay:
The luxurious teigenberger Hotel Herrenhof, located in old town, is the ideal location for a first visit to Vienna. It is within walking distance to some of the city's top attractions like the Hofburg Imperial Palace, the Kohlmarkt shopping centre and St. Stephen's Cathedral. The hotel features all of the must-have modern amenities including in-room WiFi. Rates for a standard room begin around $260.
Proving beyond a doubt that even really bad publicity is good publicity, the previously little-known nation of Kazakhstan is now eternally grateful that nasty ol' Borat said such horrible things about it.
Two years on from the 2006 hit movie "Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan," tourism projects have taken off, with three huge resorts still going strong despite the global economic crisis. In just the last six months, the number of tourists braving a trip into Kazakhstan has increased by 13 percent.
And while Borat might've portrayed Kazakhstan as a poor country to the American market, the Kazakhs themselves have their own ideas of who they should insult. A deputy chairman in the tourist ministry recently said the "Borat" film "was made in Romania--it's a very poor country." Thereís nothing like passing the buck.
He's baaaaack! Sacha Baron Cohen's character Bruno took advantage of pre-election frenzy this weekend in California and attempted to crash a "Yes on Prop 8" rally in Los Angeles. The actor, who notably played a Kazakh the last time he was ambushing Americans, was in deep cover as gay Austrian fashionista Bruno until, when recognized, he and his camera crew tried to sneak away without being caught.
Bruno's exploits aren't quite as funny in light of the results in from the Proposition 8 vote, which according to current returns demonstrates that the electorate has passed the ban. This would mean that celebs like Ellen DeGeneras and Portia de Rossi, who married in May after the California Supreme Court struck down an earlier marriage-related proposition, would see their new unions invalidated--possibly within the year.
But with some 4 million provisional and absentee ballots yet to be counted, opponents of Prop 8 are still holding out hope.
[Photo: Faded Youth Blog]
When comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's "Borat" exposed the foibles of Americans everywhere, a few people weren't laughing, triggering a wave of lawsuits from people who participated in the film and didn't know they were being mocked. Well, guess what, suckers! You signed the release!
New York judge Loretta Preska, Jaunted hero, threw out lawsuits from the film's eternally patient driving instructor (above) and unnaturally sweet etiquette coaches, citing the agreements they signed to appear in the film.
It's perfect timing for Baron Cohen as he completes shooting on his next "character" film, next year's "Bruno" in which he plays a gay Austrian fashionista. Humor teacher, drunk frat boys and Pam Anderson beware!
· Movie Ambush Travel: Bruno Is The New Borat In Kansas [Jaunted]
· Sacha Baron Cohen Caught Relaxing At Airport [Jaunted]
· Celeb Travel coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo: Evil Beet Gossip]
Wherever there is a publicity-hungry expert, Bruno is there! Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen wreaked havoc earlier this year at a Kansas airport in character as a gay Austrian fashionista, his follow-up to Borat. Recently, an Israeli defense expert was taken in by the comedian's wiles.
Yossi Alpher thought he was conducting an interview on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Instead, he was interrogated about the terrorist potential of hummus and Brad Pitt's love life. Apparently someone hasn't been to the movies recently!
What we want to know is whether this movie--allegedly titled "Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt"--do for tourism in Austria what "Borat" did for Kazakhstan?
Despite Sacha Baron Cohen's best efforts, news of the filming of his new movie has leaked to the press, er, us. It was common knowledge the Golden Globe winner was going to follow up his sleeper hit "Borat: Cultural Benefits of American To Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" with a film based on his gay Austrian stylist character Bruno, but apparently Bruno has been spotted in Kansas... without pants.
Cohen had permits for a shoot in the Wichita, Kansas airport, but he probably didn't have license to strip and attempt to kiss random passengers there.
Thank goodness a passerby thought to film the mayhem. Who are these people who have never heard of Cohen or any of his characters? Apparently Ben Affleck was also fooled into being interviewed by Bruno. Oh, we love this country.
Traveling like a celebrity can be hard work, especially when you have to stop to say Jagshemash to all your fans along the way. The comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, who instigated a nationwide rise in lawsuits last year as the Kazakh reporter Borat, was recently spotted relaxing with a chair massage at Vancouver International Airport. He no longer sports the bushy mustache of his alter ego, but fans spotted him anyway, according to the New York Daily News.
Of course, if Baron Cohen was handling his own luggage--as he is in the above photo, accompanied by actress-fiancee Isla Fisher--maybe he deserved that massage.
Looks like Sacha Baron Cohen isn't done turning fictionalizing countries into pop culture tourist destinations. His rumored new film, "Bruno", will depict "a gay, stupid, self-centered and Nazi-adoring Austrian, lifestyle journalist."
Apparently the Austrian press has been debating whether the possible hosting of Cohen will shatter Austria's travel image, which has been heavily shaped by billions of dollars in Austrian tourism promotion over the last couple of years. You can check out their crafted image here. At least one group wants to ban the gay Borat clone:
Sources in the film industry say the character will juxtapose the Austrians' relationship towards homosexuals alongside that of foreigners. In one of the scenes, Bruno will suggest sending singer Ricky Martin to a ghetto and actor Burt Reynolds to Auschwitz when he comes to power.
Hm. We say let the faux hawk film in Austria, though either way, this time around it is going to be really tough to dupe enough people to create the kind of comedy Cohen craves. Of course we will follow this closely, so tip us off if you have info.
The Alliance for the Future of Austria, is preparing a bill proposing that Borat will be banned from shooting the film. Baron has continually been granting interviews as part of the public relations drive for the movie.
Our favorite Bruno clip ever post jump.
The feud between the people of Kazakhstan--mainly one person, the president--and Borat continues, according to the New York Times. The Kazakh president was angry that many news outlets reported that the subject of his recent trip to the U.S. was to complain about Borat. While the Bush Administration can certainly sympathize with his troubles dealing with the media, President Nazarbayev wasn't making a special trip to complain about the comedian.
We think that the Kazakh government should embrace the Borat phenomenon more fully than they have; each angry denunciation makes them look foolish, and banning the importation of the film into the country doesn't make the argument that theirs is a totally free society any easier.
Many other countries around the world learned that the path to American tourist dollars is paved with insults: Americans all frequently visit Canada, France, Mexico and the UK, and they're snottier about those countries than anywhere else in the world. We kid because we love. Besides, more people know about fermented mare's milk now than ever before--what's bad about that?
· Kazakhs Shrug at Borat While State Fumes [NYT]
· Borat [Jaunted]