I recently saw it for the first time, and found it fascinating, although sometimes hard to watch.
But my question is:
[spoiler]Was the Pamela Anderson scene a ‘work’ (i.e., faked) ? Had she been clued in that it was part of a movie being filmed prior to being stuffed into the ‘marriage sack’?
My first reaction was that it had to be a ‘work’ – too much time seemed to have elapsed from the time she started screaming and security getting involved, and Borat still managed to escape into the parking lot.
On the other hand, the guards’ takedown looked pretty rough. And, as my friend who loaned me the DVD pointed out, “If that was (a work), she’s a better actress than I ever gave her credit for”.[/spoiler]
Apologies if this has been answered elsewhere: it was asked in this thread but not really answered.
It clearly was set-up, or he’d have spent serious jail time, and we know he did not (one or two of his crew members was arrested for taking bedding out of the N.Y. hotel, as part of a gag (not included in the film) where he naively believes that he has purchased the right to take everything in the room). Drag over below text for other speculations (spoilers).
Other scenes were clearly set up to some degree. Of course, the “hooker” was a professional actress. And the college kids in the camper – when they sued, they made it clear they did not really pick him up hitchhiking as portrayed in the movie, but that they were recruited, plied with alcohol at a bar, encouraged to act rowdy and rude, and then put into a rented camper driven by the crew.
I also strongly suspect a lot of stage management in the infamous “hotel fight” scene. No one seems to know what hotel it was filmed at, there’s no evidence of their being arrested, and the set-up with the reaction-shot in the elevator – that strikes me as a little too good to be true, that they would know one guy would just happen to be left staring at them silently.
It’s always bugged me a bit (to go on a tangent) when Cohen claims his work reveals a lot about people’s true attitudes, biases, etc. There’s nothing especially real or true about the contrived situations he puts together, with the obvious intention of provoking particular bad behavior or statements from people. Somehwere you have to know there’s 40 hours of discarded footage where he’s trying to provoke people into saying bad things about women, or Jews, or whoever, and nobody’s rising to his insistent bait.