Early this week we heard about General Motors and a possible plan for the car company to bankroll Warner Bros. new take on Cannonball Run. But that’s not the weirdest film financing plan out there this week. The news now is that Hungary is looking at a tax on porn websites, with the proceeds being funneled back into the regular Hungarian film business.

Variety reports on the possible tax, saying that MP Laszlo Simon, a member of the ruling center-right Fidesz party, is one of the prime backers of the plan, but that rival part LMP is sponsoring the tax, essentially creating bi-partisan support for the plan. There’s also another component: a 3% tax on multiplex tickets to aid the country’s struggling art-house theaters. Such socialism would never stand in the US!

This reminds me of the pre-internet ’90s, when the comic publisher Fantagraphics subsidized its artful comic output via revenue from the sub-label Eros Comix, which published (actually still publishes) comics with very explicit sex. Publisher Gary Groth was always very open about the fact that Eros Comix money helped make possible all the critical darling titles published by Fantagraphics. It was always a weird dynamic, to have some of the most truly artful comics available made possible in part by some pretty crazy porn.

I’d be happy to watch an art-house film like Bullhead (a recent Fantastic Fest entry from Hungary, pictured above) or something like Kontroll that was financed in part by porn tax. No outrage or issue with that from me. My only surprise, really, comes from the realization that anyone in Hungary actually pays for porn. That’s insane.

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