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Switch to Forum Live View Darwin Film "too controversial for religious America"
9 years ago  ::  Sep 14, 2009 - 12:35PM #1
Posts: 49

A new film depicting the life of Charles Darwin is opening worldwide, with the exception of the U.S.  Why you may ask?  Apparently it is “too controversial for religious America” and the Christians will not be happy about it.   How ridiculous!!!   Since when does a Hollywood movie distributor care about what Christians think when it comes to an opportunity to put a money making movie out on the market?   Here is a link to the where a short article explains more in detail what is going on.

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9 years ago  ::  Sep 14, 2009 - 12:39PM #2
Posts: 44,029

Rediculous, sad, embarassing, and more. This country seems to be going backwards towards the Dark Ages. Frown

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.   Isaac Asimov
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 14, 2009 - 3:55PM #3
Posts: 7,212

I think they are missing a bet.  Banned in Boston used to be the best marketing tool for books back in the middle of the last century.  I often wondered if Archbishop was on the take.  Can you imagine a better marketing tool than offering a Rent-a-cop to escort the patrons through the protest lines? 

Jcarlinbn, community moderator
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 14, 2009 - 5:51PM #4
Posts: 3,242

I don't know.  Every time I hear about distributors pooh-poohing a great film, I end up going to it and agreeing with the distributors.  If Sasha Baron Cohen could get Bruno distributed, you can distribute anything.  Just don't expect a lot of enthusiasm.  Religulous got distributed; so did Exposed.  Both films had marginal audiences but big enough names to fetch at least some name recognition.  I thought The Aristocrats was one of the crudest stand-up comedy films ever released, with language so nasty, it would take the paint off a sedan.  But it had enough cameos from enough comedic talent to get a marginal thumbs-up.

So if somebody wants to make a movie about the life of Charles Darwin, the only real question is whether there's a plot in it.  Nobody wants to see a documentary for its own sake.  Movie distribution works on the psychological level of the state fair.  Nobody goes to the state fair to see a lecture about the laws of science.  They want to see something spectacular.  If there isn't an explosion, if the chick doesn't have three boobs, if this isn't the greatest new invention since male enhancement pills, people stay home.  At the state fair, the only difference between the carnival equipment and the objects on display is -- well, there is no difference between the carnival equipment and the objects on display.

Right now, the number-one film of the entire year - to date - is Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.  It's got no plot.  It's got no acting.  It's a Saturday morning cartoon starring Shia LaBeouf.  It's easily one of the worst movies ever made.  But it crunches and it sizzles and it explodes.  People like that.  They're not as forgiving of Bill Maher pissing in their oatmeal and telling them God is dead.  One of my favorite movies of all time is Memento.  I think it's a better film than last year's half-billion-dollar Dark Knight.  Written and directed by the same guy, Christopher Nolan, Memento was brilliant - and had to have a distributor created just to get this film on screens.  It made something like $9 million in its entire run, which is what Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen made in its first showing of the day it was released.  How could that be?  It's simple.  Most people would rather see stuff blow up than figure out a head-scratching puzzle.  That's why, when Dale Earnhardt died, people cried.  When Michael Jackson died, the news was heard round the world within 2 1/2 minutes.  But when the average Nobel prize winner dies, there's not so much as a yawn.  Most of them don't know, let alone care.

Mel Gibson made a movie about the last twelve hours of the life of Christ - a film spewing with pornographic violence - yet people brought their youngest children to see it.  Whole church groups went through.  He made a film where the Jews were depicted as demons.  Even their children were demonized.  And yet Gibson had no trouble finding a distributor.  Afterwards, Gibson was busted for a DUI, saw the officer was Jewish and went into a drunken antisemitic tirade - yet the man has had no trouble getting his movies distributed.  Why not?  Because they make money.  Money is the mother's milk of the movie business.  Bad taste won't get you bounced out of Hollywood, just bad box office.

Darwin, of all people, should understand that.  It's not survival of the finest.  It's survival of the fittest.

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9 years ago  ::  Dec 14, 2009 - 3:35PM #5
Posts: 2

Yeah...that sucks a lot. Passion of the Christ was just perfect  for audiences, but goodness forbid they put a lil evolution out there!


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8 years ago  ::  Jan 16, 2010 - 9:34PM #6
Posts: 3,242

I don't know that much about the life of Darwin, but if somebody went through it, found the good stuff, and served up a film that wasn't a love letter (like so many biopics), you might have something.

The story has to sell itself.

With the Passion of the Christ, it was an easy sell.  You've got Mel Gibson showing Jesus's last 12 hours.  All the controversy surrounding it only made people more curious.  For all of Gibson's talk of telling it like it was (with actors speaking Aramaic), it really was a very simple film.  Jesus gets the bejesus beat out of him for three hours.  Ten years before, Gibson would have had a tough time selling this film, but 9/11 created an audience for it.  The right wing had characterized 9/11 as an attack on Christianity, so it was, "Go see The Passion or the terrorists win."

Gibson's contribution to the corral of Jesus biopics was to turn Jesus into the Road Warrior.  Personally, I think they should turn this movie into a drinking game.  Every whack, splatter, kick in the crotch or paper cut should be occasioned with "Chug!"

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