Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A mountain of publicity

A Mormon theater owner in Utah pulled the movie Brokeback Mountain from his theaters, only two hours after a reporter mentioned what the movie was about. (Two gay cowboys in love, in case you've been living under a rock.) He's since refused to say exactly why he pulled the movie, but, since he's also pulled the showing of Transamerica, I think we can make a pretty safe guess.

It's not because the movie has any graphic sexual content. It's R-rated for "sexuality, nudity, language and some violence." That's "sexuality," mind you, not the "some sexual content" of Casanova, the "strong language throughout, strong crude and sexual humor, and nudity" of Grandma's Boy, the "nudity and brief language" of Mrs. Henderson Presents, the "strong graphic violence, some sexual content, nudity and language" of Munich, or the "violence and language" of Syriana. Those are most of the other R-rated movies shown at Megaplex Theaters. So just showing that gay people exist is enough to get you banned from this asshole's theater.

What truly shows the hypocricy of this bigot is that his theater is also showing Hostel. That's a movie that starts with "exploitative sex as an appetizer," is about three young horny men that get lured to an Eastern European hotel with promises of loose women, only to be kidnapped and tortured. Graphically tortured. Ultra-violently graphically tortured. The Salon review describes it thusly:

But what's made "Hostel" instantly notorious is not the philosophical questions it raises, such as they are, but the intense and horrifying nature of its violence. You could argue, in fact, that Roth is playing to precisely the kind of jadedness he says he's criticizing. In the last few years horror directors have all but abandoned mood, atmosphere and suggestion for full-on graphic bloodshed, and Roth, a protégé of Quentin Tarantino and one of the most talented filmmakers in the genre, is leading the way.

He has no apologies. "This is a really, really violent and bloody film," he says. "And if people don't want to see that, they absolutely shouldn't go. I think there is absolutely an audience that wants their horror horrific. They don't want it safe. I'm not trying to make movies that appeal to everyone, and I think the advertising makes that clear. This is stuff that really horrifies and disturbs me."

...I tell him the truth about my own reaction, which was that I admired the humor, the tremendous craftsmanship and even the shock value of "Hostel," but found the Grand Guignol torture scenes excessive. (Unless you're a hardcore fan of Italian, Spanish and Japanese gore flicks, you've never seen anything like this.)

So, to sum up: Gay people in love = bad. Graphic, gore-filled depictions of torure = good.

Fundamentalist Christians have their priorities seriously fucked up.

2 comments:

David said...

Fundamentalists have their priorities seriously fucked up? My goodness, it took a movie to convince you of that? The good news is that the Salt Lake City-area theatres that are showing the film are doing record-setting business. So, who comes out looking stupid both moral-wise and business-wise?

Narc said...

Just one more example of how fundamentalist Christians have their priorities fucked up, then?

It may not have been a great decision business-wise, but moral-wise it just allows them to be even more self-righteous. Remember, these are the same people that are convinced that the liberal Hollywood Christian-baby-eating homos are coming to rape their daughters then give them all abortions. The buzz about this movie isn't because it's a good movie, but because it's part of "the homosexualizing of America."