Grib here with a review of "Hounddog," a film elevated by a searing performance by Dakota Fanning: "Hounddog" is a deeply moving film that generated a lot of pre-Festival controversy due to a scene in which the young actress Dakota Fanning is raped. Although that scene would be repulsive due to its subject matter alone, it is handled as tastefully as possible: the camera focuses on Fanning's face, hands, and feet, and the scene does not linger exploitatively. It is as brief as it could be while still getting its impact across. The film centers on Lewellen (Fanning), a young girl of about eleven growing up in a rundown shack in the 1950s South with her beer-gutted, leering father (David Morse), just up the road from her maternal grandmother (Piper Laurie). Coming from a town of 400 in the poor rural South, I generally object to cinematic depictions of this region (with the notable exception of "Junebug"), and I must say that director Deborah Kampmeier lays it on thickly here: the paint is peeling off of Lewellen's shack, and all the screen doors squeak. Abandoned cars lie around all over the backyard; only the slow progress of history keeps satellite dishes from sprouting from every available roof space. All the characters sport a sheen of sweat, and beer is consumed 24/7. But if this must be where the film is set, so be it. It's the acting that matters, particularly the blistering performance of Dakota Fanning, who has one hell of a future ahead of her if she's taken the requisite don't-become-the-next-Lindsay-Lohan courses. I won't reveal the exact circumstances of the controversial scene, as it is central to the film's power. I will say that the handling of the inappropriate way that Lewellen's father behaves around and toward her is well-done. It is not over-the-top, but it exposes issues that are still with us today. The performances are all excellent. I wish that Laurie's character had been developed beyond the shrill, one-note racist Bible-thumper that we're left with, but she does a good job nonetheless. Also left underdeveloped for reasons more plotbound is the mother figure who hovers around the edges of Lewellen's life without ever really stepping in. Robin Wright Penn, asked to deliver yet another rough-hewn, chain-smoking character, gives a wonderful portrait of a woman unlucky enough to fall in with the likes of Lewellen's abusive father. But the real reason to see "Hounddog" is Fanning. She does things in this film that would challenge an actress twice her age. Her emotional range is limitless, and her wonderfully expressive face and saucer-like eyes are incredible assets. Lewellen worships Elvis, and often breaks into song as a means of escaping her painful world. Fanning handles these scenes admirably, fully embodying Lewellen's fleeting reveries. There is a motif involving snakes that is interesting. Lewellen befriends a local stablehand, an African American man who respects the poisonous snakes of the region and bleeds them of their poison to use in antidotes. He tutors Lewellen on the proper regard for these creatures, and he notes that she has a rare and special ability to turn the potential badness in snakes into good. He also introduces her to the blues roots of Elvis' music (which creates a nice cameo opportunity for gospel/pop diva Jill Scott), a lesson that serves her well later in the film. The snakes work on several levels, with obvious Biblical significance in addition to the practical dangers they represent to the characters. I'm sure "Hounddog" is going to have a hell of a time with the MPAA, with or without revised rules. There just aren't a lot of precedents for this movie, and however deftly handled the subject matter is, there are still folks who aren't going to let it in their theaters. I hope it makes it into one near you.
Jan. 23, 2007, 4:40 p.m. CST
Jan. 23, 2007, 5:09 p.m. CST
by Baron Karza
Hollywood... is there anything it CANT do?
Jan. 23, 2007, 5:10 p.m. CST
by Triumph poops!
There, it's done. Like a ticking timebomb, the race was on and someone was going to eventually say it. So now that its been taken away and is over and done with, we can move on to discussing the film. Given the controversy over the Fanning rape scene, I'm predicting this could become one of AICN's longest, most heated talkbacks in quite awhile.<p>Well, unless there's breaking news on the start-up of a new STAR WARS film, in which case all geek attention will immediately flock to that!
Jan. 23, 2007, 5:12 p.m. CST
gee, didn't see that one coming.
Jan. 23, 2007, 5:29 p.m. CST
by Mr Bonefish
He wants everyone to apologize for all the pain they have caused him and yet he allows child p0rn into his festival. Nice.
Jan. 23, 2007, 5:29 p.m. CST
by Triumph poops!
I posted this in a talkback thread about THE SIGNAL, where someone asked why seeing/acting out a child rape scene is any worse than seeing/acting out an alien invasion story where lots of people die. But since we now have an actual HOUNDDOG thread, I'll cut & paste what I wrote there to contribute to this thread.<p>Let's cut to the chase: the thing that has people up in arms over Dakota Fanning's rape in HOUNDDOG was best summed up by an exchange on HANNITY & COLMES a few nights ago. A guest tried to defend the movie and rape scene by saying "Well, I haven't actually seen it yet, but I hear its tastefully done so it's not bad to see" to which Hannity instantly replied in his best sarcastic manner "Oh, so you mean Hollywood's found a GOOD way to show 12-year old girls being RAPED. That's comforting to know. It's good to know that the creative brain trust in Hollywood put their minds to finally solving THAT problem." And whether you like Hannity or not, it's a valid question worth asking. DOES the world really need to see a 12-year old being raped? Is THAT what anyone is actually clamoring for in a movie these days?<p>But the movie IS creepy for other reasons too. In quite a few reports I've read online today -- now that HOUNDDOG has officially been screened -- many note that the rape scene IS undeniably unsettling. And while some female reviewers have tried to salvage the situation by arguing the movie should be looked at more as a "female coming of age tale" (and thus female moviegoers should embrace it), on the flip side several male reviewers have simply noted (in short) "No, Fanning just comes off as a sexual tart looking for it, and to be honest it's just creepy." In particular reviewers have also noted (now that the movie has been seen) just how much Fanning runs around in either her underwear or is skimpily dressed, which means coupled with the rape this whole thing becomes a pedophile's best wet dream -- almost like it's a training film.<p>And just to add to the fire -- as a side tangent into arguments over "what" can be censored or not these days-- now there's legal talk beginning to ripple outward about whether or not the movie does violate certain State laws pertaining to very specific Child Protection Acts that ARE legally on the books, right down to defining whether or not you can portray such a distressing scene and whether towns and cinemas now have the right to refuse showing the movie at on those grounds. Or just as important, if the company that ultimately chooses to distribute HOUNDDOG could be held legally liable for lawsuits and damages for actually distributing such material in violation of said Child Protection Laws.<p>Frankly, I don't know what's creepier here. That (1) the writer/director sat around one day, looking for a movie idea to spring into their head, at which point a lightbulb went off over their head and they suddenly felt the need to make a movie about a 12-year old being raped... That (2) they creatively couldn't create a so-called "sexual coming of age" story without needing to resort to including an UNDERAGED RAPE scene... or that (3) Fanning, who is rather creepy herself being a 12-going-on-40 mutant herself, decided to star in this thing most likely because someone told her it was a sure fire way to get MORE career attention and maybe even a future Oscar nod for being so "daring." Which means on her end the rape scene wasn't even about the story or so-called "art" (the core reason for defending the movie) but was instead all about whoring herself out onscreen, pandering to the utmost degree so she could win an award. Which goes to show Fanning could care less about actual child rapes versus taking home a Golden Boy one day come Oscar time.<p>Truth be told, this movie is rather creepy on quite a few fronts...
Jan. 23, 2007, 5:45 p.m. CST
by CTU Mole
Jan. 23, 2007, 5:49 p.m. CST
by Triumph poops!
Oh, and my favorite line from the review had to be: "Robin Wright Penn, asked to deliver yet another rough-hewn, chain-smoking character, gives a wonderful portrait of a woman unlucky enough to fall in with the likes of Lewellen's abusive father." Gimme a break! That's the ONLY role she ever plays!<p>Director: Okay, next I need someone to be the abused wife. Someone who will mope around alot, continually run their fingers through their hair to show that they're moody, who will chain-smoke because that always means distress, but who's still a pretty face. After all, this IS Hollywood.<p>Casting Agent: How about getting Robin Wright Penn?<p>Director: Genius! That's gold, baby, GOLD!
Jan. 23, 2007, 5:55 p.m. CST
how do you portray any of the myriad of miserable shades of human behavior in a film? i mean, should hollywood have been barred from making schindler's list (children hiding in fecal debris?) or Roots (generation after generation of rape murder and mayhem?)should hollywood or any other filmaking be restricted to TGIF brand fullhouse plot lines and delivery?........and as far as the uncomfortable adult portrayal of an under age girl, the obvious bench mark in a hollywood film would probably be Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver--- just curious-
Jan. 23, 2007, 6:12 p.m. CST
by jimmy rabbitte
Thanks for saying it... well put.
Jan. 23, 2007, 6:22 p.m. CST
...how many people decrying this film as being lewd or "over the line" also consider the so-called "torture-porn" genre movies to be harmless fun. I'd wager a good number. And if so, isn't there some conflict there? Can we assume that it is not-okay to depict a 12-year being raped in a non-titillating (no actual "bits" shown on screen), condemning way. Yet, it's harmless fun to show someone mutilated and tortured to death in the most explicit and graphic way possible so as to elicit cheers and fist-pumping from the "gore-hound" audience?
Jan. 23, 2007, 6:20 p.m. CST
by jimmy rabbitte
That argument doesn't really hold up... those films are historical acounts of *actual* events. This film is not. I, also, recall hearing some negative feedback about the scene in Cape Fear, at the time. This just sounds like more gratuitous nonsense. May I suggest you read Triumph Poops' entry on "Why This Movie Is Totally Creepy", he hits it right on target.
Jan. 23, 2007, 6:26 p.m. CST
Hounddog isn't historical. Real children are never raped or abused! It's not an *actual* event! All that child porn on the net isn't real either. Let's just forget about it.
Jan. 23, 2007, 6:27 p.m. CST
by jimmy rabbitte
you make a solid point, also jollysleeve. We can't get off the hook so easily on this topic. Movies like the Saws and the Hostels make it very difficult to sound credible when going after films like Houndog. Still we must be careful not to dismiss depictions of child sexual abuse as artful cinema too easily.
Jan. 23, 2007, 6:28 p.m. CST
by THE KNIGHT
Jan. 23, 2007, 6:34 p.m. CST
by jimmy rabbitte
...not sure where you're going...not trying to offend anyone...just saying child abuse is a serious thing and shouldn't be treated so lightly as using it as a plot twist in a movie. The Holocaust really happened... slavery and brutality upon African Americans really happened... Don't take what I was saying and try to twist it into me suggesting child abuse doesn't happen...
Jan. 23, 2007, 6:41 p.m. CST
as long as there's a good reason for it. People do get raped, it's an ugly fact of life. And sometimes the best art is ugly. If a movie wants to draw attention to something that happens often but thatis often overlooked, then I don't see a problem with that. But I haven't seen Hounddog yet, so for all I know maybe it IS vile trash. I'm just saying that if it's vile trash, I doubt that it's vile trash just because it depicts child rape. But even if it's not child rape, and is a beautiful work of art, that's still no excuse for breaking laws while making the film. Not to say that laws were broken, but people have been talking about that so I hope that's not the case.
Jan. 23, 2007, 7:12 p.m. CST
the girl not only gets raped, but murdered too. Hannity should start frothing now.
Jan. 23, 2007, 7:18 p.m. CST
"i gotta eat.. i mean comon"
Jan. 23, 2007, 7:23 p.m. CST
But you still know what I meant.
Jan. 23, 2007, 7:31 p.m. CST
Pretty Baby pretty much had the same controversy surrounding it when 12yo Brooke Shields bared just about everything as a young prostitute. From what I've heard, this movie is far more tame than Pretty Baby was....but that's just what I've heard.
Jan. 23, 2007, 8:32 p.m. CST
Has anybody asked Oprah what she feels aboot this? Like she is the voice of the nation. Oprah's gotta eat!
Jan. 23, 2007, 8:43 p.m. CST
Jan. 23, 2007, 9:03 p.m. CST
Geeze, I was just saying to my wife, "Why dont they make more movies of 12-year-old girls getting raped?"
Jan. 23, 2007, 9:05 p.m. CST
by Bronx Cheer
in part because she's some an other-worldly child-woman, but mostly because she is in touch with what real acting is. It's make believe, and actors who lay on all the extra bullshit that goes with the Method are weak in comparison with the greats. The review by Grib was very well done, especially considering the subject matter of the film. I was glad to see him reference the way that Hollywaood typically portrays the South. As for all of you Talkbackers that cannot resist lame ass attempts at humor...you are not going to gain any fame or recognition from your asinine comments in a Talkback on AICN. It's so encouraging to see so many idiots make jokes about rape. Human race..yay!
Jan. 23, 2007, 9:16 p.m. CST
he said this could be this year's little miss sunshine
Jan. 23, 2007, 9:19 p.m. CST
by Bronx Cheer
is reading what people have to say about a movie that they have not seen. The reviewer saw the film. Anyone else here seen it? More to the point: how many people here know what it's like to be raped? How many here were raped in their childhood? It is important to remember that rape is one of the most under-reported crimes, which means many victims never have the chance to see justice served. Now consider the plight of raped children? How often do you think that gets to the police? Maybe movies like this need to get made so we'll discuss the outrageous lack of attention domestic and child abuse cases still suffer from...and while I do not think that a child actor should ever be put in a position to act out a rape scene-EVER-I do think we need more films that dramatize what children really suffer. If we have to suffer the endless rush of gore films like Saw, Saw II, Saw III ad infinitum, then we can handle the occasional film about the abuse of children. Or can't you handle the truth? Oh, sorry, did I leave out the AICN Talkbacker Catchphrase of the Week? Okay, here's one for you...
Jan. 23, 2007, 9:26 p.m. CST
as long as there's good reason for it.
Jan. 23, 2007, 9:49 p.m. CST
by Kevin Bosch
This was an independent movie barley financed by the skin of its teeth. Hollywood didn't want this movie. It was produced by a woman that wanted to tell this story, not to be exploitative or pornographic. And we're going to chastise Dakota Fanning because she took a role that would be challenging and powerful? It's funny because it seems that the majority of people who have a problem with the movie are men that feel her character's behavior is sexually charged, where as women respond to it as an indicative of innocence. Says a lot about those that feel uncomfortable by the movie even before seeing it.
Jan. 23, 2007, 10:03 p.m. CST
Now, I'm not saying this movie is good, because I haven't seen it. But TAXI DRIVER was also about underage sexual abuse and also featured an underage actress, and I don't hear anybody calling for Scorcese's balls.
Jan. 23, 2007, 10:03 p.m. CST
that people would not want to have a movie where a 12 yr old gets raped. Thankfully the liberal, left-wing democrats are here to save society and stand up for a film that includes such a scene. I mean, my goodness, where would our free speech be without this type of "art" being defended. BTW bacci40, nice leap...oh, kids are being abused on a daily basis, so leave this film alone. Please, give me more of this logic.
Jan. 23, 2007, 10:18 p.m. CST
I think he has a good point. I mean a lot of the best art is actually relevant to life. And there are a LOT of people who actually are victims to this sort of thing. Yeah, it's ugly and it's uncomfortable to watch, but it CAN'T be a taboo topic. It can't be a taboo topic because there are people going through that sort of thing right now. I'm not defending the filmmakers and I'm not saying that the movie isn;t vile. I'm just saying that this is important subject matter, and I'm willing to reserve my judgement until I know more about the movie. If laws were broken, then by all means prosecute. If the movie is indeed trashy and vile, then by all means condemn it. But I haven't seen it. You might have, I didn't. I've heard a lot about it, but I still haven't gotten a chance to see it and see if any of the criticism is warranted. But no TOPIC should be taboo. I'm of te opinion that ANY topic can be okay if handled tastefully, and I feel the same way about child rape. Yes, child rape makes me uncomforatble. It SHOULD make me uncomfortable. It is a horrible thing that deserves to be addressed, and I don't have a problem with that. I just think it needs to be addressed the right way.
Jan. 23, 2007, 10:18 p.m. CST
There will be a lame list of similar excuses to justify this. They're already talking about her Oscar, as if it was worth it.
Jan. 23, 2007, 10:23 p.m. CST
by Triumph poops!
DocBosch, you wrote (quote): It's funny because it seems that the majority of people who have a problem with the movie are men that feel her character's behavior is sexually charged, where as women respond to it as an indicative of innocence. Says a lot about those that feel uncomfortable by the movie even before seeing it.<p>Sorry, but that has to be one of the lamest defenses I've heard yet for this movie, by trying to put something on those that are decrying it -- as if something MUST be wrong with anyone who doesn't like the movie or who dare to disagree with the artistic manner with which the very subject matter was even approached.<p>Oh, and for the record, trying to frame your stance by selectively taking the supposed female point of view and how they will "feel" about the movie doesn't give your argument any additional weight.<p>Hey, if we're going to use that particular line of logic to settle this, then here's another one for you. My girlfriend thinks PORN is a lowly, vulgar, degrading use of women, yet I see it as an uplifting and open expression of the human condition and a release of natural human feelings. See how that works?
Jan. 23, 2007, 10:32 p.m. CST
Her acting IS probably excellent given the fact they they exploited her in such an emotionally raw way. It's one thing for a foolish adult to choose such things, but to encourage this for a child (and she is still a child) is evil.
Jan. 23, 2007, 10:37 p.m. CST
I agree with all your points, and child rape does, unfortunately happen, innocent is lost all the time. 15% of 2-4 year olds now have cell phones in this country, funny, when I was that age I had play-dough and sticks in the backyard. So again, we need to address the maturing of the children in the country and find ways to let them be kids, but a dramatic movie with a 12 yr old being rapes DOES NOT start that discussion, DOES NOT provide healing, and does not do anything other than to bring out the worst on both sides of the argument. Angry is when in San Fransisco on a shoot and I read about a little boy who was locked in a cage most of his life an then drinks some sort of cleaner to kill himself, he was like 6 or 7, and knew he was killing himself. Social services had been to his house many times, but nothing was done. None, this story makes me want to do something to help kids. A movie, a straight up drama, does not. And here we are arguing over whether a movie should have a scene where a 12 yr old is raped. All argues about art, speech, whatever don't apply, he don't need this, the country doesn't need it. There is a line, truly great artists know that, there is a line, approach it, toe it, but respect it and you'll show respect for the medium, your subject, and the audience. Cross it, and well here we are.
Jan. 23, 2007, 10:38 p.m. CST
Just remember that acting, particularly very good acting, is about pretending things are as real as possible to get the best performance. So when her mom or her agentt gushes about her getting an Oscar for this, understand exactly what they are saying and promoting.
Jan. 23, 2007, 10:41 p.m. CST
Well put, again, the only role in life we have once we are parents is to protect our children. Dakota Fanning is a brillant 12yr old actor, there's plenty of time for challenging roles.
Jan. 23, 2007, 10:42 p.m. CST
because we make movies with 12 year old rape scenes. You think bin Laden wont see this? He will, and he's gonna be pissed.
Jan. 23, 2007, 10:46 p.m. CST
I also find it slightly odd this is writer-director Kampmeier's second movie about a young rape victim.
Jan. 23, 2007, 10:54 p.m. CST
by Flim Springfield
...or maybe she just has some issues...
Jan. 23, 2007, 10:57 p.m. CST
In your opinion, what is that line? Was a line crossed when they made a movie about this subject matter, or was a line crossed when they cast a child as the child victim? And I'm not trying to be a jerk, I honestly think that I'm getting confused as to WHY people are angry about this. What is most disturbing about this movie, that people are so against it before having seen it? Is it that it was actually a child in the role, or is it the subject matter itself?
Jan. 23, 2007, 10:59 p.m. CST
That was just another rumor to smear this film. Prove me wrong: find a *direct quote* from either of them that mentions the Oscar. Dakota is on record saying she had fun making this. Yeah, she knows the difference between real and acting. And as for Kampmeier, her previous film, Virgin, featured a 19 year old actress.
Jan. 23, 2007, 11:01 p.m. CST
by Orbots Commander
and tame them. Well. If that isn't sexual symbolism, I don't know what is.
Jan. 23, 2007, 11:08 p.m. CST
supposed to be IN THE FILM?
Jan. 23, 2007, 11:08 p.m. CST
by Bronx Cheer
Well, no shit, Sherlock.
Jan. 23, 2007, 11:14 p.m. CST
Fanning's mother, Joy, and her Hollywood agent, Cindy Osbrink, said that the movie is a possible Oscar contender for the preteen star. "It's not just the rape scene - the whole story is challenging Dakota as an actress," Fanning's longtime agent, Osbrink, told me. "And I've never been so proud of her in my life. I've seen the dailies, and in every scene she gets better and better." http://in.news.yahoo.com/060721/139/66269.html
Jan. 23, 2007, 11:15 p.m. CST
by Orbots Commander
On another note, who is the filmmaker and distributor targeting here as an audience segment? Is there a devoted fan-base eager to see a 12 year old girl run around half naked on screen and act out a simulated rape? Oh, wait...but there can't be THAT many of those dudes around, can there?
Jan. 23, 2007, 11:17 p.m. CST
a 12 year old simulating rape. Don't be dense!
Jan. 23, 2007, 11:19 p.m. CST
by S-Mart shopper
"As for all of you Talkbackers that cannot resist lame ass attempts at humor...you are not going to gain any fame or recognition from your asinine comments in a Talkback on AICN."
Jan. 23, 2007, 11:24 p.m. CST
by S-Mart shopper
Jan. 23, 2007, 11:29 p.m. CST
by Jimmy Jazz
I think not. Thanks anyway.
Jan. 23, 2007, 11:34 p.m. CST
Dakota Fanning took on a challenging role. It's not like "Twilight Zone," where Landis hired kids illegally and tossed them under a helicopter while he detonated live pyros. It's not like "Clownhouse" where the director was molesting the star offscreen. Wake up, people. Some of you are wrestling with controversy like a dog wrestles with a latex fire hydrant.
Jan. 23, 2007, 11:42 p.m. CST
by Dr Gregory House
...for me to POOP on!!!
Jan. 24, 2007, midnight CST
by half vader
"a scene in which the young actress Dakota Fanning is raped". Considering you pay lip service to the lousy and sensationalist reporting so far (where journos were 'sure' the character was explicitly and clearly shown being raped), that was a sloppy and careless bit of writing and defeats the point of the article's objectivity. Fanning's CHARACTER is raped. <p> As for whether this is all justified or not, you've gotta admit the old American double standard of Violence (and the hypocrisy of the titillating horror film) for all vs sweeping Sex under the carpet seems alive and well. Sigh. Why is it the rest of the world isn't as neurotic and in denial (even the Brits aren't as uptight!)? Then again, organised religion is the great equaliser!
Jan. 24, 2007, 12:08 a.m. CST
by half vader
actor. As solid as they come. Too bad he's been relegated within the industry to 'character-actor', which should be a redundant term.
Jan. 24, 2007, 12:26 a.m. CST
by Barry Egan
Landis only bedeaded one kid. And Vic Morrow. I read an article about this movie in the LA Times. The rape scene was shot without the 2 actors in the room at the same time. That's why the focus of the scene is Fanning's face, the rapist was never there when the scene filmed. And Fannings mom was on set during the filming. It sounds like the scene was handled about as responsibly as it could have been. No Bryan Singer Apt Pupil nonsense....
Jan. 24, 2007, 12:41 a.m. CST
Having one kid crushed while the other lost a head, shoulder, and arm doesn't minimize the point I'm making. Glad you read that LA Times article. I'm proud of you. I remember seeing this crap on the news when it was going on. <p> My point is that some filmmakers' behavior is inexcusable. However, here, some people are sweating a truly edgy, controversial, and challenging subject...when that is the very thing they demand? AND it was handled all above-board and legit??? Ridiculous. <p> You're right - thank god no Singer-style stuff.
Jan. 24, 2007, 12:47 a.m. CST
by Barry Egan
was meant to be a joke and apparently didn't come off that way. Is it too soon for Vic Morrow jokes here? I agree with you, from what I have read this film handles difficult subject matter about as responsibly as it possibly could. It really bugs me when the Hannitys of the world deried a work of art based solely on its subject matter and not on what the films says about that subject matter. By that logic, movies about the Holocuast should not be made because children were murdered by the Nazis.
Jan. 24, 2007, 12:52 a.m. CST
WE GOT MOTHERFUCKEN RAPE
Jan. 24, 2007, 1:21 a.m. CST
...would it still have been a controversy? She looks really young and she's currently 27 years old. I remember she played Nic Cage's 13or14 year old daughter in Matchstick Men and was recently in Flicka playing a teen. If a young looking 18 year old played the part, would this have been passable OR is the depiction of a child being raped the main issue? Or both? Whatever the answer, Dakota Fanning is scary with her advanced brain and all. Does she really think it's fine since it was filmed tastefully? Is she being brainwashed? Really it doesn't matter what she opines 'cause she's just a frickin' kid!!! If I were a parent NO WAY IN HELL would I let my kid play this part. I think Dakota's advanced intellect for a kid her age has blinded them. Oh yeah, and also the $$$!!! And the OSCARS!. Although the Oscars probably had no bearing seeing as how the film is being released in early 2007. Not many flicks get consideration this early. Or was it just a Sundance release with a wide release much later? Also, if the scene is omiitted from the film, will people still want to prosecute the filmmakers for even filming it?
Jan. 24, 2007, 1:23 a.m. CST
Or will Elvis hog the limelight AGAIN???
Jan. 24, 2007, 2:13 a.m. CST
to triumph poops: your "favorite line?" obviously you didn't actually read it, because it made the same point you did. she gets cast in the same role over and over. she does it well in this film. that's all i was saying. to half vader: i see your point, but i trust my audience to know the difference. with that said, i appreciate your pointing it out and i will proofread more carefully when i'm not seeing five movies a day on no sleep.
Jan. 24, 2007, 2:42 a.m. CST
"Lewellen worships Elvis, and often breaks into song as a means of escaping her painful world." Wow.. now there's an original concept. Never saw a little girl do that before :)
Jan. 24, 2007, 2:44 a.m. CST
...It is illegal to pay a prostitute for sex that is not filmed, but it you pay other people to have sex and film it and distribute it you are fully protected under the law? Don't get me wrong... I'm all for porn and the precious freedoms to produce our beloved porn that our brave men and women defending, in Iraq somehow, which is weird, because Iraq is not where most porn is produced. Still, isn't it weird that, to paraphrase George Carlin, selling is legal, and fucking is legal, and filming is legal, so why is it that selling fucking is not legal in the USA, but selling films of people fucking that have been paid to fuck is legal in the USA? I don't get it, but it's rad. America is weird... good times.
Jan. 24, 2007, 2:52 a.m. CST
Who in their right mind would pay to see that?
Jan. 24, 2007, 5:21 a.m. CST
I'm definitely passing on this one.
Jan. 24, 2007, 5:39 a.m. CST
why is presenting reality a bad thing? People realise that the rape isn't going to be treated in a positive manner, right? Morse isn't the hero in this thing. If you stopped showing anything that's immoral, disgusting, violent etc etc you are hiding from reality, I'm sure some people want to stick their hands in the sand. Personally I don't shy away from something I don't like if there's a good point to it. And seeing as only very few people here have seen the movie I'd like to know why the ones who are oh so up in arms over fiction know there isn't a point.
Jan. 24, 2007, 5:41 a.m. CST
I mean: "And seeing as only very few people here have seen the movie I'd like to know why the ones who haven't but are oh so up in arms over fiction, know there isn't a point to it.
Jan. 24, 2007, 6:45 a.m. CST
More power to Dakota Fanning, who is really shaping up to be the Jodie Foster of her era... but this one won't be on my 2007 must-see list. I've said this elsewhere -- I know the worst possible thing anyone can do, in terms of the real-world gravity and commonness of rape and child abuse, is ignore it or avoid the subject matter altogether... but really, does it need to be such a pervasive staple in entertainment anymore? LAW & ORDER: SVU practically makes it a weekly event, and VERONICA MARS was utterly spoiled for my wife and me this season with its yucky, awkwardly handled campus-rapist storyline. I saw THE ACCUSED when it debuted back in the day, and honestly? That covers the subject matter for me. I don't want to pretend it doesn't happen, never happens... but the ick-factor is too strong, no matter how "tastefully" the scene is handled. No thanks.
Jan. 24, 2007, 6:52 a.m. CST
by just pillow talk
I just can't get myself to go see this. I really don't need this movie to make me aware of child abuse, nor do I need to see the actual 'rape scene'. Much like I stay away from the torture porn bullshit, I'll stay away from this.<p>As a parent, I would never let my child be in a movie like this, especially at that age.<p>If it bothers people, just don't see it.
Jan. 24, 2007, 7:02 a.m. CST
I haven't seen the film, I probably won't either but I was wondering if we're blowing the rape scene out of the water. Is this a film about a child rape victim or is it a film about a child who happens to then be a victim of rape. It sounds to me from the review that the rape is only a small part of this story and other parts are far more important. This film could have certain things to say that people may need to hear but it's not going to get the chance because of all the publicity about the one rape scene. I'm guilty of it myself I don't think I can watch a film where a 12yr old gets raped but maybe I'll be missing some thing.
Jan. 24, 2007, 7:16 a.m. CST
Actually, a good Vic Morrow joke would be perfect for this TB.
Jan. 24, 2007, 7:57 a.m. CST
I get the distinct impression that this film doesn't deliver Fanning's goods.
Jan. 24, 2007, 8:01 a.m. CST
Without dramatizations like "Something About Amelia" back in the early eighties the issue of sexual abuse of the young would never have gained the kind of attention it has. Claiming that an illustration of something criminal is equivalent or an inspiration to the thing it depicts means you might as well pack it off to Iran... Where, as a bestseller here informs us, reading "Lolita" is completely risque. Child abuse and abductions are radically down in this country statistically and it probably has something to do with how much attention this gets. As long as there is no crime committed in the depiction it is a proven and essential tool in rousing the population against such incidents. That said, I don't want to see Dakota on the tabloid covers in ten years completely crushed by childhood stardom.
Jan. 24, 2007, 8:08 a.m. CST
by Lou Stools
I can see this kid being a bigger coked out mess in a few years than the Olsen's, Drew, or Lohan ever thought of being.
Jan. 24, 2007, 8:15 a.m. CST
"I'm sick and tired of these mother-fuckin Dakota Fannings on this mother-fuckin plane!"
Jan. 24, 2007, 8:18 a.m. CST
... but I'm just another Ordinary Joe. What I wouldn't give to be a paid comics writer... And thanks to Capt Boulder, who reminded me of BASTARD OUT OF CAROLINA. Jena Malone's rape in that one was horrifying, and far more graphic than I expected it could be. Stellar film regardless, but I've never been able to look at actor Ron Eldard the same way again... and it's not a movie I would ever watch again.
Jan. 24, 2007, 8:27 a.m. CST
The coked-up messes are the ones who star on the Mickey Mouse Club or Herbie or E.T. type movies. The ones like Foster and Shields and March seem to have their act together as adults. The lesson is that heavy material that makes young actors take themselves and issues of exploitation seriously, is better for them than roles where they are basically acting out a Michael Jackson / Willy Wonka fantasy. That's probably more what pervs watch than drama with consequences. What do you all want to do, ban Romeo and Juliet? That play winds up teaching a great message: Don't let youngsters get too involved because they take everything too damn seriously and will kill themselves. But I've never heard of anyone who played those roles ending up coked up on Sunset Blvd....
Jan. 24, 2007, 8:30 a.m. CST
Does Elvis show up and deliver some Kung-Fu, Memphis style, to her daddy? You lookin' for trouble? You came to the right place.
Jan. 24, 2007, 8:41 a.m. CST
There. I said it, and I'm glad.
Jan. 24, 2007, 9:28 a.m. CST
... the rape scene in "Bastard out of North Carolina." This was an HBO (or Showtime?) original film back in the late 90's/ early 2000's. There's a part where the main child actor gets raped in a car by her stepdad or mom's boyfriend (haven't seen the film in a while), but it's MUCH worse than this Dakota Fanning thing, judging by the description of Fanning's scene on this website.
Jan. 24, 2007, 10:56 a.m. CST
Where is the line between entertainment and art? Sure, we don't want to hide our heads in the sand and pretend this stuff doesn't happen. And we don't want to limit artistic expression. But can we at least agree that simulated child rape for the purpose of entertainment is wrong? Okay, good. So what makes this art, and not entertainment? None of us have seen it, so how do we decide? Sometimes, it's difficult to tell even after seeing something. For instance, is Saw art? Or merely entertainment? Does it call attention to the very real problem of crazy serial killers, or is it merely a slasher film for cheap thrills? Is "entertainment" merely "poorly done art?" If you try hard enough, you can call anything art. What is so special about the arbitrary age of 18 that divides legal porn from illegal porn? I'm not arguing for moral relativism. Child porn is BAD. But there is certainly a bit of subjectivity involved in defining "art." Some here are justifying this movie because this stuff really happens. Why are simulated sex acts with kids okay simply because this stuff really happens? If the reality of child sex acts is immoral, illegal, despicable, then how can they possibly justify the simulation? It's possible to convey the horrors of child rape without DEPICTING child rape using actual children. Sure, movies are a visual medium. But they also have this thing called "dialogue." Characters can convey plot points to each other (and the audience) without showing them. Sure, talking about child rape isn't as powerful as seeing it depicted. But that's the whole point, isn't it? It's depicted visually in the movie precisely for its disturbing impact (I assume this is the case, otherwise, they'd just talk about it). And that's the whole problem: the depiction itself is done for a visceral, emotional effect, in order to elicit a powerful response from the viewer. This goes beyond merely informing people of child rape, beyond merely letting them know it exists, but also trying to let them experience the horror vicariously. And that's where it becomes questionable. Public awareness is good. But there's still something creepy about sitting in a theater on Friday night eating popcorn watching little girls get raped.
Jan. 24, 2007, 11:05 a.m. CST
by RKDN Del Sol
because she's a CHILD, and regardless of how mature she can appear to be, or how vast her prodigious acting skills may be, she is not armed with the life-knowledge (wisdom) to make adult decisions. She did not accept this role, her PARENTS ACCEPTED IT FOR HER.<p> If you're looking for someone to tar and feather, look to the parents. For money and fame, they have allowed their 12 year old daughter to pretend to be raped on film. How is that any different than casting her in a Cinemax soft-core porn movie? Its not real - its simulated. Oh oh oh! its art?! I DARE you to tell me that this movie is art. I find no artistic value in this, and Im not alone.<p>The only reason this movie is even AT Sundance is because... and you know its coming...<p>Sundance Gotta Eat.
Jan. 24, 2007, 11:36 a.m. CST
by The Ghoul
That whole scene where she gets...I can't finish this post, even I have standards.
Jan. 24, 2007, 11:48 a.m. CST
And that's what I was getting at. IF the movie has a point, if there is more going on than just exploitation, the fictional representation of rape is not immoral or illegal or whatever, it's just a reflection of the real world, which is a fairly regular term for defining art. <p> Malik; If the reality of war crimes is immoral and despicable then how can anyone possibly justify its simulation? I'm sure it is depicted in part or in whole for it's emotional and physical impact, and that's also something that art does. It shouldn't just engage with people on an intellectual level. You use a little bit too much subjective langauge in your posts there. Vicarious implies an enjoyment and I'm 99% certain that wasn't the directors intention. Sure a elect few sick bastards will enjoy the scene, but then I'm sure there's a select few sick bastards who enjoy watching people shot or slashed to death, should we remove all violence in film because a few people will get off on it?
Jan. 24, 2007, 12:03 p.m. CST
by just pillow talk
Jan. 24, 2007, 12:27 p.m. CST
Yeah ... sheesh ... Bryan Singer filmed a roomful of naked teens on a closed set for that shower scene, and it turned out that one or two of them were 17 years old instead of 18. The only reason this story made the news, and the only reason you paused over your Apple Jacks to read it, was because of the gender of the alleged victims. Tell that story to any attractive young woman in Hollywood and watch her laugh at you; because women in Hollywood are routinely exploited and gawked at by crews on so-called "closed sets." The media coverage on that one was one big homophobic smearfest, and you ate it right up, didn't you? Learn to think for yourselves, people, and fight the hate ...
Jan. 24, 2007, 12:32 p.m. CST
The actual rape scene as described by the director is little more than Fanning yelling no and seeing a guy undo his fly. There's nothing overt or traumatic for the audience or the actors involved. Seriously, lighten up. This isn't The Accused or Irreversible...it's all implied. And as Fanning has even said when people ask her if it was hard to shoot the scene: "It was fake. I'm an actress."
Jan. 24, 2007, 12:36 p.m. CST
"The viewer sees flashes of Dakota's face, hand and foot as she falls, but the camera looks away as she begins to cry. No nudity is shown, though all involved in the movie agree it is a disturbing sequence. Fanning, however, said the scene was not disturbing to shoot. She filmed the close-ups of her face alone, with the direction: Hold your breath, wait, now gasp." http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2007-01-23-fanning-hounddog_x.htm?csp=34 Oh and by the way, you freaking whiners, haven't any of you seen Bastard Out of Carolina? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115633/ Anjelica Houston's movie had Jena Malone getting raped and Jena was 10 when she made that film! Throughout the whole film the girl is beaten and mistreated. Eventually Ron Eldard even rapes her and that scene was extremely unsettling because Houston didn't back down.
Jan. 24, 2007, 12:37 p.m. CST
by The Ghoul
Fanning + I Spit on your Grave = Crazy delicious!!
Jan. 24, 2007, 12:47 p.m. CST
by Dr Gregory House
Not to worry. Elvis and JFK will save the day and destroy the evil David Morse. You fuck off ya patronizin bitch! I'm sick'a yer shit! "I'll lube my own crankshaft from now on. You treat me like a baby again I'll wrap this goddamn walker right around yer head!"
Jan. 24, 2007, 1:03 p.m. CST
by The Ghoul
David Morse is sensitive, agreeable, pleasant, considerate, and respectful. He is the national spokesperson for FREE HUGS DAY and regularly pays the tolls for himself and the car behind him at tollboths.<p> He dares to be an angel everyday. Sorry, I just get tired of people that never see his positive side.
Jan. 24, 2007, 1:11 p.m. CST
by just pillow talk
Please strike out all the posts where people didn't agree with this movie or Dakota's decision.<p>Perhaps you need a David Morse hug. Ghoul, can you also call up Dave and make that happen too? Thanks.
Jan. 24, 2007, 1:20 p.m. CST
by Kevin Bosch
That came from a Premiere article where the filmmaker describes reactions during the screening process. Regarding Dakota Fanning’s character’s general behavior (NOT the rape scene, but the way she dressed and how she danced like Elvis), men tended to react negatively toward it, saying that she was behaving like a tart and in a way asking for what eventually happens to her, whereas women responded to it as something familiar to them as they were growing up. While the women related to it as a time of innocence in their life when their bodies were maturing but their minds weren’t, the men registered it as unnecessary sexuality. This is probably similar to the way the eventual rapist read her naivete. The only difference being, the rapist saw it as an invitation, while the men in the screening condemn her behavior as wrong.<b> The rape of a little girl is definitely a woman’s story, so I will give more credence to the female reaction to it then the male, the same way I’ll bow to the opinion of African-Americans regarding a movie depicting racism or slavery rather then that of any other. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with people who don’t want to SEE the movie, but only those who feel the story shouldn’t even be told in the first place. Like others have asked above, does it bother you that it’s a movie depicting a young girl getting raped, or that it stars a young girl? Would it be any different if the rape occurs off screen and implied, or is that just as bad? What if the actress was of age, but played a younger character?<b> For those who feel the rape shouldve been implied, such as a man approaching the girl forebodingly, then cutting to the state of the girl after, how is that any different then how it was done in this movie? In the above example, the action is depicted in cuts, while it’s been documented that in this movie the rape scene was never fully acted out, yet shot in disjointed pieces throughout the length of the production. Dakota’s frightened face one day, a leg another day, somebody's back another, then assembled in editing to create the illusion of the event. There were no full shots or long takes.<b> People keep asking who would want to see this, forgetting (or never fully understanding) that film, and art in general, is not always supposed to be pleasant. It’s meant to create a visceral, emotion reaction, good or bad. I don’t think that anybody in their right mind will enjoy seeing the rape of a young girl depicted on screen, which is how it should be. Hopefully this movie will create a disturbing, haunting image - more so because it features an actress of similar age - that will make everybody who watched it uncomfortable and angry, Not angry at the filmmakers, as it seems all of those who have psychically seen the film are, but toward those that abuse children and those allow it to happen.
Jan. 24, 2007, 1:22 p.m. CST
....unless your raping a clown. Honk! Honk!
Jan. 24, 2007, 1:24 p.m. CST
Pissboy: "The actual rape scene as described by the director is little more than Fanning yelling no and seeing a guy undo his fly. There's nothing overt or traumatic for the audience or the actors involved. The viewer sees flashes of Dakota's face, hand and foot as she falls, but the camera looks away as she begins to cry. No nudity is shown," ------ So it's okay as long as it's not graphic? That goes along with my point: an *actual* depiction of child rape, even for artistic or informative reasons, is wrong. You're basically saying that the rape wasn't *shown,* only hands and faces, etc. But let's go the other direction: what if CGI penis and vagina *were* shown? "Actual" depiction of penetration? At what point does this stop being tasteful, and why exactly is that distasteful? If depiction of child rape is okay for all the reason you people have listed (artistic, informative, etc.), then why isn't an ACCURATE, complete depiction okay? You're basically saying that you, too, have a line you think shouldn't be crossed. But then you criticize those of us whose line is a little to the right of yours (not necessarily politically). But all the arguments you've made to criticize our line could be equally applied to the CGI depiction I described above. (Hell, you could even use adult body doubles.) The point is that according to your reasoning, your own line is arbitrary. There is no way to "tastefully" depict child rape. That's an oxymoron.
Jan. 24, 2007, 1:36 p.m. CST
by Kevin Bosch
WHY this movie is totally creepy... by Triumph poops! “Frankly, I don't know what's creepier here. ...Fanning, who is rather creepy herself being a 12-going-on-40 mutant herself, decided to star in this thing most likely because someone told her it was a sure fire way to get MORE career attention and maybe even a future Oscar nod for being so "daring." Which means on her end the rape scene wasn't even about the story or so-called "art" (the core reason for defending the movie) but was instead all about whoring herself out onscreen, pandering to the utmost degree so she could win an award. Which goes to show Fanning could care less about actual child rapes versus taking home a Golden Boy one day come Oscar time.” ---I guess it's wrong to depict a young girl being abused in a negative light, and to have a 12 year old actress portray that situation in a controlled environment, but it's alright insult and ridicule the same 12 year old girl on the internet.
Jan. 24, 2007, 1:39 p.m. CST
"If the reality of war crimes is immoral and despicable then how can anyone possibly justify its simulation?" There's a difference. If someone had a camera filming war crimes while they were happening, we'd call him a hero and a journalist. And there'd be nothing wrong with viewing such a video. Nothing illegal. You could pass it around the Internet. But if someone had filmed a child getting raped . . . he'd be a creater of child porn. And it would be illegal to pass something like that around the Internet. With this movie, we're talking about the depiction of something that's not only despicable, but also illegal to film and view in its original, real form. Apples and oranges.
Jan. 24, 2007, 1:46 p.m. CST
by Kevin Bosch
Murder is illegal to film and view in its original, real form. One, it implies that the one filming did nothing to stop it and in a way assisted, and, two, it would be considered a snuff film. Yet murder is depicted on film all the time. And before you say that movies that glorify violence are wrong, what about those movies where a good person is wrongly killed by a bad person, in order to show the evils of the world? [Also, ADULT RAPE would be illegal to film and view in its original, real form. But not so on film.]
Jan. 24, 2007, 1:49 p.m. CST
by The Ghoul
He once healed a deaf man and then performed the drum solo from Moby Dick off Led Zeppelin II for his listening pleasure.<p> The man is an angel from heaven!
Jan. 24, 2007, 1:54 p.m. CST
Exactly DocBosch, hundreds of illegal acts are depicted fictionally. If a documentary depicting war crimes showed the rape of an 11 year old girl, would the documentarian be a hero or a pornographer?
Jan. 24, 2007, 1:55 p.m. CST
despicable acts, it doesn't me we shouldn't view the despicable acts for other reasons.
Jan. 24, 2007, 1:57 p.m. CST
by Edward Brock
Follow the link to find out more: http://www.tiny.cc/meCI5 I guess this makes me a spammer. But it's for a good cause. I hope.
Jan. 24, 2007, 2:16 p.m. CST
by Hairy Nutsack
They have could have told the exact same story without actually showing a rape scene. Little girl on bed, grimy dude walks into room, closes door on camera, screams ensue, time passes, little laying on bed crying, but I guess people are just too fucking stupid to understand that huh? Bollocks, the only reason to show any of the rape is to get loads of free press, and that my friends is called exploitation.<p> And another thing, the fucking uber-lefty fucktards who will defend this shit as art are the same people who call things like Jessica's Law barbaric. Fuck anyone who defends this shit, you're facilitating child molestation.<p> Let me add that my sister was raped repeatedely for about a year starting when she was 5 years old. I've personally witnessed what effect child rape has on a little girl, and I didn't have to witness the actual rape to understand the ramifications of it. Fuck anyone who defends this abomination, you should be ashamed of yourselves.
Jan. 24, 2007, 2:20 p.m. CST
Hey honey - let's go see a creepy 12 year old get rammed onscreen.
Jan. 24, 2007, 2:56 p.m. CST
She said it ain't rape unless it's on a pinball machine with Leo Rossi cheering everyone on.
Jan. 24, 2007, 3 p.m. CST
How on earth will defending this film facillitate child molestation? I mean in what way does saying that the film might actually have a point in showing the scene lead to someone being able to rape a chid? by that logic how can you possibly be ok with murder being depicted on screen? Don't you realise by defending any film where an innocent person is murdered in any detail you are facilitating murder!!!!! Oh noes!11111 You awful awful facilitators of murder you.
Jan. 24, 2007, 3:05 p.m. CST
should my best friend who was repeatedly molested when she was 8 years old be ashamed of herself for defending films like this? I mean, it's just that she makes such good points about how films that deal with such raw emotional material help people like her come to terms with what was done to them? Should I just tell her that a guy calling himself HairyNutsack thinks he knows what's good for anyone who's ever been sexually assaulted? Perhaps I should ask her to tell her victims support group what you said.
Jan. 24, 2007, 3:17 p.m. CST
Spot the sex offender! Level 1 offender = 10 points Level 2 offender = 20 points Level 3 offender = 30 points Bonus points earned for calling out their name! Shouting just the first name = 1 point Shouting just the middle name = 2 points Shouting just the last name = 3 points 8 bonus points for shouting all three! Now go out and have some fun! This IS the new age of entertainment!
Jan. 24, 2007, 4:01 p.m. CST
by The Ghoul
they want the rape scene taken out and replaced with Dakota in a bikini popping whip cream covered party balloons with her ass.<p>
Jan. 24, 2007, 4:12 p.m. CST
1973, raped with a crucifix by the Devil in The Exorcist. <p> 1974, raped with a broom handle called "Johnny" by detention center cellmates in Born Innocent. (That was a TV and the scene was soon cut.)<p> So is Dakota really covering new ground?
Jan. 24, 2007, 4:17 p.m. CST
by The Ghoul
Jan. 24, 2007, 4:18 p.m. CST
by Bob Cryptonight
You people apparently don't know how a movie is made. They don't tell an actress to "pretend like you are being raped" or "act like you are having sex." They just film a series of movements by the actors. For Christ sakes, use your heads! Movies are PRETEND...especially on the set. If you step back and think about it, you will get the idea. A close up of a kid's face in a rape scene is just a shot of a face displaying displeasure or fear. You can't exploit someone WHEN NOTHING IS HAPPENING TO THEM!!!!!!!!!! Most of you must think that guys get boners during Hollywood sex scenes! It's all just shot of movement. It's choreographed to the point of boredom.
Jan. 24, 2007, 4:22 p.m. CST
1975, kidnapped and raped by Martin Sheen in Sweet Hostage. Then becomes his lover.<p> 1975, in Sarah T, has sex in exchange for booze.
Jan. 24, 2007, 4:21 p.m. CST
by The Ghoul
Dakota will not win an Oscar just because she got raped on film.<p> Unless the rape turns her into a retard. Then buff that Oscar for Ms. Fanning!
Jan. 24, 2007, 4:26 p.m. CST
by Barry Egan
When I first saw the Brintey Spears video for Hit Me Baby One More Time I was appalled. There was at the time 15 year old Britney in her sexed up Catholic school girl outfit vamping it up on MTV. The video was shot in a school if memory serves. In that video, Britney was clearly being marketed as both a child and as a sexual object simultaneously. That is exploitation. For Dakota Fanning to appear in a film that has a rape scene may or may not be, it all depends on the context of the scene. It is my understading (I haven't seen the film and I would guess more than 95% of those posting here haven't either) that the actor who plays her rapist was not even in the same room with Dakota when her parts of the scene were shot. Dakota was alone and pretending. This is a totally different situation than Dakota being in a scene in which the actual rape was similated for the camera, like the Jodie Foster scene in The Accused.
Jan. 24, 2007, 4:37 p.m. CST
by The Ghoul
Spears on MTV. Palm Sunday!
Jan. 24, 2007, 4:40 p.m. CST
If she was 15 this would not be a story, since we have become so casual about teenage sex. So they have to make her pre-teen to get any press. And I have no doubt this is all about the coverage.
Jan. 24, 2007, 4:39 p.m. CST
"Murder is illegal to film and view in its original, real form. . . . Yet murder is depicted on film all the time." Would you really get into trouble for viewing a filmed murder on the Internet? What about the Al Qeada beheadings? The Nick Berg video? Is that really the same as surfing child porn? Does the FBI track down everyone who viewed it? Shut down the websites it was on? As far as filmed war crimes of children getting raped, again, I don't think it would be legal to have a collection of that on your computer, whether you call it porn or journalism. But I'm no lawyer. The point is that we're talking about the visual depictions of simulated actions which are illegal to film, view, and trade. I think this is unique.
Jan. 24, 2007, 4:53 p.m. CST
You're all talking like the movie consists of Dakota Fanning sitting in a room, a man comes in and rapes her, and then the credits roll. Every day morally abhorrent acts are depicted in films and television, but the context in which they are depicted can make all the difference in whether or not the depiction is, to put it plainly, right or wrong. Is the act celebrated or condemned? What are the resulting consequences? How are the characters lives effected?
Jan. 24, 2007, 4:54 p.m. CST
by The Ghoul
It's not like Dakota is going to be walking around bowlegged in War of The Worlds 2: War Harder.
Jan. 24, 2007, 5 p.m. CST
I can't believe the hype this movie is getting. Hollywood has been depicting the rape of men, women and children for years in movies and TV. If the scene plays out at it has been described it is pretty tame compared to Bastard Out of Carolina, a movie that made me feel like I was watching something illegal at the time. All the talk about this movie seems like nothing more than getting Dakota Fanning some Oscar hype. Other than that this just seems like another "Life sure sucks living among the hillbillies down South" type of movie.
Jan. 24, 2007, 5:02 p.m. CST
"But all the arguments you've made to criticize our line could be equally applied to the CGI depiction I described above."---- What I'm pointing out is that you people are freaking over the IMPLICATION of a crime. Remeber the morons that bitched about the ear scene in Reservoir Dogs? They claim they saw Blonde cut the cop's ear off but in reality, the camera pans away and nothing is shown. Nothing is actually depicted in the film's "rape". It's implied but never seen visually. For god's sake you guys are pillorying this film for something that is never shown. If you could make a case that we saw the rape depicted at least then you'd have the nation's silly laws on your side. In the end it seems all of you are forgetting it's implied and it's fake! No child was raped to make this film. no child was even put in a position to appear she is in fact being raped while you watch the movie. There's an implication the character is raped but really you never see it and the child involved in the filming was never subjected to anything coming even close to a rape. So lay off...it's just a movie.
Jan. 24, 2007, 5:08 p.m. CST
Good grief some people are now claiming that this will lead to crimes against kids? Yeah, because we all know how stupid jim carrey comedies led to millions of adult males living out The Mask. I know 5 adults who saw the Bad News Bears and then promptly joined children's little league teams. Every time I see Die Hard I wonder how I can get a Beretta and cap a German guy.
Jan. 24, 2007, 5:15 p.m. CST
Phone call for Scorcese's balls!
Jan. 24, 2007, 5:22 p.m. CST
by The Ghoul
"Marty's talcum powdered sack here...Who's this?"
Jan. 24, 2007, 5:23 p.m. CST
by The Ghoul
"Could you speak up? I can't hear you over all that sucking from Tarantino."
Jan. 24, 2007, 5:30 p.m. CST
by The Ghoul
Bannedontherun, did you just call?
Jan. 24, 2007, 5:43 p.m. CST
who in their right mind would want to see a movie based on the fact that a girl is going to be raped..if that is the reason you are going to see this film then you are a sicko who should be jailed... if you are going to go see it for the "artistic quality" but now you know that there is going to be a scene with a girl being raped in it... how does that really differ from the former sicko. ooooo... you religiost bible thumperss, quit keeping the artist in me down... boo hoo hoo... give me a freaking break...Rape is real, but just because a Horror film is celebrated doesn't mean we should go watch this kind of crap. I want to watch that stuff about as bad as i want to watch another drugged out teenager movie, which is never.. how depressing in the name of art... it might be diff if it were based on a true inspiring story but it's based on some sicko who said.. i wonder if i can film a child rape scene and get dakota fanning to play in it... what kind of people are these girls parents... sickos.. thats who. on another note... i saw that movie bastard out of carolina and i turned it off when that scene came on and it was horrible and someone should be jailed for that travesty too.... now you can blame religion for my rant if you want
Jan. 24, 2007, 6:05 p.m. CST
I saw her speaking about this role today, and I was struck completely by how steadily she spoke about the issue, the controversy, everything. She didn't seem coached to say what she was saying, just seemed proud of her work. Do I want to see the film? No. Will I? No. Did they have every right to make this film, yep. And yes, I have unfortunately "been there." Add me to that 1 in 4 females statistic. I don't really think that is why I don't want to see it, but perhaps it is.
Jan. 24, 2007, 6:09 p.m. CST
Nobody filmed a child rape scene, it was all done in the editing room. Pay attention. Also, I haven't seen the film, but just maybe the female film maker was interested in telling the story of the circumstances of the rape and/or the after-effects on a young female victim. Who would this film appeal to? Jeez, I don't know, maybe the estimated 1 in 4 American females who have been the victim of rape or attempted rape. And take your Ritalin!
Jan. 24, 2007, 6:36 p.m. CST
Gotta love how self-styled know-it-alls like Hannity condemn a film (without seeing it) for a simulated depiction of something bad, yet support a President who's responsible for tens of thousands of innocent lives being taken in Iraq, for real. Perhaps it's because the movie takes an up-close, unafraid look at something serious and real, which anyone who subscribes to his simplistic, black-and-white mindset seems staunchly opposed to. And as someone who knows and loves someone who's lived through what the film depicts, I can say that most of you oh-my-I'm-offended fuckheads don't know what the hell you're talking about to begin with.
Jan. 24, 2007, 6:58 p.m. CST
To the idiots claiming that Fanning was forced to do this, or her parents are assholes for forcing this role on her, or that this even slightly resembles porn, or whatever.... <p> Remember, this rape scene was CREATED IN THE EDITING ROOM. The actors weren't even on the set together. Fanning recieved directions like, "gasp... now. Okay, start crying, etc." Yes, she knew her character was to be raped, but she had to go through none of the trauma associated with that event. With that direction and the way it was filmed, it would be no more trying for her than scenes where she had to cry when John Creasy was about to be killed, or when aliens were blowing shit up around her. In fact, since she was alone without actors or other props, it might even seem less real to her than those situations. Her folks were even there when they filmed it. <p> She was probably more traumatized by having to work with Tom Cruise than this. <p> This is just the media and some politicians trying to push their agenda. Where are the cries to help those ACTUALLY being raped? Or where was all this controversy when a black girl was raped in A TIME TO KILL? Oh, she wasn't a little white girl so who cares? My bad. (seriously, I'm not trying to turn this into a race issue, I just think this argument is ridiculous).
Jan. 24, 2007, 7:13 p.m. CST
by The Ghoul
I accept your award! YOU LIKE ME, YOU REALLY LIKE ME!<p> To quote Louie C.K. "Rape is bad, but it's the only way to have sex with someone that doesn't want to have sex with you!<p> THANK YOU GOODNIGHT TALKBACKERS!
Jan. 24, 2007, 7:25 p.m. CST
by half vader
but the Bay comment was genius. <p> Been saying that about Britney Spears/Shit me to tears for ages on these TBs Barry. Glad someone else actually noticed too. No-one listens. Sniff. <p> Do they play "Everybody Hurts" over the scene? If not, it's art. If so, movie of the week. See? That was easy.
Jan. 24, 2007, 7:36 p.m. CST
by Hairy Nutsack
Like I said before, the same exact story could have been told without showing anything even remotely resembling a rape scene. With the "before" and "after" we would have gotten the full impact of what a rape does to a child and there would have never been a reason to show the "during." The only reason they did it was to get all of this free hype. It's bullshit, and not only is it exploitative of Fanning, it's exploitative of children who have been raped period and belittles what real children have gone through by turning it into a freakshow.<p> If you think this is art, well come on over to my house and buy my latest masterpiece, you'll need a net or something so you can fish it out of my toilet.
Jan. 24, 2007, 7:44 p.m. CST
Yes, your one-note, knee-jerk reaction to haring about a movie you haven't even seen has definitely one me over. Good thing we have smart folks like you to set us straight, Hairy.
Jan. 24, 2007, 7:45 p.m. CST
Yes, your one-note, knee-jerk reaction to hearing about a movie you haven't even seen has definitely won me over. Good thing we have smart folks like you to set us straight, Hairy.
Jan. 24, 2007, 8:22 p.m. CST
Faggot ass movie snobs will gobble this shite up. Fuck this movie. But but "teh art :(". Neg.
Jan. 24, 2007, 8:28 p.m. CST
Everybody fucking kiss me
Jan. 24, 2007, 8:46 p.m. CST
by Hairy Nutsack
Eat me fenario80, you don't need to see this shit to know depicting baby rape is wrong, in any form. Feel free to keep explaining this away, but they didn't have to show here getting raped, even if it's just her face/hands/feet. So the fuck what, they show a little girl getting raped and you people are defending it. Good luck with your lack of conscious, I feel sorry for your kids if you ever have any.
Jan. 24, 2007, 9:09 p.m. CST
In the same vein as Nacho, I believe that Jena Malone was 12-ish when she made "Bastard Out of Carolina" right? So actually, this has been done, and not all that long ago. Depressing ass movie.
Jan. 24, 2007, 9:21 p.m. CST
that once you resort to name-calling and the good old "everybody knows" argument, it's because you've backed yourself into an ideological corner with no place to go, so thank you for proving my point. Oh, and I didn't explain anything away: I just suggested that this might have been a legitimate film making choice, but I certainly appreciate your desire to live in a world with no shades of gray in it. Good luck with that.
Jan. 24, 2007, 9:28 p.m. CST
what are your thought about murder? Just out of curiosity, do you have similar problems with depicting murder in movies?
Jan. 24, 2007, 9:38 p.m. CST
I mean it worked for Foster so......
Jan. 24, 2007, 10:19 p.m. CST
As I was saying: what if the whole film was animated? With an adult voicing the girl. Would that be different? Or what if Dakota voiced the girl? What if 13 Going on 30 was a tragedy in which the young girl goes into her adult Jennifer Garner body and then gets raped? Would that be troublesome? What if the kid with Tom Hanks' body was raped in BIG? So many questions! What are the answers?
Jan. 24, 2007, 10:19 p.m. CST
by Hairy Nutsack
Jesus Christ, there's shades of gray with baby raping with you?<p> veebeeyes re: murder - as someone else put it so well, there are simply lines you shouldn't cross for any reason, and while murder is horrible and wrong, it's lightyears from baby raping. Call it a double standard if you must, I call it a different and acceptable standard.<p> I have to ask, how many of the people defending this shit have kids or have family members who have gone through this? I have both, and I suspect my perspective is different because it affects me in so many real ways.
Jan. 24, 2007, 10:33 p.m. CST
by Hairy Nutsack
You wanna talk about how fucked up Hollywood's morals and standards are? All of those twats, including Don Murphy, are up in arms because they made a movie about John Lennon's killer, a man who was seeking publicity.<p> John Lennon's killer sought publicity and this rape scene was made for the same damn reason, make a movie about a sacred idol of the rich and useless and it's an outrage, but a movie that shows the simulation of a child's rape is fucking art?
Jan. 24, 2007, 10:57 p.m. CST
to argue so long as you insist on arguing against the position you wish that I'd taken, rather than anything I've actually said. A thoughtful and well-made film on this subject is not in and of itself offensive. Maybe the director wants the audience to experience some of the terror, disorientation, and humiliating loss of control that the victim feels. Or maybe not; but there's no way to judge that from what's been said, just as there is no way to judge that it is completely sick and exploitative. I know a helluva lot more about recovery from childhood sexual trauma and exploitation than I wish I did, but I'm not looking for my Oprah minute here. I'm just saying that by all accounts this director sounds like she knows what she's doing, and it's unreasonable to damn her film, in increasingly lurid terms, without knowing more about it. Don Murphy is a back-stabbing asshole who should never be trusted. Peace out.
Jan. 24, 2007, 11:01 p.m. CST
I never saw Virgin but I read she was supposed to be 17. Nice try but notice the word Oscar was not quoted. It's an article that claims they said it, followed by a quote that doesn't mention the Oscar. NOT a direct quote. BIG DIFFERENCE. Oh yeah, Dakota does not play a 9 year old, she plays...a 12 year old! And if everyone doesn't know by now, the rape is implied, NOT simulated.
Jan. 24, 2007, 11:26 p.m. CST
Jan. 24, 2007, 11:35 p.m. CST
and I don't much appreciate you defending the kind of torture porn that seems to be so acceptable these days. That's what I'd probably say if I was an asshole. But it turns out that I'm smart enough to realize that that the world doesn't revolve around me. Just because I've had friends who've been murdered doesn't mean that people shouldn't make movies depicting murder. And the same goes for child rape. If the Saw movies disgust me so much, I don't have to watch them. If movies depicting child rape hurt you so much, you don't have to watch them.
Jan. 25, 2007, 12:25 a.m. CST
implied, not simulated. Everyone does seem to be reacting as though it's "The Postman Always Rings Twice" or something. The description makes it sound like a short sequence of cuts that imply far more than they show.
Jan. 25, 2007, 12:53 a.m. CST
by Mr Bonefish
How's that for a "one-liner". Save your twisted philosophy for those that lack common sense. Oh, and get a life.
Jan. 25, 2007, 7:40 a.m. CST
Jan. 25, 2007, 8:09 a.m. CST
and I honestly apologise for anyone being truthful as this isn't aimed at you, but I'm always dubious how people relate things back to them in these talkbacks. Like how people refer to themselves as "being in the industry" to strengthen their argument about a script review or actor. 99% of people who claim that are talking bullshit. Lo and behold on this thread everyone seems to know family who was raped as a child. Now I'm not saying everyone's lying, I'd hope nobody would be as sick as that to simply boost their point on an anonymous internet talkback, but I don't think everyone on these talkbacks is above that. As for constantly referring to it as "baby rape" - Jesus, talk about trying to exploit your argument to the maximum. You're acting like David Morse was filmed penetrating a newborn. There is nothing right with his characters actions in the film. But film is both a creative artform and a visual medium. It was bound to tackle issues that are not pleasant and it has been doing so for years. And from the description above the scene is done in a way that exploits no-one, both in production and post. You guys are the same people who attacjed United 93 as soon as it was anounced for being exploitative and sick, yet the power and visceral nature of that film proves why cinema is so highly regarded. The reaction people get when being presented with something visually is a powerful one, there are a lot of people who have never gave child rape more than a fleeting thought who will see this film and actually aquire some kind of reaction to it. Just like, for me, United 93 helped cut through all the bullshit conspiracies and buzzwords since 9/11 to remind me of the actual human tragedy. I'm not saying it's a real education on the subject but if it presents it and the effects in a powerful way that resonate with the audience then it's bringing the subject and the horrors attached to it to people that would never have thought one way or the other about it before, and that can onyl be a good thing. One final point, do any of us really think this film would have any controversy around it if it was an unknown girl? It would be a tiny film that would get ignored by everyone. But because it's the girl from Cat in the Hat and Charlotte's Web it's a huge topic.
Jan. 25, 2007, 8:10 a.m. CST
She's 12. That's the age you're just beginning to understand the simple things of sex: pubic hair, growing body parts, first kiss. Fanning pretty much bypassed all this and went straight to the most horrific aspect. Correction: she was conned into not only knowing what it is but participating in it even if it is 'acting'. Normally, when a young character is raped in a movie an actress 'of age' will body double. But no, the director felt the need to go authentic and exploit an actual child. Disgusting. Thank you.
Jan. 25, 2007, 8:25 a.m. CST
by The Ghoul
She signed the contract.
Jan. 25, 2007, 8:35 a.m. CST
it's an absurd non-sequitur. But, keep practicing, I'm sure you'll get there.
Jan. 25, 2007, 9:09 a.m. CST
An estimated 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 7 boys- or an overall estaimated 15%-25% of all children- are victims of sexual abuse, so it's not all that surprising that a number of people on here would know someone who'd been through it.
Jan. 25, 2007, 10:06 a.m. CST
I'm not instantly calling everyone a liar, and anyone who has been through this kind of horror has my deepest symapthies. Like I said, I would like to think people were above falsely claiming anything like that. All I'm saying is that it's very easy to claim whatever people like on the internet and we've all seen how heated and competitive these talkbacks can get, and how aggressive poeple can be when trying to validate their argument above others'.
Jan. 25, 2007, 10:09 a.m. CST
You're absolutely right, some of the people here certainly were abused, but that wasn't the point I was making. Most victims don't report it, and most don't seek help, which is why those numbers are at best a good estimate. I didn't make them up; they come from the Center for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. And I'm not looking for friends or support here, thank you very much, just weighing in a somewhat knowledgeable opinion amidst the hysteria to condemn this film sight unseen.
Jan. 25, 2007, 10:18 a.m. CST
I hear what you are saying, and I didn't think you were calling anybody out. I quoted the stats because I had the impression that, like most people, you might not realize how widespread a problem this is believed to be. Besides, you and me seem to be on approximately the same side of this argument, that there's absolutely no reason to damn this film based on a couple of sensational headlines about the rape 'scene.' Peace out. I'm done.
Jan. 25, 2007, 10:34 a.m. CST
you free love hippy tree hugging liberal love child of yoko and ted kennedy who thinks child rape scenes are something that people need to see... im sure you also thought that the passion of the christ was too violent.... you kill me you sick wacko
Jan. 25, 2007, 10:51 a.m. CST
You win, dude. I can't argue against all those things you wish I'd said. Feeb.
Jan. 25, 2007, 11:48 a.m. CST
by The Ghoul
That whole seek inner peace with a rich and soothing escape from traditional teas thing kinda turns me on. Does that make me some kinda fag?
Jan. 25, 2007, 12:02 p.m. CST
except for maybe bringingsexyback... that sticky ejaculation stuff has a place nowhere on this sight except in Harry's golden flower review in which i almost threw up
Jan. 25, 2007, 12:03 p.m. CST
they consentualy have sex with underage pages
Jan. 25, 2007, 12:10 p.m. CST
Jan. 25, 2007, 12:17 p.m. CST
by The Ghoul
chai + Trish Stratus = crazy delicious!
Jan. 25, 2007, 12:22 p.m. CST
you're definitely going to be shocked/offended by another Sundance film: An American Crime. From IMDB: Tagline: "This has been the most terrible as crime ever committed in the state of Indiana" Plot Outline: The true story of suburban housewife Gertrude Baniszewski, who kept a teenage girl locked in the basement of her Indiana home during the 1960s. IMDB details at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0802948/ The film was directed by Tommy O'Haver, who lived in Indiana at the time the story occurred. He has fascinated/haunted by the case since then. Katherine Keener gives a chlling performance as Gertrude Baniszewski, a poor, mentally unstable mother caring for 6 childern by herself. One of these children is Sylvia Likens who is played by Ellen Page (from Hard Candy and X-Men 3). She is a 16 year old girl (the actress is 20 years old) who, along with her younger sister, is entrusted to the care of Ms. Baniszewski while her parents leave to work for a travelling carnival. A series of unfortunate events cause the increasingly unstable Gertrude to single Sylvia out for punishment. This abuse is graphically depicted in the movie (cigarette burns, the carving of writing into the abdomen, and a scene involving a coke bottle which I won't elaborate on). All these events were documented in the court transcripts, and to the writer's credit, he did not include some of the more heinous atrocities that were commited. I saw this one at it's premiere and the audience's reaction was incredibly intense. The film actually had to be stopped for around 15 minutes when one audience member passed out (he later received "medical attention"). This freaked me out pretty bad, as the movie already had the audience pretty tense. A number of other people apparently became nauseated and threw up during the film as well (although I did not observe this myself). While the performaces by Keener and Page were excellent, the movie does not attempt to explain or give any understanding of the psychology of those involved. It ends up being a depressing, emotionally draining film with no redemptive themes at all. I'm not sure if that is just a function of the facts of the case alone (for more details about Sylvia Likens go to http://tinyurl.com/3chuku ); maybe there is no way to bring meaning to these horrible events. But for me the movie's lack of any deeper analysis of the case left me feeling cold (and in need of a shower) afterward.
Jan. 25, 2007, 1:09 p.m. CST
by Hairy Nutsack
So within the same film festival we've slipped completely down the slippry slope?<p> The reason there should be lines that are not crossed is because that line gets dragged further and further away from rationality.<p> First we got a "tasteful" depiction of child rape, and the next thing we hear about is a girl getting raped by a Coke bottle?<p> Let's say the Dakota scene is tasteful and serves a higher purpose in demonstrating the horrors of baby raping, fine. So what's the next asshole filmmaker going to do with a similar story? It'll be bigger, better, and more brutal and soon it won't be just her face/hands/feet we'll see, it'll be Billy Bob Thornton grinding on top of Dakota's sister with his bare ass in the air.<p> Don't believe me? How gory have horror films become? They always have to out-do the last guy, and it will be no different here. If you support this trash you're only inviting something far worse to come along next time.
Jan. 25, 2007, 1:39 p.m. CST
by RKDN Del Sol
The reviews are streaming in<p> This movie sucks, and worst of all, from all the mainstream reviews we're reading now, the rape scene is pasted onto the movie. Its not dealt with, its not resolved, its not used to teach, instruct, or guide in anyway. It simply happens, and then the movie dusts itself off and moves along to somewhere else.<p> Its also been turned down by four different major studios. The moral of the story is, when you make a movie for the sake of shock and publicity, better make sure its not a lousy movie *cough* boondock saints *cough*.
Jan. 25, 2007, 3:39 p.m. CST
She'll also be just the right age to play Willy Scott's daughter in INDIANA JONES AND THE DISCO DEMOLITION. This is the film where Indiana discovers his night with Willy spawned a monster. Dakota will play CHARLIE SCOTT JONES, a wily young woman who is determined to give birth to the FOURTH REICH!!! With the help of DISCO!!! This is where Harrison Ford's 70's wild ways will come in handy. He'll have to dance his way through many a Nazi-infested disco night club. MASI OKA will play the adult SHORT ROUND who is now a dancing instructor as well as a martial arts instructor on the side, just for kicks. RELEASE DATE: May 25, 2017!!!
Jan. 25, 2007, 3:42 p.m. CST
That image of Billy Bob...nasty- Seriously, though, if it weren't for all the controversy regarding "Hounddog" right now, we'd be hearing a big uproar about An American Crime.
Jan. 25, 2007, 5 p.m. CST
...just printed the excerpted of the rape from the Houndog script.
Jan. 25, 2007, 5:20 p.m. CST
raped. What is acting? It's pretending. Good acting is pretending as best you can to get the most realistic scene possible. So that is what they've asked Fanning to do here. It's 100% sick, there are no excuses. Even what the agent says about how her performance just getting better and better with each take strikes me as someone who is emotionally vulnerable and of course that films extremely well. Its obvious in interviews that this child actor wants to be taken very seriously, but she is 12 and the answer should have been "NO".
Jan. 25, 2007, 5:49 p.m. CST
What's up guys? That one can still be used for miles.
Jan. 25, 2007, 7:11 p.m. CST
by RKDN Del Sol
If the actor were anyone other than Dakota Fanning, how fast do you think the authorities would be moving in on the house?<p> Lets pretend for a moment that this movie was a youtube.com publication, shall we? The parents would already be arrested, the child would already be a ward of the system, and youtube would already be scrambling to find ways to keep the movie from popping back up, for fear of legal pitfalls and federal sniffing.<p>Being a celebrity in America means being allowed to live outside of the laws that everyone else must remain caged within. Keep buying those tickets, tho. This class system can't survive without your lower class dollars.
Jan. 25, 2007, 8:07 p.m. CST
Do we really need to see this?
Jan. 25, 2007, 9:03 p.m. CST
Apparently Nachokoolaid and I are the only people who saw A Time to Kill.
Jan. 25, 2007, 9:27 p.m. CST
How about boycotting this movie? If no one sees it then it'll go away, right? Just because a movie(or anything else) is controversial doesn't mean everyone has to see it.
Jan. 25, 2007, 9:35 p.m. CST
Jan. 25, 2007, 9:47 p.m. CST
by NC Blue
Sure it gets a lot of sarcastic chuckles for Samuel L.'s "AND I HOPE THEY BURN IN HAYUL!!" fire and brimstone, but it's really a pretty good movie. One thing that bothered me, though, was the director's choice to show the beginning rape scene in full. It's mainly shots of the rapists' faces as they're committing the crime, but I found McConaughey's closing monologue at the end, where he describes the rape in detail, to be much more powerful than the actual event. The actual rape scene made me want to squirm, the description of it made me want to cry, partly because you also see other people's reaction to it. <p> But I think, in any case that that mix of emotions, from profound sadness to outright disgust, is a huge part of why films like Hounddog are made. Regardless of whether or not showing a 12-year-old being raped - stylistically or not - was the "right" thing to do, an enormous discussion has been generated which I think will ultimately make people think about issues like child abuse and sexual exploitation a lot more than seeing the actual film will. I'd wager that a lot of the people here who have already refused to see it have been made to think a great deal about such horrible topics, and discuss them with others. Whether this leads to any real change or not, well, we can't really know for sure, but at least awareness is being raised in the public consciousness, and that's never a bad thing with such weighty issues. <p> On the general topic of rape in film...I will agree that Bastard Out Of Carolina (Why always in the Carolinas? Seems to me we're getting a bum rap, we need more Junebugs methinks) was EXTREMELY hard to watch, in particular the scene where Jena Malone's character is actually kissed and held down by her abuser. It's interesting that there wasn't nearly the outcry over that film that we have now, with an approach to child rape that from all accounts has a decidedly more impressionist feel to it. I can't say whether Bastard's rape scene was justified or not, except for it was pretty much icing on an already hard-to-digest cake (it happens almost at the end of an already traumatic film). <p> One movie I haven't seen anyone bring up yet is Perfect Blue. That film has a broad theme (aside from the main Hitchcockian thriller plot) of exploring the prurient exploitation of young females, particularly famous ones. A young starlet wants a boost for her budding acting career, and so agrees to act out an intensely graphic rape scene, which is shown in full and would pretty much be regarded as hentai if not for the context. The way the scene is used in the film, it sets the stage for a downward spiral of sorts for the young actress, who finds that she's regarded less as a promising star and more as a living prop to be exploited further. It's hard to watch, but an excellent take on a topic that no one seems to want to touch: how the popular media treat young women. In Japan, where Perfect Blue is set, there would seem to be as the film portrays a perpetual craving for young women ever on the crux of going from innocence to violation, but once they cross that line, there is essentially no more use for them. Once Mima acts out her rape, there is no going back to the peppy idol she once was. <p> Sorry for the long post, but I got to the party a little late, it would seem. Keep up the backtalking!
Jan. 25, 2007, 10:18 p.m. CST
by NC Blue
To those above who are saying, "this movie is useless, it won't change the state of child abuse for the better"...well, I agree, if someone is sick enough to sexually abuse a child, then this movie and others on the subject likely won't change their minds. However, I don't think that's who Hounddog and films like it are aimed at. Several members of my family have worked for our local rape crisis center and agree that a huge part of why sexual abuse is still a major problem is people's unwillingness to address it. The majority of this has historically been on the part of victims who are afraid or ashamed to report crimes committed against them, but some of the quiet also comes - especially in cases of family memeber abuse - the unwillingness of the victim's family members to address obvious criminal behavior in their own households. All of this withholding of charges is counter-intuitive and incredibly sad, but many people need badly to be kicked in the face (preferably with figurative golf shoes) and told, what happened to you/the victim was WRONG. END OF STORY. At the time, undoubtedly many people questioned whether the attempted rape episode of All In The Family was necessary or tasteful, but really a great many people needed to hear the words "it wasn't about sex, it was an act of violence!", even if that line did come from Gloria Bunker. And that, I think, is really why any films dealing with rape get made at all. You can say all you want how sick and prurient and exploitative the people behind Hounddog are, but: 1) they certainly did not cast child abusers in a sympathetic light, and 2) people need to be told that not only are child abuse and rape horrific, but that EVERYONE, not just us geeks looking from the outside but especially those privy to such atrocities, need to take a stand in order to bring about real, positive change.
Jan. 25, 2007, 11:04 p.m. CST
by NC Blue
...no one in their right mind thinks that rape is right. That's almost NEVER the issue at debate. And yet rape and child abuse are still severely underreported crimes, and always have been. Yet why would this be, if everyone knows them to be heinous crimes? It's absolutely not as simple as "rape is bad, mmkay?" and everyone nods and knows this. When a rape occurs, there is a sad combination of shame, stigma, and confusion on the part of the victim. Hopefully anger will win out and drive the victim to report, but this does not always happen. They may very well know what happened to them was wrong, but still many don't want to report the crime. In the case of family and partner rape/abuse, thrown into that mixture often is a sense of not wanting to turn in/"betray" a family member. Sometimes it's fear of reciprocation for "telling" on the attacker - exibit A being the coercion that kept Sean Hornbeck and other victims in the cluthces of their captors for years, not being able to speak up about their ordeal. It's not enough to know that rape is wrong, people also need to have the courage to take a stand and stop the cycles of sexual violence if they should so encounter them. How many parents/family members have stood by and watched their own children or young relatives be abused and done nothing? How many rape victims have not reported the crimes against them out of fear and shame? Yes, people don't need to know how bad rape is - but they most certainly need to know how to act if they are ever close to, or are, victims themselves. That was the entire crux of the All In The Family episode I mentioned - it's not enough to know how bad rape is, you have to be ready to take a stand against it if it ever happens to you or to someone you know. And it's easy for us to say what we'd do, but obviously someone out there still needs the message. I'm not saying the best way to give them that is through Hounddog, but they have to get it somehow.
Jan. 26, 2007, 2:11 a.m. CST
by Barry Egan
I recently read Michael Connelly's novel The Poet and the villain in it is a serial killer who is also a pedophile. I am working under the assumption that Connelly's research into the way pedophiles communicate and network is accurate. I think most pedophiles are into much harder pornography than a rape scene that likely just shows the victim's facial expression is going to give them. There is some really disturbing stuff in that novel about how pedophiles use the internet to communicate with each other and traffic child porn.
Jan. 26, 2007, 3:13 a.m. CST
and refuses to finish her vegetables until it's picked up by a distributor!
Jan. 26, 2007, 6:01 a.m. CST
by Triumph poops!
According to most press accounts I've read so far, the film itself -- that is the film AS a film, regardless of the rape scene controversy -- got more pans than raves from those who did see it at Sundance. And now the media is reporting that at best it will have to go straight to DVD since NO ONE offered to pick the film up for theatrical distribution. Essentially no company wanted to get behind this thing, let alone touch it with a 20-foot pole.<p>So whether you want to take that as a critical judgement on the film's actual artistic quality or a statement on what happens when enough people get outraged and speak up -- ala the recall of the recent O.J. book and cancellation of his TV special and the sacking of Judith Regan -- it seems the sun has set on HOUNDDOG.<p>Well, so much for that controversy. Guess it's back to being geeks and arguing about TRANSFORMERS!
Jan. 26, 2007, 12:48 p.m. CST
Here's another great American movie export that Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda cronies can show their followers as an example of American immoral decadence. That's right ... I SAID IT!!!!!!!!!!
Jan. 26, 2007, 12:49 p.m. CST
Satan in human form. I'll get back to you when I have proof.
Jan. 26, 2007, 1:21 p.m. CST
by Judge Dredds Dirty Undies
Damn kids today, do nothing but whine, In my day we'd get raped no less than twice a day and would be grateful it wasn't more!
Jan. 26, 2007, 1:43 p.m. CST
I just don´t understand it! In my day it was all nice like when Robert Micham threatened to rape that 12 year old in Cape Fear, or the incest subtext in The Sweet Smell of Success´. those old films were si much NICER than this modern filth. PLEASE: you people just complain about what you see, not what´s IN the film.
Jan. 26, 2007, 7:28 p.m. CST
by half vader
Just think it would be interesting, as it seems Hairy might have calmed down a bit now and isn't screaming so much, no offence Hairy. <p> After reading this whole TB, I'm very concerned about the 'we don't need to see this stuff (pro-censorship)/talk about it in the media' some folk here have, as it seems to reflect back like they certainly won't be able to sit down personally with their own kids before they reach puberty or even are out of primary/elementary school and educate them then warn them about the dangers of sexual abuse, as they'll be fighting with their kids' innocence vs safety issues by informing them - and failing them miserably if these statistics are true. Surely it's not unreasonable to say that if you can't handle the depiction or discussion of these issues in the outside world you're going to have a harder time in a more complicated private situation. Leaving it to school or the media to protect them. Right. But then, maybe I shouldn't write this at 4 in the morning. <p> Then again, what am I saying? Not many geeks in here have or will have kids, so maybe my concern is redundant. <p> As for the 1 in 4/1 in 7 statistic/estimate, think about your own family. It basically means someone in your immediate or relatively extended family was raped. In EVERYONE'S family. I understand the erring on the side of sensationalism because of the monstrous nature of the crime, but something seems off there, and it's not my naivete. So statistically, as I have two daughters, if I have one more, (and including my wife into the equation) one of them will be or will have been 'baby-raped' as Hairy (sensationally?) says. Maybe it's my maths. Better not have another kid I guess. <p> Not to make light of the topic, but when I saw Hard Candy, I just couldn't shake the idea that the guy was Steven Soderberg. Distracting.
Jan. 27, 2007, 12:30 p.m. CST
Boy, you guys really are just a bunch of reactionary frat-boys, aren’t you? Seriously, if you had actually read the words I wrote instead of being so ready to stuff me into some kind of ideological box that you could hate, you might actually have learned something. I have a bit of knowledge and expertise in this area, on the victim treatment side, which instantly made me some kind of pervo creepy left-wing commie tree-hugging freak or something. Seriously I feel like I’m in “Idiocracy.” “You talk like a faggot.” All I said was that it was stupid to judge the movie simply on the fact of its existence, because it was. Period. I never defended this particular film, or called it art. By all accounts it’s not, but that was never my point, and it doesn’t vindicate your rabid ignorance. The truth is that some people who have had less fortunate experiences in life than you can sometimes find a film on this subject helpful or even useful. The upside of this whole thing seems to be that the movie’s been pretty much slammed by the critics, which means that not a lot of people will be seeing it (sadly, as a lot of you said, probably mostly pervs). But it sure did get a lot of people talking about this subject, and that’s not a bad thing. Anything that calls attention to this horrible epidemic helps, and maybe one or two of the less close-minded people out there learned a thing or two. 15% to 25%, and it’s completely unacceptable and it must be stopped. As for you guys who were so ready to put your favorite enemy’s face on me, you don’t know jack shit about me or my politics, or anything else it seems. I’m sorry it’s so hard for you to see outside your cozy little box that the only thing you can do is stuff everybody into the handy little boxful of folks you already hate, but I’m giving up trying to have an intelligent conversation here in the baboon cage. And, yeah I know you won’t miss me and I won’t let the door hit me on the way out, and I know I’m taking this all too seriously, but, hey, it is a serious subject. Too bad it’s not a serious forum. Now, it’s Cartman time: screw you guys, I’m going home.
March 6, 2007, 5:20 p.m. CST
You get the feeling that Dakota skipped the Oscars because she`d be hugged to death by Jodie Foster.