Sept. 26, 2000, 7:15 a.m. CST
I have to say, I find it interesting that anyone even thought of making a film about Kinsey, and fascinating that it could make a worthwhile movie. I enjoyed Condon's Gods and Monsters, and felt the movie was underrated and overlooked even with the great praise it drew. This is the kind of coverage I wish we'd see more of here on the site. I don't understand why so much more attention is paid to, frankly, Austin area film events than script reviews of upcoming or potential films. We constantly read about the stacks of scripts harry & co. possess, but the amount of real information about them has dropped off quite a bit within the last year. test-screening reviews are nice, but how many times do we need to be told how cool Crouching Tiger hidden Dragon is? Less hype, more info is my basic request. tbm
Sept. 26, 2000, 7:49 a.m. CST
by gigolo aunt
A shame this looks to be an interesting movie.Any word on casting?
Sept. 26, 2000, 8:25 a.m. CST
Did cause a bit of an uproar back in '48, even today there are people who will strongly disagree with Kinsey's ideology, but the text is still fascinating as, I think must be Kinsey himself. This will be a hell of a film.
Sept. 26, 2000, 10:18 a.m. CST
Sept. 26, 2000, 10:35 a.m. CST
but this appears to be of the WORST kind. Does Condon admit that an inordinate number of Kinsey's 'scientific' subjects were culled from the prison population, and that he started with the *assumption* of homosexual acts & practice? There's a reason people don't know as much about this guy as they should- he's a sacred cow to the hypersexual movement. On inspection, his 'studies' don't hold up.
Sept. 26, 2000, 12:08 p.m. CST
by Everett Robert
I don't know if this is the right area to be asking this question and if it's not please don't flame or ban me. What I'm about to ask, I belive, is a question that should be asked in the film community. What I'm attempting to do here is open up a free and open discussion and this seems to be the right place. If it's not please just delete the post and let me know WHY it was deleted, that's all I ask.--ok moving on to my question, why is that when someone is gay cinema makes a movie about one of their "heros" or icons or stories, it's almost always herelded as "great cinema" and yet on the same token, when the "christian" community makes a film it's labled as "overly religous" and is NOT recognized for any potential it might have. Now granted there have been few, if any, good "christian" films out there, at least not made by the "christian community" I personally found DOGMA and THE PRINCE OF EGYPT to be powerfully moving pieces of cinema but views and thoughts on both of those films are generally spilt among both the "secular" and "religous" communities. The only real "religous" movie that I've found that speaks powerfully and truthfully of the christian community is Robert Duvall's THE APOSTLE, and even that has it's fair share of critics. I've also found that the "christian" movie community, most notebly Canada's CLOUD 10 PICTURES, makes films that aren't geared toward the general populace, but rather at the christian community, films that mainly deal with the "end times" And I'm not dogging gay films, I enjoyed GODS AND MONSTERS and it looks like may enjoy KINSEY. My question is basically, why is there this divison in films, a divison that we feel we must label these films into catagories like "gay cinema" or "religous cinema" or whatnot. Shouldn't we, as a film community, not worry about what catagory it fits into or how to label it or who to market it to, and rather concentrate on whether or not this is good cinema period. Thanks for taking time to read this and I appciate your feedback on a subject that has concerned me for awhile. I think about this because a)I am a christian, and b) I'm working on several scripts right now that are generally "christian" in content but that I don't want to be labled as "christian" but rather as good filmmaking.--Everett Robert
Sept. 26, 2000, 1:13 p.m. CST
About 10 years ago (in 1991) I read a great script (I have it at home and e-mailed the information to Garth at Dark Horizons, but forget the writer at the moment) based on Kinsey. It took a differrent approach than what Bill Condon's trying. It looked at Kinsey from the perspective of one of his assistants. It was incredibly entertaining and was similar in tone to "Awakenings" (If I'm remembering correctly). It had a lot of drama, but also a lot of humor. That, hey, we can laugh at ourselves, stop being so prude, humor. The Kinsey script in development way back when was great material. I'm glad someone is finally getting a Kinsey project off the ground.
Sept. 26, 2000, 1:19 p.m. CST
Well, one could argue that when a great movie IS made about religious icons (like, say, Last Temptation of Christ) the religious community condemns it, because almost by definition a great film will challenge their preconceptions, but when a great gay themed film comes along (and to be honest, I can't think of a comparable film- Philadelphia DOES NOT qualify) the queer community embraces it whole-heartedly. But you also address the question of why films get categorized as 'christian' or 'gay' at all. I'd say it's because, rightly or wrongly, both those groups see AND DEFINE themselves as oppressed minorities, and thus transfer that identity onto what they consider 'their' films. I'd attribute the box office success of the different groups of films to how much the general public agrees with those definitions.
Sept. 26, 2000, 1:36 p.m. CST
I'll start by telling you where I'm coming from: I'm a staunch agnostic who thinks Christianity and all religion are bunk. At the same time, though, I find great value in religion in terms of recognizing it as a source of values (which I certainly do not always agree with) and our mythologies (which I find for the most part make pretty good stories). You ask, "Shouldn't we, as a film community, not worry about what catagory it fits into or how to label it or who to market it to, and rather concentrate on whether or not this is good cinema period?" Well, of course, ideally this is what we should do. And that is what I try to do. But that's not how it works in society, and your use of the word "market" is very telling, because money is what much of this boils down to. Studios need an audience, and I suppose many of them simply perceive religiously themed films as a risk. Aside from that, these are two very hot issues which people treat very personally, and that is the source of the labels. You can't deny that hatred against homosexuality still exists in society. (I don't know if you -- as a Christian -- find it immoral or not. I do not, and it's this very issue -- that adherence to "sacred" texts such as Leviticus -- that makes me most opposed to the Religious Right.) Consequently, any film that breaches the subject is going under extra scrutiny. Gays want to be portrayed fairly so that they will not be further stigmatized, and the religious opposition do not want gay "morality" (as if that has anything to do with the issue) thrust upon the impressionable minds of their ranks. Likewise, religion itself is taboo because it is so personal and sacred to so many people. No one wants their faith dragged through the mud, and secularists might be resistent to a sermon. You say you enjoy Dogma. I would conclude that you have an admirable sense of humor about faith. I enjoyed it as well, purely on the level of its storytelling and humorous twists. However, I would say the very first thing that labels it as a "religious" film is the close-mindedness of those who protested it without even seeing it. I and any intelligent viewer know that a religious film is not going to completely reflect the intricacies of any faith. A gay-themed film is not going to provide a whole picture of the homosexual experience. For that matter, any biopic or historical feature is going to take some liberties. I don't think that's wrong. I think it's just good narrative. People shouldn't expect documentaries or public service announcements at the theater. If they want to learn more about something, they should go to the library. If a little bit of revisionism of Kinsey's life makes a better story and delivers the message someone seeks, what's wrong with that? Who here who writes stories doesn't base characters on real people and alter them a bit? I admit that I myself have a bias against the films of the gay and religious genres -- not because I don't think they'll make good films -- but just because I have trouble relating to many of them. That makes it less likely that I'll see them, just as I'm less likely to see a film about the trials and tribulations of a middle-aged woman than I would be to see a film about the angst of a twentysomething male. I like insight into people who think and live differently than I do, but ultimately it is those films that I can best relate to that I most value. There are simply too many movies to see. In answer to your question about "great cinema," I understand your concern, but I would say your statement is a bit too much of a generalization for me. Perhaps discussion of religion is becoming a little more taboo in today's society, but I still believe there are just as many films with religious motifs as there are those with prominent depictions of homosexuality. If the media has created some sort of backlash against religious films in favor of gay ones, I would say that it's primarily a product of what its producers deem as political correctness and the current mores of society. I would also say that it seems a natural transition to me -- given that much of homophobia is rooted in religion. (Incidentally, this secularist also has a religious script in the works that -- should it by some miracle ever reach a movie screen -- I would hope be judged on its own narrative elements and not an endorsement or indictment of any way of thinking.)
Sept. 26, 2000, 1:37 p.m. CST
by Bari Umenema
You'll laugh! You'll cry! You may even touch a little thigh! Yes you too can be a sexpert of the highest order! So don't delay! Call today! Take that cute cheerleader to see this movie! Tell her it'll be "educational"! Why this is one you can even take Grandma and Grandpa to see since they no doubt lived through the daring sexual experiments of the notorious 1950s! Good review though.
Sept. 26, 2000, 4:29 p.m. CST
by I'm A Golden God
One reason for the difference in perception between religious-themed movies & gay-themed movies is that people's ideas on homosexuality are basically binary: either you're only accepting of heterosexuality, or you accept gays/bisexuals/etc. People tend to have a similar perspective with regard to their own sexuality. If you don't identify yourself as heterosexual, then for most people you fall into some variety of "otherness"--gay, bi, transgender, experimenting, or whatever. Of course those aren't all the same, but they are all considered "other" than the norm. So it follows that depending on your position, either a pro-gay movie, or an anti-gay movie might appeal to you. Either side has a pretty broad base to draw from. Religion is a lot more complicated, obviously. There are all kinds of faiths, along with agnosticism & atheism. So while an antireligous movie probably wouldn't appeal to most people of faith, a pro-Evangelical Christian movie might not appeal to a practicing Jew, etc. And obviously within each community there's lots of room for dissent (thus Catholic directors made Dogma & Last Temptation..., both of which were vilified by large parts of the Catholic community). In contrast, I doubt the lesbian community would revile a movie that the gay community embraced. In this respect--and in this respect alone--I believe that sexuality is a less complicated issue. Full disclosure: I'm a straight male so if I said something offensive or I'm full of shit, feel free to let me know.
Sept. 26, 2000, 5:47 p.m. CST
by Buzz Maverik
I tried to stick up for her, I really did, but then I got tired and had to go home.
Sept. 26, 2000, 7:31 p.m. CST
by The Yattering
Nice try, Shade. The info is indeed out there, in the distortion engines of the religious and political right, who as recently as 5 years ago tried to persuade the Indiana state legislature (where Kinsey compiled his research and where his institute is based) to launch an investigation into his impeccable methodology and thereby discredit the work of an important scientist. The real truth is that the religious right still considers Kinsey a villain, because his meticulous work resulted in a rethinking of societal sexual mores based on hard science and not the pulpit. Pretty amazing to see right here and now that his ideas are still so powerful and frightening to people that, decades later, some of the frightened few are still chanting half-baked spook stories and urban legends that date back to the 1950s. Billy Graham is alive, kicking and preaching in the AICN Talkbacks. Before attacking the science and the conclusions that were reached, why don't you actually bother to read the studies and the biographies and then come back to debate. Amen.
Sept. 26, 2000, 9:37 p.m. CST
by Everett Robert
I just wanted to say thanks for all the great input to me in this talkback. I agree with what's being said just froma different perspective. 1) I througly enjoy LAST TEMPTATION,because it is a great movie, not because of some precived "wrong" geared toward the "christian" community. There is only one scence in that film that I don't like and that is when Jesus is eating the fruit(an apple I think but I'm not for sure) and he tosses the seeds into the ground and suddenly it's a tree. The Jesus I read about in the bible doesn't do things like that,but other then that one scene I love the movie and I think that it shows that to a Christian community who would watch it that the Jesus we worship goes through the same trials we go through everyday which, according to the bible, was his point. God became man to relate to us. I think the point of Dogma was that the church gets so wrapped up in it's "laws" and beliefs that it forgets that Jesus' message was one of freedom from the laws of the church.--I'm glad you mentioned Shadowlands, I had forgotten about it, but I'm a big fan of that movie too, because of it's PRO-FAITH message, I wish the christian filmmaking community would stop with the preaching and do what the more select film communities, i.e. the gay/lesbian film community, have done and that is show us every day life and trials and struggles and perhaps show us heros of the faith like the gay/lesbian film community has done. It could be films about William Tyndale or Cassie Bernall/Rachel Scott or any other number of non-biblical stories of faith. I belive that if the "christian" film community would STOP trying to preach and focus on faith, we could actually see something happen. Instead it seems to be more focused on making end-time thrillers then anything else, which at my count is 6 in the last year and half to two years (VANISHED, APOCYLEPSE, TRIBULATION, REVELATION, OMEGA CODE, LEFT BEHIND)
Sept. 26, 2000, 11:17 p.m. CST
how glowing a portrait is this? I read a very good (and accurate) Kinsey bio - "Alfred Kinsey: A Public/Private Life" - that revealed that the guy had serious problems other than the evil conspiracy of Puritanical values blah blah blah. Did you know, for example, that he died from a urinary tract infection resulting from sadomasochistic masturbation? That his research methods were horribly skewed toward his conclusions? It sounds like you're thrilled by cheap "sexual taboos" being broken, when the actual truth about Alfred Kinsey is much more interesting and complex. And he's hardly a "footnote," anyone with an education has heard of him...
Sept. 27, 2000, 1 a.m. CST
by The Yattering
Use your two cents to light a candle for me at church, and thanks for validating my previous post: "sick fuck" and "disturbed in the most disgusting way"? Gather your pets close 'round you and lock your children up tight...Someone Scientific This Way Comes.
Sept. 27, 2000, 3:53 a.m. CST
So what about films that address problems arising over both homosexuality AND religion? Anyone out there seen "Priest"? Now there's a film about the conflicts between love, desire, celibacy, convention and old-fashioned concepts of religion...
Sept. 27, 2000, 8:42 a.m. CST
Good post. I actually thought about bringing up non-Christian films that have Christian imagery, themes, etc. You can draw the parallel to so many of them. If that's what you take from some of the films you mention, I do not fault you. Of course, I would say that parallel exists simply because Christianity has so permeated our society's consciousness and that it includes so many elements that make a good story (forgiveness, redemption, salvation, etc.) And that's the primary reason I did not bring it up. But I also didn't bring it up because your discussion reminds me of one of my pet peeves. These themes -- and more importantly, morality -- are *NOT* independent to Christianity. The phrase used in conjunction with singing the praises of someone that I see so often in the media is "good Christian." That just bothers me to no end. It's written as if the two terms can not exist without one another.
Sept. 27, 2000, 12:06 p.m. CST
Seems at least LOST gets what really is going on. I mean, if you actually sit down and read practicially anything written by Kinsey, his alterior motives and bias are easily evident. I am excruciatingly disappointed in Moriarty writing about Kinsey being such a reverent hero without having contact with any of his works... The man had issues, serious issues. His research should be disregarded simply for the manner it was conducted and the subjects he used. I thought it HAD been laughed off, but apparently some people, in their drive to be seen as 'open minded' will buy into anything....
Sept. 27, 2000, 10:14 p.m. CST
by Smilin'Jack Ruby
Honestly, I don't know as much about Alfred Kinsey as many of the other talkbackers in here obviously do, but hearing how impassioned everybody is makes me not only want to read this script, but also see the movie and find out more about the guy in the first place. If the debate is white-hot in here from Moriarty reading the script, I can only imagine the lobby of the movie theater after one of the first screenings of the pic.
Sept. 27, 2000, 10:43 p.m. CST
I got two paragraphs into this shite and couldn't be bothered reading on. Does that mean I'm gay? - Sleepless in Melbourne
Sept. 28, 2000, 11:18 a.m. CST
by gigolo aunt
and if you got to the part about Carrott Top, it means you want him.
Sept. 28, 2000, 2:41 p.m. CST
I don't really know any facts about Kinsey either, but I sure got a kick out that quote. Talkback wars are so funny.