Sunday, March 18, 2012

Editorial on Comedy Films

Over on the Sounds of Cinema blog I have posted an editorial about the comedy genre, inspired by my review of the recent film Project X. Here is an excerpt:

My primary complaint about Project X isn’t about sex or even the film’s homophobia and misogyny, although the filmmakers regard for women and for masculinity is horrific. The complaint isn’t even really about this particular film. Project X is awful but it represents the end point of a pernicious trend in the comedy genre that extends back over a decade.

To read the entire piece, click here.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

'Lake of Fire' Essay Revisited

Almost a year ago I sponsored a public screening of Lake of Fire, a documentary about the abortion debate. Here is the trailer:

After the screening I wrote an essay about the film. With the recent resurgence of interest in the abortion issue, I encourage you to take another look at the film and the essay. Here is an excerpt:
Lake of Fire also suggests something amiss about the pro-abortion side of the debate. Most of the pro-abortion speakers come across as rational and calm and speak from seated positions with academic props like books and chalkboards behind them. These images of calmness and rationality contrast with the visceral sights and sounds of the abortion clinic in which the remains of aborted fetuses are shown. While reactions to this footage may be dismissed as entirely pathos-baiting, in the context of the film this footage occurs alongside admissions of ignorance by the pro-abortion advocates, such as Alan Dershowitz who claims that he saw his own unborn child as a person but did not see someone else’s fetus as possessing the same personhood. This is consistent with the general absence of a definitive answer from the pro-abortion advocates, who consistently admit that they don’t know when life begins or what the moral or legal status of a fetus is or ought to be. That creates a vacuum in the marketplace of ideas in which the anti-abortion campaign presents moral absolutism against the relativism (or nihilism) of the pro-abortion argument. In the panoramic view that Lake of Fire offers, a cynic could describe the debate as waged between insane religionists who claim certainty and rational academics who do not claim to know anything. Neither side is particularly comforting.
Read the rest of the essay here.