Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Creation Not Coming to the United States

This could only happen in the U.S. The film Creation, starring Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly has not been picked up by distributors in this country because of its subject matter. I was looking forward to seeing the film. Now, I might not get the chance! The article in the Telegraph hints at why this has happened:
Movieguide.org, an influential site which reviews films from a Christian perspective, described Darwin as the father of eugenics and denounced him as "a racist, a bigot and an 1800s naturalist whose legacy is mass murder". His "half-baked theory" directly influenced Adolf Hitler and led to "atrocities, crimes against humanity, cloning and genetic engineering", the site stated.
There is so much nonsense packed into that one paragraph that I doubt I will ever look at the site again. If their judgement and research is that bad about a film like this, I doubt it would be good about other films.

To say that the film makers were surprised is an understatement:

Jeremy Thomas, the Oscar-winning producer of Creation, said he was astonished that such attitudes exist 150 years after On The Origin of Species was published.

"That's what we're up against. In 2009. It's amazing," he said.

"The film has no distributor in America. It has got a deal everywhere else in the world but in the US, and it's because of what the film is about. People have been saying this is the best film they've seen all year, yet nobody in the US has picked it up.

And I doubt anyone will. What a shame.

UPDATE: John Scalzi doesn't think its the creationists that are keeping the film from coming to the U.S. He writes:
Alternately, and leaving aside any discussion of the actual quality of the film, it may be that a quiet story about the difficult relationship between an increasingly agnostic 19th Century British scientist and his increasingly devout wife, thrown into sharp relief by the death of their beloved 10-year-old daughter, performed by mid-list stars, is not exactly the sort of film that’s going to draw in a huge winter holiday crowd, regardless of whether that scientist happens to be Darwin or not, and that these facts are rather more pertinent, from a potential distributor’s point of view.
I don't buy it. Miramax thrives on such films and they have a huge market in this country. Currently in production or advertised are all kinds of film about dissolving relationships and general dysfunction. Furthermore, Lars von Trier's new film Anti-Christ, a movie about a husband and wife who lose a young son and try to get their lives back together, is getting extensive airplay, partly due to its extremely graphic sex scenes between the leads.

Along the way, Scalzi makes a somewhat cynical comment on the perceived sensibilities of the U.S. theatre-going public:
Maybe if Charles Darwin were played by Will Smith, was a gun-toting robot sent back from the future to learn how to love, and to kill the crap out of the alien baby eaters cleverly disguised as Galapagos tortoises, and then some way were contrived for Jennifer Connelly to expose her breasts to RoboDarwin two-thirds of the way through the film, and there were explosions and lasers and stunt men flying 150 feet into the air, then we might be talking wide-release from a modern major studio.
I still don't buy it.

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.

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