Monday, October 29, 2012

Red Herring

The absurdity of the idea that a few scenes from an unseen movie polemic were the spark that ignited a global incident was summed up in a headline by Australian columnist Tim Blair: “Four dead in film review.” Some Christians, recalling the indifference and even derision that met their protests against films like Hail Mary, The Last Temptation of Christ, Dogma and Life of Brian, could be excused for wondering if they might have been taken a bit more seriously if they’d thrown a rock or two.
I wrote this column for the Interim over a month ago, and it already feels like ancient history, even if the current U.S. administration is still wholly unwilling to acknowledge that a really bad, obscure film had nothing to do with what amounts to an act of war - the murder of one of their ambassadors and three of his American support staff in Libya, a country they were nominally supporting.

Come on - you've got to remember this. No?
Certainly no one is talking about The Innocence of Muslims any more, even if the filmmaker remains in legal custody, out of sight and mind until his hearing three days after the upcoming U.S. election. Basically, though, I started this column as a way of expressing my almost complete lack of interest in any of the movies that have been released in the last year or two, and what amounts to an existential crisis for someone, like myself, whose job description is "TV and movie critic."
For myself, I have to admit that my enthusiasm for moviegoing is at an all-time low in the nearly three decades I’ve been writing about films. At the beginning of the year, anticipation for Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s prequel to his 1979 breakthrough film Alien, was making me frantic for the summer to arrive, but by the time the film actually premiered to lukewarm reviews in early June, I found myself willing to wait till it came out on disc. Nothing tempted me out to the theatres all summer, and apparently my apathy wasn’t unique. 
The point is that the 2012 time capsule, if it's at all honest, will have to include a copy of this execrable movie, for the simple reason that nothing else that hit the theatres (and I use that phrase very loosely) was as important. And that if I were in any meaningful way involved in the movie industry, that would make me very worried.

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