Posted by: Chris | September 27, 2009

Jumping to Conclusions

I don’t know if any of you had seen the kerfuffle about Creation, a movie about the writing of the Origin of Species and how the death of Darwin’s beloced daughter affected his worldview. The movie somehow got rave reviews by critics but was having problems finding a US distributor. The usual suspects (including Andrew, whose post I really don’t feel like drudging up) immediately argued that this was due to fears about Christian backlash and evidenced how the religious right were holding America back from joining the rest of the civilized world.

Well, a funny thing happened. Not only did Creation find a distributor, despite the phantom creationist backlash, it was picked up by Newmarket Films, whose most famous previous movie is The Passion of the Christ. Pwned Andrew Maddow. All caught up in how much smarter/sophisticated they are compared to the little people in Jesusland, they neglected that a) Michael Moore or Bill Maher had no trouble finding a distributor for their films, despite being more offensive to creationists/conservatives b) the movie, about the inner demons of a 18th century scientist, is certainly boring as hell and no audience, no matter how liberal or “sophisticated,” is going to want to sit through it and c) the only hope it had at getting either a distributor or an audience came because it was about Darwin and threatened to cause a broohaha, which of course would mean culture warriors from the left would dutifully fill seats and trudge through the drudgery in support of the cause.



  1. Some quality movies have been made about topics I’d have expected to be boring. Frost Nixon and Citizen Kane come to mind; I’m sure you could suggest others.

    I actually have to wonder:
    Suppose you are given two movies, each with outstanding critical reviews. The first movie has a plot synopsis that is gripping and excitement-full; the second movie has a plot synopsis that is immeasurably dull. Ought you to preferentially watch the former (as the plot sounds more interesting), the latter (as achieving equal reviews with a more boring plot must indicate better acting and directing), or neither (as they did get equally good reviews)?

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