Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Speaking of Movies and Mormons...

Steve directed me to this article in last Thursday's Daily Herald in which notorious, "Mormon Filmmaker" (Filmmaker should suffice, yes?) Richard Dutcher sounds off on the pitiful ditch that Mormon Cinema has dug itself into.

Too little, too late?

Never. A ditch need not be a grave.

True, this type of advice/criticism is long overdue but, like a kindergartener guzzling Elmer's glue, one would hope that chronic projectile vomiting, if not common sense, would correct the problem before a grown up is forced to intervene. Apparently the taste has been acquired.

Enter grown ups.

I suppose that comparing what has come to be known as, "Mormon Cinema" to thick pasty vomit is a tad unfair, as even though I've worked on a couple in my lifetime, I've yet to sit through an entire Mormon Movie, Dutcher's included. Actually, scratch that, I recall a boyscout activity when I was twelve or thirteen in which the entire troop was taken to a screening of Legacy. Pardon the oversight, but it was anything but memorable.

I'm not necessarily trying to be a smart ass here, but criticism comes in all forms, Dutcher's tone is much classier than mine and I applaud him for it, but the point is, criticism is absolutely vital in any artistic endeavor. Nothing good comes from surrounding yourself with yes men, see: The Emperor's New Clothes.

Making movies has to be the greatest job on the planet, and to those of us, especially in Utah, who toil night and day to gain a better foothold in the industry , watching a movie like "Baptists at Our Barbecue" get funded is like watching Colin Sullivan pop a cap in Staff Sergeant Dignam's forehead in the final scene.

I will now cease rambling with this simple plea:

Artists are the antennae of culture, to support crappy art is to dilute culture as a whole.

Audiences: Demand more and you will get more.

Artists: If you're no good, get better or find another profession. Great art is nothing more than progress.

Now if you'd excuse me, I'm going to rent a Richard Dutcher Movie.

P.S. If you want a truly insecure and childish retort to Dutcher's article by a "real filmmaker", read this.

1 comment:

Bob said...

Here are the top Dutcher movies to rent, in order:

"States of Grace (God's Army 2)"
"Brigham City"
"God's Army"

Dutcher has kept getting better. However, Mormon Cinema has gone the opposite direction.