Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Mormon Media Wars - For those of you who haven't seen it, there is a battle going on between LDS film makers that I find amusing: Richard Dutcher's blast. Keith Merrill's Response....and if you look at the Herald, it keeps going. Merrill apologized for his response but the comments to all of these stories are something to read. Interesting if you have time. IMHO Keith Merrill is on the moral high ground, but one point that Dutcher makes that I have to agree with: A lot of the LDS genre movies I've seen are trash or at least significantly lack an element that makes it worth watching....including his. Especially the "comedies". The only movie of Dutcher's I liked was Brigham City. Chris Heimerdinger has some good input. What do you think?


Kim said...

Movies I liked: Saints and Soldiers, Brigham City, Charly (though I didn't like the end..reminded me of Bambie). The Other Side of Heaven was pretty good, but not as entertaining as the others. I haven't seen an LDS comedy I liked at all. Though most people say God's Army was good, I didn't think it was very good or accurate. The Work and the Glory movies were very well done, but the ending of each movie was totally lousy and ruined the whole thing for me: "Movie's over folks, go home now."

Marilyn said...

I understand your not liking the endings of Work and the Glory. But they end the way the books do, and that was to keep people wanting to read the next one. The problem is, with Work and the Glory, there isn't going to be a next one. But if they had made ALL of the books into movies, and you could sit down and have a Work and the Glory Movie Marathon, it would be GREAT! They were well done. They just needed to finish them.

Christa said...
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Christa said...

First: Dad, can you send another invite to join the post, but this time to Thanks.

Second: Thanks for sharing these articles, they were very interesting to read. I felt like Dutcher's comments were expressed with far greater eloquence and coherence than those of Merrill, but I thought they both made a great point--there is a TON of garbage pouring out of the Mormon film genre. I live in Baltimore so I'm not even in the middle of it anymore, but every time I see the offerings of my beloved home state on the shelves at Blockbuster, I cringe that someone might actually watch them. Perhaps low budgets are to blame, perhaps an overemphasis on Mormon references are at fault, but one way or the other, I would not be at all sorry to see the "Mormon comedy" genre die and die quickly.

I've already made this post longer than a blog should be, so I will end without further rantings.

Wait, one other quick point. While not Academy-award material, the church-produced films (Legacy, etc.) are of far greater artistic merit than "God's Army." While I hope Dutcher's call for great Mormon film-makers is heard, I hope they don't follow in his footsteps. (Disclaimer: I did not see Dutcher's Brigham City, which is widely reviewed as his best work)

Kim said...

Brigham: Invitation sent for all three blog pages. The films I like such as Saints and Soldiers, Brigham City, etc. I like because they are just good films that happen to have references to LDS culture. The reference in Saints & Soldiers was kind of subtle but it was a positive reference. Brigham city was just a murder mystery that happened to take place in an LDS community. Neither film focused totally on the LDS culture but there was enough reference to add a level of appeal to and LDS audience. Other films that focus on LDS culture/history in a serious manner are good if they are well written (e.g. Legacy). Mom's right. The only reason I didn't like The Work and the Glory was because it was incomplete and each segment ended badly. Again, LDS comedies are all trash in my always humble opinion, but besides MASH, I hate all TV sitcoms so it may be my issue. I agree that Dutcher's writing was eloquent but his arrogance shows through everywhere and I don't agree with a lot of his logic. You can't throw out everything he says though. He has some valid points. Merrill may be not as eloquent, but I happen to think he's mostly right.

brigham said...

Clarification (and test to see if I can actually blog as me):

My comments mostly surrounded the "Mormon comedies." It sounds Pa like you and I are in fairly close agreement on all of these films.

Also, by commenting on Dutcher's eloquence, I unintentionally suggested I somehow approved of what he was saying--I don't. His arrogance was incredible. I was just sorry that Merrill (who I agree with almost entirely) wrote his response in the tone and style that he did.