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The Ethics of Show Business Kids: Paul Petersen's Crusade

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Even assuming Bindi is "processing her grief" normally (none of us are God or experts, so we can't do more than express our opinions on our observations; everyone's got one, as they say), doesn't it strike anyone else as rather sad that her entire life is apparently already mapped out for her? Sort of like being put in charge of the family business at 8 or being crowned king at 8; jeez. How about letting the kid grow up "normally" and let her choose when the time comes???

Oops, but there are no millions to be made that way... And this IS America...

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> I suspect it was a political win,

> because Brokeback had won best director and usually

> best director wins best picture. Whether anyone would

> admit it or not, I suspect they didn't want Brokeback

> to win too many awards because of the gay thing. I

> could be wrong, those are just some of my thoughts.


Funny, but I've always gotten the impression that "Brokeback Mountain" got an inordinate amount of praise precisely because of its homosexual theme. The movie reminds me of a couple of older movies, An Affair to Remember (and obviously the original "Love Affair"), and Fatal Attraction -- only it's not as good as the earlier movies.


OK, it's got nice cinematography, but I'd think it's not too difficult for a professional to make majestic vistas look good on film.


In some ways, the furore around "Brokeback Mountain" also reminds me of Philadelphia, a movie that I found even less subtle than Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. But it's about the right themes, so we have to praise it, and if you don't like it, it must be because you're unenlightened.

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How did "Brokeback" get in this thread (isn't this about show-biz kids)? Huh?!?!?


At any rate, I agree with Brad; "Brokeback" -- for numerous reasons (none of them having anything to do with "the gay thing") -- is among my VERY favorite movies...


Which goes to show, Kyle, that I AM open to new movies impressing me (I think you refer to this as "inconsistent"; I prefer to think of it as "open-minded"?). "Grey Gardens" is another post 1960s that did. It's just that soooooo feeeeeew ever do.

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> I can't believe a parent would allow this. Movies

> don't need to contain graphic rape scenes in the

> first place, just implying it is enough in my opinion.


Every time I hear something like that I point to "The Accused" (for which Jodie Foster nearly swept the major awards). Seeing the rape take place is absolutely critical to the film.


I am not going to pass judgement on Ms. Fanning's role, but as a rule I refuse to run around screaming about things that I haven't seen. There's no way for me to judge how appropriate the scene is in the film without actualy watching it. I probably won't because it doesn't sound that interesting, but I'm not going to get all bent out of shape about it either.

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> How did "Brokeback" get in this thread (isn't this

> about show-biz kids)? Huh?!?!?


Otterhere, I just wanted to let Anne know I wasn't totally dissing Crash. I think it has some good scenes and has some merit, but overall I think Brokeback is a better picture, and will better stand the test of time than Crash. Plus, I didn't think a little break from this depressing subject would kill anybody :-)

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I haven't seen The Accused, and so can't comment on the graphicness or necessity of the scene, but the major difference between this and the Dakota Fanning scene is that Jodie Foster was in her mid-20s at the time.


A movie that came to mind as I was thinking about your post is Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie. I think the final scene is necessary for us to see why Marnie grew up frigid, although I must admit that thinking about that scene I find it disconcerting, when you consider what the child actor had to do in it. And I don't think it's nearly as graphic as what we get in more recent movies.


Having said that, the violence is clearly not always necessary. Look what Jacques Tourneur did in Cat People, for example, especially in the swimming pool scene


Call me a cynic, but I can't help but think that part of the "free speech" debate is a "look what we can get away with" attitude, combined with "ooh, we've **** off the right people". I wonder what the response would be if, instead of showing Dakota in a strongly sexual scene, the director instead had Dakota smoking like a chimney in a scene extolling the virtues of the post-coital cigarette. ;-)

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My reply about The Accused was a direct response to kmd's assertion that "movies don't need to contain graphic rape scenes in the first place," not specifically about Ms. Fanning. "The Accused" is based on a true story where a woman was raped in a bar. The rest of the movie is almost Rashomon-like in that all her accusers band together to distort the event. Seeing what did happen is crucial to understanding the rest of the movie.


The main point I was trying to make about Ms. Fanning is that we have a lot of sound and fury over a movie that no one here has actually seen. We don't know how graphic it is, what the context is, nothing.


All this opinion based on complete ignorance signifies nothing, IMO.

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It didn't kill me!!! I know threads can easily get off-topic (guilty)...


"Brokeback" was one I had to see AGAIN and, for someone who goes to see a new movie as seldom as I do, that's saying something; terrible that it didn't win.

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From Yahoo.com

2 hours, 28 minutes ago




PARK CITY, Utah - At a festival that features several films with sexual content, including full male nudity and a documentary about bestiality, a southern Gothic tale that includes the rape of a young girl is causing the biggest stir. "Hounddog" is the story of Lewellen, a girl played by 12-year-old Dakota Fanning, who is growing up in the 1960s South. She is a free-spirit obsessed with Elvis Presley and has little supervision by her abusive father and alcoholic grandmother.


Even before the first screening of "Hounddog" at the Sundance Film Festival this week, a Christian film critic, citing Fanning's age, decried the movie as child abuse, and Roman Catholic activist Bill Donohue called for a boycott.


Fanning is defending her work as well as the movie, and so is the head of Sundance, who said it was courageous for director Deborah Kampmeier to tackle "challenging material." "Hounddog" is entered in the festival's dramatic category.


"It's not a rape movie," Fanning said Tuesday. "That's not even the point of the film."


The disturbing scene lasts a few minutes but is not graphic. There is no nudity, the scene is very darkly lit and only Fanning's face and hand are shown.


Kampmeier said it took her a decade to get the film made, largely because of the rape scene, but cutting it was a compromise she was unwilling to make.


"This issue is so silenced in our society. There are a lot of women who are alone with this story," she said.


"When you're shooting a film, it's the images you line up next to each other that create a story," Kampmeier said. "If you have a hand hitting the ground, Dakota screaming 'stop' and you see a zipper unzip ? that creates a rape."


Ted Baehr, chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission and publisher of the Web site movieguide.org, claims "Hounddog" breaks federal child-pornography law. He said the law covers material that "appears" to show minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.


"Even if they're not actually performing the explicit act, we are dealing with a legal issue here," he said.


Baehr said Fanning is being exploited in the film, and that it should be considered an outrage.


"Children at 12 do not have the ability to make the types of decisions that we're talking about here," he said. "If we're offended by some comedian's racial slur, why aren't we offended by somebody taking advantage of a 12-year-old child?"


Two other children perform in the film. Cody Hanford plays Buddy, and Isabelle Fuhrman plays a girl nicknamed "Grasshopper."


Kampmeier said she talked with the children and their parents but didn't go into great detail with the young actors about the content.


"I didn't have to articulate to Cody and Isabelle the psychological elements that were going on in this film," she said. "I used images to tell the story. I didn't manipulate these children or explain to these children what was going on."


Fanning said she and Kampmeier talked for months before the film was shot and spent a day painting pottery together and discussing the story.


"It's not really happening," Fanning said of a rape. "It's a movie, and it's called acting. I'm not going through anything. Cody and Isabelle aren't going through anything, their characters are.


"And for me, when it's done it's done," she said. "I don't even think about it anymore."


Sundance director Geoffrey Gilmore said independent filmmakers should pursue sensitive subject matter.


"I feel the mission and very nature of what Sundance is about is to provide a platform for that," he said.



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The disturbing scene lasts a few minutes...


I just read the same article in the Washington Post, and that line stuck with me. If you're just implying rape, must it last a few minutes? Overkill. While not graphic like Bastard out of Carolina, it's still not necessary to drag it out that long. JonParker said not to jump to conclusions, and I'm not, but I also won't be seeing it.

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...any sense of outrage.


No knee-jerk sense of outrage here, I just question many parents' decisions regarding their children. I'll be skipping it because I don't think I could sit through it. Bastard had me alternately crying, angry, or ready to heave through most of it. I have a soft spot for kids and animals in movies.

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Well Salon trashed it this morning.


From the review:


"But it turns out the defenders of my ancestral faith are correct, if only by accident: "Hounddog" should be boycotted. Not because it depicts the sexual exploitation of children but because it's a turgid, overripe mess.


Fanning gives a brave performance under the circumstances, but she can't escape this hilariously bad late-'50s Southern Gothic, which vomits up huge chunks of undigested Tennessee Williams preserved in swamp gas. Every hackneyed symbol of Suthin' living is dredged up one more time: We've got magnolias and kudzu, we've got cicadas squeaking so loudly you can barely hear the dialogue. (Turn 'em up!) We've got oh-so-wise black folks singin' the blues and dispensin' folk wisdom. We've got Piper Laurie, dressed like a walking sofa, as the horror-show grandma with electrified hair, Bible in one hand and whiskey bottle in the other. We've got Robin Wright Penn (an actress I admire) drifting through the movie in her sexy-battered-vulnerable mode, wearing just a slip, a grimace and a shiner.


Then there are the snakes. My land, does this movie have snakes. Snakes in the river, snakes in the garden, snakes in the grass. We get it! Snakes coming through the windows. Snakes writhing all over the bed, at least in the dreams of Lewellen, the precocious young Elvis fan and would-be singer played by Fanning. We get it, already! Uncle! Snakes bite the wicked and the good alike; some survive and some do not. As Charles (Afemo Omilami), Lewellen's Wise Negro Protector, assures her, she's possessed of snake magic, which is the rarest and most difficult kind."


Sounds terrible, all other issues aside.

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I have a soft spot for kids and animals in movies.


And there is absolutely no need for the 'artistic' viewing of abuse of either. Think novels, think radio, think television, think decent movies.


All such abuse was IMPLIED and left to the fevered brains of **** to dwell on and the imagination of those who had to picture such scenes for the advancement of the media, and they both usually did a damned good job WITHOUT an inyourface presentation of child or animal abuse.


It's all about money, and no one has the bravery to admit it. The parents who give their approval for their young children to act in such tripe should be shot, and those who get by the AFHA and abuse animals on film should also be shot.


There is no justification for filmed abuse of children, real of otherwise, and no justification for filmed abuse of animals, real or otherwise.



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Arg...another lost post. Attempt #2.


And there is absolutely no need for the 'artistic' viewing of abuse of either. Think novels, think radio, think television, think decent movies.


I've never considered film "art", to me it's purely for entertainment or information (art died in 1905 as far as I'm concerned). Novels and television have done their fair share of descriptions of abuse. Think A Time to Kill. Someone recommended it to me, but I only got a few pages through that one before quitting. Somewhere, someone probably enjoyed reading that scene a little too much. The most exploitative abuse I've ever seen was a made-for-broadcast-TV movie about incest twenty-something years ago. Dateline NBC's child predator stings have turned abuse into pure entertainment. Another point: where do we draw the line on what constitutes abuse? All those circus movies yesterday were chock-full of animal abuse as far as I'm concerned, if not on-screen, then during training. Horse-racing movies glorify immense cruelty. I have a hard time watching Shirley Temple movies, they've always had a JonBenet-like pageant feel to them. But I won't say you can't make those films. It's up to consumers to make their wishes known with their wallets. Unfortunately, with the great volume of garbage produced today, I guess they have already. :-(

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Hmmm, I guess I still consider a well made film a piece of art, as I do anything that causes me to think beyond my mortal coil. I can't think of many in the last thirty years that have had this effect upon me, but you have a very good point about the year 1905. Makes the attempted 'film as art' point by phonies like Colmes of Hannity and Colmes all the more specious.


As to novels and television of old, the abuse was always implied. I was upset, but never violently so because no children or animals were harmed in the process.


The Dateline shows are unwatchable for me, and also a wonder. How on earth are these guys STILL fooled into coming to a house, after this show has been on the air for so many years? But yes, the titillation effect is what drives so many of the shows currently on the air. My 'must see' television is down to three shows, all reruns.


On animal abuse? Absolutely on the circus, and dogs walking upright in those 'hilarious' dog movie shorts, and horse racing, and dog racing, and lab experiments, and Paris Hilton with her stunted Chihuaua, and the filth in Africa and Japan who slaughter defenseless animals so that even more vile filth will buy their flesh. All actual situations either from the past or present over which, SUPPOSEDLY, the AFHA has some control. However, when a lowlife show like Survivor DELIBERATELY makes use of the fact that they are filming out of the U.S. and can kill an animal on camera, well this only says that we as a society have sunk one more rung on the humanity ladder. The Roman Empire, when it fell, had nothing on us.


Children, however, are another story. There are umpteen organizations out there trying to protect them but still something like this falls through the cracks? Why? Because a child's parents are SO blinded by the money offered them and are SUCH soul-less creatures that they let their under age child be put in harm's way. There is NO defense for what this child actor was made to go through. The poor creature is now actually going before the press to defend her role. This is beyond disgusting.


If Borat and his filth weren't enough to keep me away from all the awards shows (which as I said I used to like for the women's dresses), this new piece of vomit will most assuredly persuade me to keep my television tuned to a rerun of a show where I know there are no children or animals being abused.


I wonder at those who in this country can actually attempt to defend either of these heinous activities. I hope there is a special place in hell for them.

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