But I'm keeping my options open. Because God loves me, and if I don't believe that, he'll cast me into an eternal lake of fire, the ultimate in scorned lover crazy ways.
But I don't want to talk about religion. If it makes you happy, it makes me happy. Just let me sleep in on Sunday.
No, I want to talk about documentaries. It's that time of year again when Durham hosts the Full Frame doc fest. That's when The Nephew comes to town and the two of us overindulge in film, food and vodka for three days.
When one of the reviewers talked about Religulous, you could tell he was upset by the movie, even angry. And at one point he said that the film wouldn't qualify as a documentary because Maher made no effort at objectivity. You can see that argument repeated here.
Here's the lede from Brett McCracken, the movie critic for Christianity Today:
Let's face it: most documentaries these days don't bother to document anything in an objective, journalistic sense. We can thank Michael Moore for re-conceiving the documentary film as something akin to a sensationalistic, cinematic op-ed piece. If you have something you hate, or something you want to humiliate in as public a way as possible, make a documentary!
OK, aside from the gratuitous swipe at Michael Moore, what struck me was the absolute nonsense that docs, in their pure form, are objective. What a load of crap. Nothing is objective. Documentaries have always had a point of view, even when they just pointed the cameras and let the film run as Pennebaker and the Maysles brothers did.
When you consider a documentary giant like Barbara Koppel, a woman with a powerful point of view, then you realize that this objective standard for "real" documentaries is real bullshit.
Another thing got under my skin. From both of these critics I heard that Maher only talked to "...the kitschiest, most grimace-inducing practitioners ... Sure, we have to own up to these unfortunate (but fortunately fringe) elements within our ranks, but Maher shores up little credibility for his cause by refusing to talk with any opponent with an ounce of nuance of theological rigor."
Maher goes to the Vatican and talks to priests. He talks to a US Senator. These are hardly "fringe" people. And in a recent NBC poll, 44% of Americans believe the earth was created in 6 days. This "fringe" includes 16% of our science teachers, teaching your kids, that man walked with dinosaurs.
OK, that's all the rant I have time for today. But go out and see a documentary, but be prepared, because someone, somewhere may have the audacity to have a point of view.