Tuesday, March 14, 2006

"Kinsey"

I saw "Kinsey" last night, a 2004 flick by Bill Condon starring Liam Neeson and Laura Linney. I was hating it for the first fifteen minutes and then it kicked into high gear, and I wound up enjoying it immensely, even if the filmmaker makes the character of Al Kinsey much too saintly.

I listened to some of the director's commentary and heard something about how opponents of Kinsey tried to block the making of the film, and that "Dr." Laura Schlesinger was among them. Something about Kinsey being a pedophile?
A bit of Googling this morning turned up some very dishy critiques of Kinsey, his methods, and the film. For example, http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=40931

Interesting stuff, and I must agree with the conservative Christians who mope about yet another unnuanced Hollywood treatment of traditional religious mores and another jeavily caricatured Preacher Man role (in this case played by John Lithgow. Didn't he do this routine in already in "Footloose?" Papa, don't preach.)

I thought that Laura Linney was particularly good as Mac Kinsey, "Prok's" steadfast life mate. I liked Liam Neeson very much, too, but I thought the strength and beauty of the film was in the subjects Kinsey interviewed for his sexual histories. There were several cameos -- Lynn Redgrave's chief among them -- that hit the heart pretty hard. Even if occasionally a bit too actorly, I found that these scenes brought vividly to mind the millions of real people whose own sexual histories are every bit as harrowing and hysterical and astonishing and tender and atrocious as those depicted in the film.

Watch for the scene with sexual omnivore and pervert Rex King. Very disturbing and riveting acting.

5 Comments:

Blogger Jason said...

I thought it was a fine film if a bit self-aware to the point of breaking the "third-wall" at times. Redgrave is great (as always).

Also, while I'm sure there are valid criticisms of Kinsey and his work, one should take a huge grain of salt with anything posted at "World Nut Daily". That place is pretty close to the tin-foil-hat-right echo-chamber.

12:04  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

I know, but I like to read stuff from the far right. I also read the Focus on the Family review of the movie, which was HILARIOUS and insane and just as hateful as you would expect, but also raised what was for me a few valid objections or concerns.

And I thought I was in Men Kissing heaven with "Brokeback" this year -- whoo, when Liam Neeson grabs Peter Saarsgard, totally hot!! I watched it three times just to see how they staged and edited it (and because it was hot, as I said).
Plus, I must say I didn't at all mind watching Mr. S. walk around nude earlier in the scene. Thanks for the full frontal nudity, Mr. Condon!

13:50  
Blogger UU-Mom said...

I also ran across the Focus on Family article. I wrote an article that was published in Freedom Xpress about it.: SEXUALITY, MORALITY, & DIGNITY

00:14  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

Cool, UU Mom! Good chob!

21:43  
Blogger Steve Caldwell said...

PB,

You might want to check out this review of the media coverage surrounding the "Kinsey" film:

"Kinsey the Film, Kinsey the Man:
Just Another Target of Juicy Media Conflict" (Marty Klein, Ph.D.)
http://www.sexed.org/archive/article19.html

Marty Klein is a marriage and family therapist with 24 years experience. About the allegations against Kinsey and his work, he provides the following rebuttal:

"The anti-Kinsey "side" says:

* Kinsey used pedophiles to abuse kids to get data.
This is FALSE.

* Kinsey himself had sex with kids.
This is FALSE.

* Kinsey said that all sex is OK.
This is FALSE.

* By neutrally collecting information, Kinsey endorsed everything he heard.
This is FALSE.

* By neutrally describing various sexual behaviors, he endorsed them.
This is FALSE.

* Because his sample wasn't random, Kinsey's data is skewed toward perversion.
This is FALSE.

These facts are not matters of opinion--they are matters of public record."


Marty's review even mentions Unitarianism:

"Kinsey accurately noted that Americans enjoyed oral sex, masturbation, and premarital sex. Today, virtually everyone accepts this as factual, and organizations from the American Medical Association to the Unitarian Church accept these behaviors as healthy when done honestly and respectfully. But many people are uncomfortable with, and disown, their own behavior. Our President, for example, who had plenty of premarital sex, insists we spend hundreds of millions of dollars teaching kids not to."

Personally, I thought the Lynn Redgrave interview near the end of the film shows the salvational potential of sexuality education that we Unitarian Universalists and the United Church of Christ currently offer to our congregations and the wider community.

10:49  

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