September 14, 2005

OSWALD COBBLEPOT FOR PRESIDENT:

March of the Conservatives: Penguin Film as Political Fodder (JONATHAN MILLER, 9/14/05, NY Times)

On the conservative Web site WorldNetDaily.com, an opponent of abortion wrote that the movie "verified the beauty of life and the rightness of protecting it."

At a conference for young Republicans, the editor of National Review urged participants to see the movie because it promoted monogamy. A widely circulated Christian magazine said it made "a strong case for intelligent design."

The movie is "March of the Penguins," and of all the reactions it has evoked, perhaps the most surprising is its appeal to conservatives. They are hardly its only audience; the film is the second highest grossing documentary of all time, behind "Fahrenheit 9/11."

But conservative groups have turned its stirring depiction of the mating ordeals of emperor penguins into an unexpected battle anthem in the culture wars.

"March of the Penguins," the conservative film critic and radio host Michael Medved said in an interview, is "the motion picture this summer that most passionately affirms traditional norms like monogamy, sacrifice and child rearing."

Speaking of audiences who feel that movies ignore or belittle such themes, he added: "This is the first movie they've enjoyed since 'The Passion of the Christ.' This is 'The 'Passion of the Penguins.' "

In part, the movie's appeal to conservatives may lie in its soft-pedaling of topics like evolution and global warming. The filmmakers say they did not consciously avoid those topics - indeed, they say they are strong believers in evolutionary theory - but they add that they wanted to create a film that would reach as many people as possible.


Hollywood is killing itself by not engaging in such basic pandering to its audience.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 14, 2005 6:59 AM
Comments

Gee, I hope the movie includes those gay, male penguins Andrew Sullivan loves to carriy on about.

Posted by: Ed Bush at September 14, 2005 12:22 PM

"Penguins" is a real documentary. They supplied the fabulous film footage and you supplied your own moral.

If you decide to see it, don't leave the theater until all the credits are over because some of the best shots are at the very end.

Posted by: erp at September 14, 2005 1:06 PM

"Penguins" is a real documentary. They supplied the fabulous film footage and you supplied your own moral.

If you decide to see it, don't leave the theater until all the credits are over because some of the best shots are at the very end.

Posted by: erp at September 14, 2005 1:07 PM

The old double-dare devil is at it again.

Posted by: erp at September 14, 2005 1:08 PM

Hollywood is killing itself by not engaging in such basic pandering to its audience.

Then Hollywood must have a death wish. Take a gander at the movies coming down the pike:

- Jarhead, a film about America's involvement in Iraq. When asked if he was making an anti-war film, the director said "Well, there aren't many pro-war movies."

- September 11 (title tenative), directed by Oliver Stone (JFK). Can you say conspiracy theory?

- Good Night, and Good Luck, a turgid anti-Joe McCarthy flick written by George Clooney.

- Paradise Now, a Spielberg film about the massacre of the Israeli team at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Oops wrong, it is actually about how the Mossad tracked down the poor terrorists and how they were summarily executed without trial.

Source: Libertas

Posted by: Gideon at September 14, 2005 3:20 PM

Correction: Spielberg's movie is titled Munich but will probably change.

Paradise Now is an indy film about the brave (sic) palestinian suicide bombers.

Posted by: Gideon at September 14, 2005 3:25 PM

If you had to choose between a movie carried by mute birds or Ben Affleck, well, the choice seems obvious, no?

Posted by: AC at September 14, 2005 5:14 PM

March of the Penguins was a great flick.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 14, 2005 5:50 PM

Gideon: don't forget the gay cowboy flick?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 14, 2005 5:53 PM

I haven't seen the flick, but it obviously doesn't show how famale penguins will prostitute themselves for nest-building material. Females need good stones to build nests, and rather than tromp down to the shore to get them one at a time, they will accept gift stones from males in exchange for a quick roll in the snow.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at September 15, 2005 12:12 PM
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