For filmmakers everywhere the final moments of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) must have been like seeing there darkest fantasies come true. In case you haven’t seen the movie, that’s the part where the titular characters use their newfound wealth to traverse the globe and beat the living snot out of every single film critic wannabe who ever posted something negative about their movie on the Internet.
In real life you could never approve of those kinds of actions, of course, but you can easily understand the feelings behind them. Take Peter Rodger, the writer/director of the upcoming documentary Oh My God, for example. Here’s a man who spent three years of his life putting together his first major film, a project which must have entailed a lot of physical, emotional, and professional investment, and what’s one of the first things about his movie he runs across on the Internet? Some anonymous guy (some day I’ll have to explain the reasons I don’t use my real name) on a B-level Catholic movie blog who hasn’t seen the film yet, but who still managed to find some things he saw in the trailer to complain about. I’d imagine that could get under a person’s skin. And that’s why it was only mildly surprising to see a post show up in the comboxes this morning by someone claiming to be Peter Rodger (it’s the Internet, so I want to make it clear that I have no way of verifying in this instance that it was indeed the man himself) expressing unhappiness over my concerns. He wrote:
“You really should go see the film. It might open your eyes a bit. The filmmaker.”
Unfortunately, that’s all he wrote. And with only that little bit to go on, I have to say I was left with the same impression as that of commenter Scott W. who noted that “Modern progressivist thinking has devolved to "agree with me or shut up!" for some time now. To wit: lots of pop-culture ephemera proposes to enlighten us rubes with Some Great Insight That Has Eluded Man For Ages.” That may sound like a harsh interpretation of one sentence, but I hope Mr. Rodger understands that the entertainment industry here in the United States is overflowing with narcissistic nitwits harboring an open contempt for what they view as the unenlightened masses. We’re kind of used to being looked down upon by our celebrities.
But maybe it’s different down under. In an attempt to be charitable, let’s suppose that Mr. Rodger’s comments were a spur of the moment gut response meant to express disappointment rather than condescension. If so, then his declaration that “it might open your eyes a bit” could simply mean that his film will actually address the small list of concerns I had upon viewing the trailer. Maybe the film really will accurately portray each individual religion’s teachings on God rather than just parading a long line of freakish nutcases who practice their own twisted take on the various belief systems. And maybe the film really will transcend the perceived bias in the trailer and ultimately point out, as commenter Rick hopes, “that we are wired for God or as St. Augustine puts it, "Our hearts are restless until they rest on Thee my Lord." That would be nice, even if happens unintentionally.
And if that is indeed the case, Mr. Rodger (if it really was you), then please feel free to let all of us here know that’s what your note meant and I’ll happily pimp your movie some more. If not, well, at least you already got some publicity out of all this anyway.
P.S. Phil, my man, if you were gonna drag Hugh Jackman and Baz Luhrmann into your film, couldn’t you have snagged Nicole Kidman as well? Her and my wife share some facial features so she’s the only actress I can openly praise without getting the stink-eye.