Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Lee Benson

A lot of crap has been thrown around about the Larry Miller "Brokeback Mountain" thing. Even on the internet, however, I never thought it was getting out of control until I read Lee Benson's thoughts on the subject in today's Deseret News. Here's how I see his arguments. "what about the guy who runs the X-rated movie theater? Is he going to have to answer for not showing 'The Sound of Music' — or, for that matter, 'Brokeback Mountain?'"- An X- rated theater only shows X- rated movies, so no one blinks when it doesn't show a PG film. If LHM showed only G and PG movies, no one would have noticed the absence of "Brokeback Mountain". "Larry H. Miller paid good money to build a theater so he could air the movies of his choice."- Wrong. It's a business venture. I doubt he watches any more movies than the average person and it's clear (because he learned the story of "Brokeback" from Jonathan Brown of KCPW) that he is rarely if ever involved in "choosing" what shows at his theater. The films arrive automatically according to contract. "Nor is there anything inconsistent. As for the guy I know, this was vintage Larry. There's a lot of old West in him underneath those unbuttoned golf shirts. He runs his own herd, and he's straightforward and fearless about it. He's about as duplicitous as a statue."- First, the "old West attitude" thing is meaningless. It doesn't exist. Successfull businessmen run similar operations througout the world. I doubt there is anything in the LHM organization that you can't find in NY, Hong Kong, or LA. Second, duplicity is the core of the anger against LHM. Lee claims there's no duplicity, yet LHM's theaters are always showing films LHM would never be caught dead seeing (including films that show dudes making out). "It's always been strong emotion and values that have driven him, not cold hard logic. If it was cold hard logic, he'd be hauling in cold hard box-office cash from the critically acclaimed 'Brokeback Mountain.'"- Which is what he's doing with "Hostel", widely considered to be the most disgusting horror film ever. This is where the values argument fails Lee. If it were based on values, we would see some sort of consistency of values. But we don't. "He wasn't the community censor, just his own."- Not true. He censors himself by not seeing the film. Cancelling the film for moral reasons implies he has a responsibility to the community that visits his theater.


Blogger Shawn said...

...and another two steps back for Utah and its image.

Y'know, I bet if Miller had stonewalled the press after running the film rather than stonewalling them after not running it, the whole "controversy" would've never materialized. He should've just let the "community censor" comment flow out there and said nothing more about the subject.

1/11/2006 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger sarahbellum said...

ethan, i have a question. can you email me?

1/11/2006 03:54:00 PM  
Anonymous dexter said...

What's amazing about alot of miller's defenders is that they're claiming the moral high ground for a man who reneged on a contractual obligation.
Honest in your dealing with your fellow man, Larry?

1/12/2006 07:19:00 PM  
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