"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wTuesday, November 01, 2005

HYPOCRITES IN FILM: I said I'd write about some of the suggestions early this week. First, a thank you to Matt Welch for the link and a few words on why I asked for reader input. The motivation wasn't laziness (well, it wasn't only laziness). I thought that in writing about hypocrites in film, I should get some idea from as many people as cared to reply about the great characters that seem like hypocrites to others.

I gave three stock examples to prime the pump, so to speak, and a few people objected to one of my examples. One reader said that Robert Duvall's character in The Apostle was a "faith-filled sinner," not a hypocrite.

And in the comments section of Get Religion, Steve Nicoloso questioned my competence. He wrote, "The Apostle is a complex story about a complex character, and for that character to be reduced to a mere back of the napkin hypocrite is...well...at least unobservant."

I've got to watch the movie again buy my initial response is that both gents have a too narrow, or too negative picture of what a hypocrite is.

Several readers asked how in the world I managed to leave off Elmer Gantry. Answer the first: My list wasn't meant to be comprehensive. Answer the second: Plus it was a bad day.

A few readers, including Eve Tushnet and KMG, voted for the Reverend Harry Powell from The Night of the Hunter, so I ordered the movie.

A few readers (including my old colleague Rick Hiebert) put in a good word for the obscure Seventies documentary Marjoe, about a traveling, crooked evangelist/faith healer. Sounds interesting but Amazon has it at $50 right now, so I think I'll pass.

Also, on KMG's advice, I ordered Paths to Glory and Dangerous Liaisons. I took a cue from Eve and picked up a copy of Election.

I'll write more later. Happy to entertain your suggestions, folks at JEREMYAL123 -- AT -- YAHOO -- DOT -- COM.

posted by Jeremy at 5:18 PM