Why do you deliberately set out to shock your audience?”, a film critic once asked my father. “I believe in mass therapy!” he answered. On this occasion, it was my mother, Vivian, acting the role of a critic and I, at four years old, playing the role of my father (who had written the lines and dubbed his voice over mine). Shot in our garden, with me wearing clothes from our fancy-dress box and the local party store, it could have been just anyone’s home movie. In a sense, it was. But it was more than that, too. It was an autobiographical documentary for The South Bank Show. When it aired in 1990 it was billed as A British Picture: A Portrait of an Enfant Terrible. If the world saw him as a terrible child he’d get his own terrible child to play him – me.
ST AUGUSTINE – When the Flagler College sophomore Logan Guidry, 19, saw the Occupy Wall Street protests spread across the world, he thought: “Let’s bring it to our town.” He cobbled his friends together and began to organize the first OWS protest in their small historical seaside town of St Augustine, Florida. They invited every group that was fed up with the status quo to join them, including the local Tea Party. “We certainly plan to be there, but we’ll be there to protest them,” was the response from a local Tea Party leader, Lance Thate. He organizes regular small-scale protests of his own, complete with period costumes and the revolutionary Gasden Flag that depicts a rattlesnake over the words “don’t tread on me.”
Logan was as disappointed as he was surprised: “They were the first to protest these issues like the bank bail-outs. You could say the Tea Party movement in some ways was the original ‘Occupy’ protesters.” After all, the exact same Gasden flag has been waved at OWS events from Boston to Los Angeles to New York. Both have seen much of their wealth vanish, both are frustrated at the banks and the politicians who have sided with them. “I’m 84 and MAD as HELL,” read the sign of an elderly lady in a little gray blouse at Zuccotti Park, but it would have been right at home at Glenn Beck’s 9/12 rally in Washington, D.C. Some Tea Party activists have been spotted at various OWS protests around the country, but the crossover has been minimal. Why? Why is the common frustration at the status quo divided in two?
SALT LAKE CITY – It’s a classic family movie storyline: daughter tells conservative dad that she’s going to get married, dad doesn’t approve of the groom, the groom desperately wants to please, and the new in-laws get weirded-out and want to call the whole thing off. But in One Good Man (2010), the usual climactic wedding scene has a twist – the in-laws aren’t even allowed inside the church to see their son marry. The conservative dad is a Mormon and, in accordance with the laws of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints, he makes them wait outside. A family movie with a Hellfire slant, One Good Man wasn’t produced in Hollywood, Los Angeles. It was made in Mollywood, Utah. And it shows.
In the last ten years, Salt Lake City has been home to a thriving movie industry that few outside the LDS Church know about. There are plenty of Mormons working in mainstream Hollywood, like Neil LaBute (Nurse Betty) and Jared and Jerusha Hess (Napoleon Dynamite). But there’s also a subculture of people making movies exclusively for members of the ultra- conservative LDS Church – a religious community that sometimes seems to be living in a different century.