I received an interesting e-mail recently from Jory Weitz, the casting director of Napoleon Dynamite. Haven’t seen that movie yet, but my hubby loved it. Anyway, Weitz is now making a documentary all about the word “f**k” and “its effect on our everyday lives.”
The Sundance people and elite movie critics are going to love it, no doubt. I declined his invitation to appear in the film–I think it’s pretty clear how conservatives are going to be portrayed–but thought I’d share Weitz’s letter:
I’d like to invite you to participate in a documentary that I am producing that concerns vulgarity and popular culture. We’d very much like to shoot a short interview with you. We’ll be exploring such important issues as The First Amendment, censorship and broadcast decency. The film itself will be centered on the f-word, which always seems to be at the center of various controversies. Your opinion and views as an author and a journalist would be a critical addition to our film. You have a well deserved reputation for speaking about challenging issues facing our society and certainly the accelerating use of obscenity on TV, the movies and in popular culture might be viewed as an indication of the country’s moral decline.
Boiler plate – this film will examine the long history of the word, trace its use through time and present all sides of the current and ongoing debate over its use. We are including scholars, politicians and religious leaders. We will hear from comedians, movie stars and writers. We will talk to advocates who oppose the word and its infringement into our everyday lives. We will showcase some of the most famous and infamous film, television and music clips that have featured the word and allow for discussion on its effect on our everyday lives. Is the word vulgar and obscene, inappropriate at all times? Or does it have a place in popular culture? No matter what you might think of the word, everone sure has a strong opinion about it.
It is important that the film make room for all sides to be heard. Out of decorum, we have refrained from using the word itself in this invitation, but please understand that the film itself will be uncensored. However, we have already talked to a few important conservative and religious personalities, such as Michael Medved and Pat Boone, who both agreed to be interviewed as l[o]ng as they not be asked to use course language.
Some of the people we have interviewed: Ben Bradlee (Washington Post); Sam Donaldson (TV Journalist); Alanis Morissette (Singer); Ice-T (Singer); Steven Bochco (Creator NYPD Blue); Bill Maher (Comedian); Robert Corn-Revere (First Amendment Attorney); Drew Carey (Comedian); Miss Manners (Columnist); Kevin Smith (Filmmaker); Professor John Crossley (Professor of Religion at USC).
I understand that simply making the film itself might seem controversial and while it’s certainly our desire to keep the film entertaining, perhaps for a moment, if we can shed all our preconceptions, talk about the f-word in an adult way, some new ways of understanding might emerge and we’ll have some fun doing so. I hope you’ll participate.
Our plan is to enter the film into the Toronto or Sundance Film Festival. We already have many interested entities wanting to represent our film to help facilitate our goal of a theatrical release. Most recently, I was a producer on the hit film, “Napoleon Dynamite” which is another reason we have been attracting such attention.
I would love to arrange a short interview with you at your convenience.
Please feel free to call me with any questions at [number deleted].
I look forward to hearing back from you.
And no, my response did not include the words “f**k” and “off.”
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