Thursday, May 6, 2010

Protest letter to Alamo Drafthouse

I just emailed this letter to the Alamo Drafthouse in response to their decision to screen a particularly sordid medical horror flick by Tom "Sicks" SIx:

Dear Alamo Drafthouse,

I am absolutely disgusted and revulsed that your management has chosen to give screentime to the horrific abomination by Tom Six that I can hardly even name it appalls me so much.

Some ideas ideas should never have even been conceived let alone brought to life in image and motion, and that surpassed given a venue and audience.

Having seen the trailer and finding that more than sufficiently horrific, the idea of subjecting audiences to 90+ minutes of this is superlatively grotesque. There is absolutely nothing redeeming either in the premise, content or presentation of this theme and the possibility of copycat crime based on something as dramatic as this is a very real possibility.

Censorship can only be executed by a governmental body -- private enterprises instead have the responsibility of exercising good judgement and discretion in choosing what to associate their enterprise with. Alamo Drafthouse did not have to choose to provide a platform for this to be disseminated. That you did so says much about the owners and management I wish I did not now have to know.

Giving this thing screen time in your theatre is a profoundly disappointing and immoral act.

I'm no conservative Bible thumping Baptist either - I'm a primarily buddho-pagan libertarian humanist, and an artist - and this film violates every rational norm of human society and good taste. This is just one step away in graphic luridness from a snuff-film, and definitely their equal in the depiction of female and minority exploitation and dismemberment, and dishumanment.

I fervently hope that given the imminence of it coming to the screen that it's run is extremely short for the sake of Austin audiences and, well, humanity in the most expansive meaning of that term possible (ie, what makes us human beings and not dementedly intelligent insects).

Thank you for your time in reviewing my feedback as a longtime admirer and sometime patron of your establishment. Your business is one of those that define the character of Austin and the Austin I know and love has absolutely nothing in common with this monstrosity of a movie.


Mike Rock


Susanne Iles said...

I saw the trailer and was appalled that it actually made it to print. I honestly thought it was a sick farce satirizing where our film industry was going.

I didn't realize that it was a REAL film and that our film industry thought it worthy of public showings.

Sad, really sad, when you think of all the talented young film makers who are busting their backs trying to find a break. It's a slap in the face and makes a twisted mockery of their hard work and dreams.

Mike Rock said...

Thank you Susanne, I am glad I am not the only person who "gets" some of why this outrages me so. One of my exes commented on FB that "art sometimes needs to be confrontational." Like, Hamlet staging a play to "catch the conscience of the Queen" is confrontational art.. Jon Stewart's or Stephen Colbert's satire is confrontational art.. Doctor Who today in many ways is confrontational art... this is not even art, just luridness for the empty sake of being lurid, it doesn't even qualify as cathartic if one subscribes more to the Dionysian than Apollonian aesthetic. It is nothing less than utterly comtemptible. :-(

Mike Rock said...

"Art" like this desensitizes people to what should rightfully horrify them.. it's like a trial balloon for cultural infiltration. There is an interview with the director in the local weekly this week, and he is charmed that people who saw the film kept ruminating on the possibilities of its premise as if this was a good thing. Imagine a future where medical chimeras of this sort are acceptable or taken for granted? I would rather NOT thank you!

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