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If this is your first visit, welcome! This site is devoted to my life experiences as a Filipino-American who immigrated from the Philippines to the United States in 1960. I came to the US as a graduate student when I was 26 years old. I am now in my early-80's and thanks God for his blessings, I have four successful and professional children and six grandchildren here in the US. My wife and I had been enjoying the snow bird lifestyle between US and Philippines after my retirement from USFDA in 2002. Please do not forget to read the latest national and International News in this site . I have also posted some of my favorite Filipino and American dishes and recipes in this site. Some of the photos and videos in this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringing on your copyrights. Cheers!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Three Memorable and Controversial Films, I love

I enjoyed the following three films, that I have seen recently. The following are the synopsis of the movies and the controversy behind the movies. The first movie, Brokeback Mountain was touted to be the greatest love story ever filmed. I agree since I cried at the end of the movie. The second movie, Da Vinci Code was a bit of disappointment, since I enjoyed the book more than the film. The third one is not as clinical as the original book and I also enjoyed viewing it very much. If you have not seen these movies, I guarantee it is worth your time, especially if you like controversial subjects, as I do. Again, these movies are for mature audiences only.

1.Brokeback Mountain (2005)
D. Ang Lee

Almost a quarter of a century after the similarly-themed Making Love (1982), this Best Picture-nominated melodrama appeared with its story about two young cowboys who had an unexpected tryst while shepherding in 1963. It told how their ill-fated love affected their married lives in the following three decades. This was the first mainstream gay/bi-sexual romance film, heavily-promoted by the media, to receive multiple awards and critical/public acclaim, with eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture (and ultimately three Oscars) from major A-list film-maker and Best Director-winning Ang Lee. The much talked-about film quickly became the most honored movie in cinematic history - it had more Best Picture and Director wins from various film organizations than previous Oscar winners Schindler's List (1993) and Titanic (1997) combined. It was also the critical darling of the media and the expected favorite to win, although Crash surprisingly took the top honor.
However, some conservative Catholic organizations cited the film as "morally offensive" for its open portrayal of a homosexual relationship, and others criticized the film as sexually propagandistic. Conservative Christian fundamentalist groups heavily cited the film as glorifying homosexuality and for pushing a sexual agenda. However, those who were critical of the film were labeled "homophobic". Although widely hailed as a "breakthrough" film for gay cinema, neither of the film's two lead actors, nor its director, nor its screenwriters were gay, and the film was originally advertised in trailers without specifically referring to the film's 'gay' themes or scenes.

2.The Da Vinci Code (2006)
D. Ron Howard
Director Ron Howard's much-anticipated, big-screen religious conspiracy thriller with the tagline "Seek the Truth" was faithfully based upon Dan Brown's best-selling fictional book. It told about an investigation by symbologist and Harvard professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and French police cryptologist Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou) after the discovery of the murder of the Louvre Museum's elderly curator Jacques Sauniere (Jean-Pierre Marielle).
The man's naked body was found with symbols and an enigmatic encrypted code written in blood, a scrambled numerical sequence, and a revealing pose. [He was murdered by self-flagellating albino monk Silas (Paul Bettany) in the employ of devious Bishop Aringarosa (Alfred Molina).] This information led the wrongly-accused murder suspect Langdon and Sophie through a byzantine trail of clues -- to a millenarian secret sect called The Priory of Sion (with heretical theories about the marriage of a mortal Jesus Christ with Mary Magdalene and fathering a child - the real Holy Grail!) and crippled Grail scholar Sir Leigh Teabing (Ian McKellen). The search also led them to knowledge of the Priory's centuries-old battle with the clandestine Catholic sect Opus Dei regarding a 2,000 year old conspiracy to hush information, new findings about the Holy Grail, to Da Vinci's master work The Last Supper, London's mythical Church Temple (where a group of Templars Knights were believed to be buried), and Sir Isaac Newton's tomb at Westminster Abbey.
Several Catholic and Opus Dei groups, as well as conservative Christian groups, called for a boycott, mostly during the making of the film, accusing it of blasphemy. Even albinos were offended by the film, and lobbied for changes to the way the film portrayed them. Yet the tedious film was received lukewarmly as a convoluted, flat and stultified bore.

3.Kinsey (2004)
D. Bill Condon
This serious and engrossing biopic was about controversial, Midwestern human sexuality researcher Dr. Alfred Kinsey (Liam Neeson) who laid the groundwork for the coming sexual revolution, with its tagline: "Let's talk about sex". It stirred up continuing protest about the impact of his pioneering work, interviews and liberal publications on morality and behavior. Kinsey startled the world with the publication of his Kinsey Report (aka Sexual Behavior in the Human Male) in 1948 and its follow-up Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953).
The non-erotic, non-exploitative, and non-prurient film was attacked by morality extremists for its candid and frank drama about the famous Indiana University doctor's obsessive life-work. It illustrated how Kinsey's own wife Clara McMillen (Oscar-nominated Laura Linney) had painful sexual problems with her inexperienced husband during their honeymoon, and then later was engaged in an extra-marital affair with her husband's bi-sexual assistant Clyde Martin (Peter Sarsgaard) - who also had a homosexual encounter with Kinsey and appeared in a full-frontal scene; and that a young Kinsey was punished with a confining genital strap to prevent him from masturbating by his ultra-moralistic, bullying, and repressive minister father (John Lithgow). In the film's final heartbreaking interview scene with an older, middle-aged lesbian subject (Lynn Redgrave in a cameo), she expressed how she was freed from homosexual guilt ("You saved my life"), after experiencing lesbian feelings.
Concerned Women for America (CWA) protested that the film was "an attempt to cover up sex researcher Alfred Kinsey's horrifying reality." They accused the film of misrepresenting how Kinsey actually had encouraged pedophiles to molest children (in the name of science). Other neo-Puritanical proponents thought the film was another example of how Hollywood was normalizing perversion, attacking Christian values about sexual morality, and promoting a "pro-homosexual agenda." And an advertisement for the film was initially rejected by PBS' WNET in New York because the film was deemed too commercial and provocative.

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