Jess: Did you see Capturing the Friedmans?
Yours Truly: Yes
Jess: I watched it last night. I have to say, yes, I believe they were both pedophiles who did something, but those stories were beyond outlandish. What did you think?
YT: I think it's like the Michael Jackson case -- guilt + opportunism. Neither side is innocent
Jess: I found that one reporter's take on the mass hysteria angle really interesting. It made me think of The Crucible
YT: What really struck me was that it was supposed to be a documentary about a party clown and then the filmmaker realized the family history and focused on that instead
Jess: Oh, I didn't know that
YT: Yeah, that guy was like THE party clown of the NYC spoiled kids birthday party circuit
Jess: He looked like a pretty lame clown. No makeup, even
YT: I KNOW!!! He looked like Michael Musto but with bigger glasses
Jess: He was in serious denial about his family
YT: When I was watching it, I kept thinking of the original goal of the film. I didn't dwell on the whole pepdophilia thing. Instead, I got hung up on the question: "Who would in their right mind would want to do a documentary on clowns of all things?"
Jess: I thought it was really creepy how the son wanted to film everything. But at the same time, it was an interesting study into what happens to a family when something like that happens
YT: I need to see it again. I saw it when it first opened so some of the details are fuzzy
Jess: I didn't realize there was such a boom in false allegations in child sex abuse cases in the 80s. I would like to read a book about the phenomenon
YT: I blame it on all of those "very special episodes" of Diff'rent Strokes, Blossom, Growing Pains, etc. Once Dudley got felt up, that's when the dam burst and accusations started flying left and right. It can all be traced back to Dudley.
March 31, 2005
on movies and molestation
Today's IM conversation with Jess...