March 31, 2005

on movies and molestation

Today's IM conversation with Jess...
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.