Bruce Ryan advises that "The Aristocrats" is "screamingly funny, and worth checking out if one's sense of humor isn't too fragile. After the movie I said, 'This will NEVER play within 500 miles of Memphis!' " He found out, however, that it is scheduled to open at Studio on the Square Sept. 2 but still says, "I suspect it won't be in town for long (the city's 'champions of decency' couldn't possibly let that happen). See it while you can!"
The film, if you don't know, is an documentary/comedy, an examination of a joke, not just any joke but the filthiest one imaginable, told by and discussed by top comedians. It is a study of creativity although of the most obscene sort. It's not about the punchline, but rather the process of telling the tale -- it is a story that comedians tell other comedians.
So we have a film that's gotten excellent reviews and wallows in sublime vulgarity. Do you imagine the city's "champions of decency" will be mobilized?
Well, I don't know about that. It's been a long time since some form of public outcry got a movie banished around here. I recall some ineffective picketing at Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ" in 1988. But the reality is that the champions of decency -- and who are they anyway? -- are unlikely to mount much of anything. First of all, take note of the statistic cited below (in the blog entry "The video window") that a mere 9 percent of the population goes to movies. Second, it's a documentary and thus doomed to limited exposure anyway. And what may be most determinative, the decency brigade has for years focused inward, developing its own entertainment in music, theater and movies. Just look at what the churches have in the way of performing arts facilities. Plus, the enormous variety of entertainment possibilities makes it hardly worth the efforts of crusaders to do much more than write a press release condemning a movie, TV show or song before interest peters out. Even papal grumpery hasn't diminished the magic of Harry Potter.