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Link to the thread on 'Bill Maher -"Religion stops people from thinking.", And, speaking of not THINKING...' (dated Feb 18 - Mar 8, 2005).

Link to the thread for Larry Charles's last film, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006).

Link to my blog posts on this film (dated May 20 - Sep 10, 2007).

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Summer Comedies: Religulous Stars Maher

Here's the one-sheet for the upcoming comedy Religulous, which has been described as "the nonfiction film about the greatest fiction ever told." This anti-religious interview doc springs from the fevered brows of producer-star Bill Maher and director Larry Charles. Lionsgate opens it in NYC and LA on June 20 and nationwide on July 2.

Statements from filmmakers Bill Maher and Larry Charles are on the jump . . .

Anne Thompson, Variety, January 31

religulousonesheet.jpg

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 3 months later...

'Religulous' shifted to October

Lionsgate's world religions doc "Religulous," helmed by Larry Charles ("Borat") and starring Bill Maher, has been moved from an early summer release to Oct. 3.

Variety, May 11

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FWIW, that puts it right smack dab in the middle of the Jewish High Holy Days (which, this year, take place between September 30 and October 9). It's also a few days after the end of Ramadan, the Muslim fast. I don't believe there are any particularly major Christian holidays around that time, on either calendar. (For the Orthodox, the four big fast-feast seasons are Lent/Pascha, which just came to an end; Nativity, which doesn't begin until mid-November; the Apostles Fast, in late June; and Dormition, in early August. An October 3 release date is just about the perfect time to release an anti-religious movie in a way that will offend our sensibilities the least, since it falls almost precisely in the middle of the longest gap between fast-feast seasons -- one-and-a-half months after Dormition ends and one-and-a-half months before Nativity begins.)

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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An October 3 release date is just about the perfect time to release an anti-religious movie in a way that will offend [Orthodox] sensibilities the least, since it falls almost precisely in the middle of the longest gap between fast-feast seasons -- one-and-a-half months after Dormition ends and one-and-a-half months before Nativity begins.

Wow! So Maher chose a release date calculated not to offend Christians, and especially Orthodox!

Or perhaps the question whether or not to offend has not occurred to him? Ever? ;)

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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Either way, I'M OFFENDED!

(that makes me a real Christian, right?)

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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Alan Thomas wrote:

: Yes, because--of course--we are less Christian when there aren't special days on the calendar.

Well, I wouldn't say the bathroom is less a part of my house simply because someone takes a dump in there -- but I'd still rather they do it in there than in my kitchen or my bedroom. :)

SDG wrote:

: So, he's belittling us by NOT releasing the film around some special day?

Heh. Yeah, exactly!

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Either way, I'M OFFENDED!

(that makes me a real Christian, right?)

Heh, exactly!

: Yes, because--of course--we are less Christian when there aren't special days on the calendar.

Well, I wouldn't say the bathroom is less a part of my house simply because someone takes a dump in there -- but I'd still rather they do it in there than in my kitchen or my bedroom. :)

Duude. That is a bizarrely wonderful-yet-obscene analogy, redolent with incarnational thinking in all its, um, rigor. I am so reminded of the chapter on the bathroom in Thomas Howard's transcendent Hallowed Be This House (now sold under the title Splendor in the Ordinary: Your Home as a Holy Place). Really.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Don't have particularly high hopes for this one. Good comedy comes from incisive understanding, and Maher has always been sloppy at best when it comes to just about any subject. When it comes to religion, he's downright embarrassingly off-target most of the time.

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Well, I wouldn't say the bathroom is less a part of my house simply because someone takes a dump in there -- but I'd still rather they do it in there than in my kitchen or my bedroom. :)

So I see somebody's twins haven't started potty training. All I can say is, Swiffer sells an anti-bacterial cleaning solution for the WetJet...

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Good comedy comes from incisive understanding, and Maher has always been sloppy at best when it comes to just about any subject. When it comes to religion, he's downright embarrassingly off-target most of the time.

As someone who's far from a faith literalist, I have to politely disagree ... I'm with Maher on most everything.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Bill Maher's new website: Disbeliefnet.com.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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And now the trailer.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Good comedy comes from incisive understanding, and Maher has always been sloppy at best when it comes to just about any subject. When it comes to religion, he's downright embarrassingly off-target most of the time.
As someone who's far from a faith literalist, I have to politely disagree ... I'm with Maher on most everything.
Bill Maher's new website: Disbeliefnet.com.

Husker, I'm curious what you think of Maher's website (as well as what you mean by "faith literalist").

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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  • 2 weeks later...
Good comedy comes from incisive understanding, and Maher has always been sloppy at best when it comes to just about any subject. When it comes to religion, he's downright embarrassingly off-target most of the time.
As someone who's far from a faith literalist, I have to politely disagree ... I'm with Maher on most everything.
Bill Maher's new website: Disbeliefnet.com.

Husker, I'm curious what you think of Maher's website (as well as what you mean by "faith literalist").

I don't believe in the Bible literally ...

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I don't believe in the Bible literally ...

I'm not sure what that means.

I don't know anyone who believes that Jesus is literally a door. Or that the Good Samaritan was a historical person.

I don't believe that the six days of Genesis 1 are literal 24-hour days. Or that Jonah was swallowed by a whale or big fish.

On the other hand, presumably there are some things in the Bible that you would accept as literally true. For example, that St. Paul met St. Peter in Jerusalem, as narrated in Acts and related in Galatians 1-2. Or that King David reigned in Jerusalem a thousand years before Christ.

So. Some things in the Bible are literally true. Others aren't. That leaves me not sure how to approach a blanket statement like "I don't believe in the Bible literally."

Do you literally believe that God is love?

Is there some other, non-literal way in which you prefer to "believe in the Bible"? What might that mean?

I'm also curious what you think of Maher's site.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Without getting into logistics ... I believe in the spirit of the Bible and its spiritual message. I do not believe Jesus is THE son on God or that he literally died for our sins as some replacement. I know all of this sets off people's alarms, but don't waste your breath.

I think Maher's site is kind of funny ... I generally agree with a lot of what he says in general.

Edited by Husker4theSpurs
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  • 1 month later...

Compare the American and Canadian posters. The Canadian one is more explicitly (anti-)religious. It also doesn't make use of Bill Maher's face at all. True, we don't get his HBO show at all. But surely his celebrity is a known commodity here...?

Patrick Goldstein interviews Bill Maher and posts a 53-second clip of Maher arguing with a theme-park Jesus. Because, like, that's where *I* always go for answers when I have deep theological questions.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I saw the trailer today at a theater. As I watched, I was reminded of a comment that the principal of our Christian elementary/junior high school here once said. She said that the most difficult children to talk with are those who have moved from rebellion to mocking the faith. (Psalm 1) If the trailer is any indication, the film does not seek answers from those who could answer real concerns/questions, but rather looks for the most absurd representations of religious faith and then uses that to mock the real thing. I recognize that there is humor in such absurdity, but for some reason I'm not sure that this is only innocent fun. I hesitate to even say that since I try very hard to not form an opinion about a film from the trailer. So...after October 3 we'll know.

Denny

Since 1995 we have authored a commentary on film, cinema in focus. Though we enjoy cinema as an art form, our interests lie not so much in reviewing a film as in beginning a conversation about the social and spiritual values presented. We, therefore, often rate a film higher or lower due to its message rather than its quality of acting or film-making.

Cinema In Focus Website

Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara Website

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Patrick Goldstein interviews Bill Maher and posts a 53-second clip of Maher arguing with a theme-park Jesus. Because, like, that's where *I* always go for answers when I have deep theological questions.

Do not blaspheme Theme Park Jesus!!!

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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Robert Koehler, Variety:

Skeptics unite: You only have to lose your inhibitions. That, in sum, is the underlying message of Bill Maher and Larry Charles' brilliant, incendiary "Religulous," in which comedian/talkshow host Maher inquires of the religious faithful and finds them severely wanting. By providing an example to other non-believers, Maher is, um, hell-bent on launching an even more aggressive conversation on the legitimacy of religion than he has on HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher." Sure to be a major talking point in Toronto and destined for tons of free media, docu looks primed for serious numbers in theatrical and vid heaven.

[ snip ]

Standing at the spot where believers say Armageddon will be waged -- Megiddo, Israel -- Maher opens his case with a grim warning that those who believe in a so-called "end of days" may be making a self-fulfilling prophecy. Scene also suggests the considerable globe-trotting Charles, Maher and his crew did for the film, from heartland America to Amsterdam to the Holy Land to the Vatican, and also establishes Charles and lenser Anthony Hardwick's method of covering every segment with two cameras.

Maher devotes the first hour to Christian faith, weighted toward evangelism, with amusing personal recollections of growing up Catholic with a Jewish mom. Not missing a beat, he even interviews his mom, Julie (who died after filming), and sister, Kathy, in the New Jersey church they attended, uncovering exactly why his parents left the church -- their use of birth control.

[ snip ]

To the film's credit, Maher never engages in Michael Moore-style gotcha tactics, but rather asks questions that raise more questions, in the form of a Socratic dialogue. To believers expecting a blind hatchet job, this will prove both thought-provoking and a bit disarming; skeptics may be surprised (as Maher is) by the occasionally smart replies to his queries.

[ snip ]

Ending minutes, though, will catch auds up short: Suddenly, the laughs die down, and as in his closing monologues on "Real Time," Maher turns deadly serious with a final statement that will stir raging arguments in theater lobbies.

Lou Lumenick, New York Post:

I feel obliged to report that it rivals "The Aristocrats'' as the funniest, and most offensive, documentary ever made. Maher, a former Roman Catholic whose interviewees include his Jewish mother, is in top caustic form as he sets out to expose all forms of faith as scams.

John Nolte, This Is Dirty Harry's Place:

Caught a special screening of Bill Maher

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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