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Alone Yet Not Alone (2013)


Peter T Chattaway
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Link to our thread on this year's Oscar nominees for Best Original Song, which is how most people first heard about this film.

 

Link to my blog post on this film from a few days back.

 

There's been some discussion on my Facebook wall about the fact that the film's website trumpets its endorsement by the Dobsons, Rick Santorum and other socially-conservative, religious-right types. Now Fred "Slacktivist" Clark has a post entitled 'How the most famous white evangelical with a disability became the public face of the white evangelical campaign against the rights of persons with disabilities', in which he charts the filmmakers' connection to the Home School Legal Defense Association, something called Vision Forum, and Patrick Henry College.

"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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Leading this charge was a guy named Michael Farris, the founder/CEO/pope of something called the Home School Legal Defense Association. The HSDLA spends most of its time raising funds to fight against any legal oversight for right-wing Bartonian home-schoolers, defending parents’ religious freedom not to let their kids learn reading, writing and arithmetic, or anything like actual science and history. Oh, and defending the parental right to corporal punishment, of course.

 

Is Fred "Slacktivist" Clark always such an asshole?

“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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SDG has nailed why I haven't bothered to read Slacktivist in many years.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Leading this charge was a guy named Michael Farris, the founder/CEO/pope of something called the Home School Legal Defense Association. The HSDLA spends most of its time raising funds to fight against any legal oversight for right-wing Bartonian home-schoolers, defending parents’ religious freedom not to let their kids learn reading, writing and arithmetic, or anything like actual science and history. Oh, and defending the parental right to corporal punishment, of course.

 

Is Fred "Slacktivist" Clark always such an asshole?

 

 

Well, he's talking about the head of an organization that defended this kind of behavior and described these folks as "a loving Christian couple" . [sources for these links are all here]. If that's the sort of thing HSDLA does on a regular basis, I'd say fair's fair.

 

[That said, Clark's been getting increasingly strident for the past year or so.]

Edited by NBooth
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Leading this charge was a guy named Michael Farris, the founder/CEO/pope of something called the Home School Legal Defense Association. The HSDLA spends most of its time raising funds to fight against any legal oversight for right-wing Bartonian home-schoolers, defending parents’ religious freedom not to let their kids learn reading, writing and arithmetic, or anything like actual science and history. Oh, and defending the parental right to corporal punishment, of course.

Is Fred "Slacktivist" Clark always such an asshole?

Not always, but often.
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NBooth wrote:

: [That said, Clark's been getting increasingly strident for the past year or so.]

 

This is true.

"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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  • 2 weeks later...

The Best Song nomination has been rescinded. 

 

 

On Tuesday night, the Academy’s Board of Governors voted to rescind the Original Song nomination for “Alone Yet Not Alone,” music by Bruce Broughton and lyric by Dennis Spiegel. The decision was prompted by the discovery that Broughton, a former Governor and current Music Branch executive committee member, had emailed members of the branch to make them aware of his submission during the nominations voting period.

 

“No matter how well-intentioned the communication, using one’s position as a former governor and current executive committee member to personally promote one’s own Oscar submission creates the appearance of an unfair advantage,” said Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy President.

It's the side effects that save us.
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FWIW, my blog post on the rescindment (which our very own vjmorton was kind enough to link to in his article on the subject). I've already had to revise my post a few times, to keep up with revisions to the pages I linked to and also to fill in information that I couldn't find when I first wrote the post (i.e., how many rescindments have there been in the Academy's past?).

"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 just read Victor Morton's article, and the comments are...depressing. 

They range from the inanely racist:

 

 

What do you expect when Hollyslime is run by Jews, who hate anything Christian.

to the illiterate:

 

 

Oscar who ? Never heard of s/him....

and the ignorant:

 

 

The song doesn't feature guns, sex, violence or gays so the Academy isn't interested.

That's right, unlike Let It Go, and most Best Song winners in history, it doesn't  feature guns, sex, violence or gays...

 

And one particular line seems to sum up the general sentiment:

 

 

Awards exist so Liberals can recognize other Liberals for advancing Liberalism.

Yeah, like the Best Picture frontrunner 12 Years A Slave, I suppose. Sheer liberal propaganda. 

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I just read Victor Morton's article, and the comments are...depressing.

Wait, what article is this?

 

And one particular line seems to sum up the general sentiment:

 

Awards exist so Liberals can recognize other Liberals for advancing Liberalism.

Yeah, like the Best Picture frontrunner 12 Years A Slave, I suppose. Sheer liberal propaganda.

Reply deferred to the 12 Years a Slave thread.

“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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Anodos wrote:

: That's right, unlike Let It Go, and most Best Song winners in history, it doesn't  feature guns, sex, violence or gays...

 

Well, 'Let It Go' *has* been cited by some viewers as having a subtext of gay liberation (rejecting the whole "Don't feel / Conceal" approach to whatever it is that makes one "different"). As for previous Oscar winners, the first thing that comes to mind is 'It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp', for some reason -- though I admittedly haven't paid any attention to the lyrics of that one.

 

SDG wrote:
: Wait, what article is this?

 

The article I linked to in my previous post in this thread.

"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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the first thing that comes to mind is 'It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp', for some reason -- though I admittedly haven't paid any attention to the lyrics of that one.

Will you laugh or will you cry?

 

[drumroll please]

 

You know it's hard out here for a pimp

When he tryin' to get this money for the rent

For the Cadillacs and gas money spent

Because a whole lot of bitches talkin' shit

 

You know it's hard out here for a pimp

When he tryin' to get this money for the rent

For the Cadillacs and gas money spent

Will have a whole lot of bitches jumpin' ship

 

In my eyes I done seen some crazy thangs in the streets

Gotta couple girl workin' on the changes for me

But I gotta keep my game tight like Kobe on game night

Like takin' from a girl don't know no better, I know that ain't right

 

Done seen people killed, done seen people deal

Done seen people live in poverty with no meals

It's messed up where I live but that's just how it is

It might be new to you but it's been like this for years

 

It's blood sweat and tears when it come down to a lick

I'm tryin' to get rich 'fore I leave up out it

I'm tryin' to have thangs but it's hard for a pimp

So I'm prayin' and I'm hopin' to God I don't slip, yeah

 

You know it's hard out here for a pimp

When he tryin' to get this money for the rent

For the Cadillacs and gas money spent

Because a whole lot of bitches talkin' shit

 

You know it's hard out here for a pimp

When he tryin' to get this money for the rent

For the Cadillacs and gas money spent

Will have a whole lot of bitches jumpin' ship

 

Man, it seems like I'm duckin' dodgin' bullets everyday

Niggaz hatin' on me cause I got, girls on the tray

But I gotta stay paid, gotta stay above water

Couldn't keep up with my girls, that's when things got harder

 

North Memphis where I'm from, I'm 7th street bound

Where people all the time end up lost and never found

Man, these girls think we prove thangs, leave a big head

They come hopin' every night, they don't end up bein' dead

 

Wait I got a snow bunny, and a black girl too

You pay the right price and they'll both do you

That's the way the game goes, gotta keep it strictly pimpin'

Gotta keep my hustle tight, makin' change off these women, yeah

 

You know it's hard out here for a pimp

When he tryin' to get this money for the rent

For the Cadillacs and gas money spent

Because a whole lot of bitches talkin' shit

 

You know it's hard out here for a pimp

When he tryin' to get this money for the rent

For the Cadillacs and gas money spent

Will have a whole lot of bitches jumpin' ship

 

 

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Belinda, wife of Bruce Broughton, on her Facebook page:
 

I cannot believe that the Academy just did that to Bruce. Bruce has given hours and hours of his time to the Academy over a period of 30 years, has tirelessly fought for composers, is the only top composer I know who will generously lend out his scores to composers, spends hours having lunches giving advice to up and coming film composers. These poor huge production companies who had their noses put out of joint by a little song. All I can say is, they must have been terrified by the song and it's one damn good song too. Well, they are happy now, they can play together in the same sand box again. Shame on you Motion Picture Academy for taking the low road, saving your own butts and doing this to one of your former Governors and Head of the Music Branch. Maybe a phone call to Bruce, from one of the Academy Governors of the Music Branch would have been nice too? (Angry wife!)

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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In fairness to Broughton--and without trying to broach the fact that this was a "Christian" movie/song--is what he did really that out of step with how the Academy operates?  Don't the Weinstein Brothers do this kind of thing EVERY YEAR to get nominations for their projects?  I thought it was kind of accepted that this is how things work.

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Belinda, wife of Bruce Broughton, on her Facebook page:

 

I cannot believe that the Academy just did that to Bruce. Bruce has given hours and hours of his time to the Academy over a period of 30 years, has tirelessly fought for composers, is the only top composer I know who will generously lend out his scores to composers, spends hours having lunches giving advice to up and coming film composers. These poor huge production companies who had their noses put out of joint by a little song. All I can say is, they must have been terrified by the song and it's one damn good song too. Well, they are happy now, they can play together in the same sand box again. Shame on you Motion Picture Academy for taking the low road, saving your own butts and doing this to one of your former Governors and Head of the Music Branch. Maybe a phone call to Bruce, from one of the Academy Governors of the Music Branch would have been nice too? (Angry wife!)

 

 

 

 

I feel sorry for her to have posted this, if her husband is essentially accused of using his personal and professional ties with the Academy to seek preferential treatment. It doesn't help that her outrage is so patently driven by a sense of privilege and entitlement: the Academy has done this, not to a song, but to a former Governor and Head of the Music Branch. 

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Anodos wrote:

: That's right, unlike Let It Go, and most Best Song winners in history, it doesn't  feature guns, sex, violence or gays...

 

Well, 'Let It Go' *has* been cited by some viewers as having a subtext of gay liberation (rejecting the whole "Don't feel / Conceal" approach to whatever it is that makes one "different"). As for previous Oscar winners, the first thing that comes to mind is 'It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp', for some reason -- though I admittedly haven't paid any attention to the lyrics of that one.

 

Well, yes - I think that may be a valid interpretation; but a possible subtext is still a subtext, and the song itself certainly doesn't 'feature gays'. And 'It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp' is the one we all think of because it was such a weird anomaly (Jon Stewart's comment was 'Three 6 Mafia have an Oscar and Martin Scorsese doesn't?!')

 

Look, I'm torn on this one - I think it's perfectly possible that the Academy were embarrassed to be nominating this weird little indie/amateur Christian film and when a backlash started they looked for a loophole out. But on the other hand the original nomination did look so much like a pal calling in favours that I don't blame them for nixing it.

 

Has everyone heard the song? It's alright. Nothing amazing, nothing new. The lyrics are a little trite, the rhymes a little too obvious for my taste. I certainly wouldn't nominate it for any awards, but then I could say the same of many Oscar nominated films... 

 

Someone compared the song's nomination to the win for Falling Slowly, from Once; a tenuous connection (small indie film comes out of nowhere) at best, but it inspired me to play the two songs back to back. I'm afraid it just reinforced how mediocre Alone Yet Not Alone really is.

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Christian wrote:
: Don't the Weinstein Brothers do this kind of thing EVERY YEAR to get nominations for their projects?

 

I dunno. In a thread on one music-journalist's Facebook wall, there's been some talk about how members of *other* Academy branches say *they* have been lobbied in the past -- against the Academy's rules -- but it sounds like the "technical" categories, such as sound and visual effects, don't get the kind of public attention or scrutiny that the more popular categories, like Best Original Song, do. (The song nominees were announced on live TV, because that's what the general public is interested in, but the "technical" categories were not.)

 

The problem is, the Oscars are already less diverse now than ever before -- see the Mark Harris article I linked to in our 'Oscars 2014 - nominations' thread -- so it's increasingly difficult for films of a lesser profile to get any attention whatsoever. And now, in this case, when one film *did* find a way to get attention, they were swatted back down for it. That points to a systemic problem, I think.

"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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Thom Wade wrote:
: Yes.  Peter made Newsbusters because they are doing the very thing Peter predicted.  smile.png  Kind of amusing, especially as they seem oblivious to that fact.

 

I freely confess that I knew my post was clickbait when I wrote it. But that's also why I actually stated, in my post, that I prefer to focus on the "indie" side of the equation more than the "Christian" side. (Although I guess I'd also rather not emphasize the "Christian" side of things because this film seems to represent a less-desirable form of Christianity.)

 

Anodos wrote:
: Someone compared the song's nomination to the win for Falling Slowly, from Once . . .

 

That film had actually found an audience in theatres across the continent, though. Obscure, it wasn't.

"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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Anodos wrote:

: Someone compared the song's nomination to the win for Falling Slowly, from Once . . .

 

That film had actually found an audience in theatres across the continent, though. Obscure, it wasn't.

Oh, absolutely. It was on dozens of critic's lists, and was also Spielberg's favourite film of the year, I think. (Just looked it up on RT and it's at 97%.) I feel the urge to watch it again...

 

would like to find out how Alone Yet Not Alone garnered such a comparatively high profile music team, when the rest of the product is so amateur. Mr Chattaway, you are the encyclopaedia 'round these parts - do you have any idea? 

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