Posted on Monday, February 18th, 2008 by Hunter Stephenson
Variety is reporting that the filmmakers behind Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, a new anti-Darwinism pro-Intelligent Design documentary starring Ben Stein, have stepped up their film’s marketing to coincide with its timely April release (around the same time that Bill Maher’s pro-agnostic doc Religulous opens internationally). Motive Entertainment, the marketing company that helped make The Passion of the Christ and The Chronicles of Narnia box office hits, was recently hired to “spread the [film's] gospel.” Variety’s words.
The “super trailer” below for Stein’s film makes the argument that scientists are being quietly fired and silenced if and when they express religious beliefs and that free speech issues are increasingly relevant to this topic as America’s culture/media climate becomes increasingly secular. Stein even warns viewers that if they watch the film they might lose friends or their job. Now the latter? That’s a bold statement (sue!), but the friends/reputation thing? I don’t think that’s as much a stretch, as (non)religion is one of the Oughts big polemics, especially for young people, alongside, like, Arcade Fire/Selling Out/Iraq/Wayfarers/Obama. I do think it’s odd how many reviews lacked the balls to dive into the atheistic viewpoint that is There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson’s flick vitriolically says god is a superstition, if ya didn’t know.) And then there’s the Left Behind shades to M. Knight Shyamalan’s The Happening (and yes, they are there).
[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/expelledsupertrailer.flv 470 262]
So who wins here? Bill Maher and Larry Charles’s Religulous or Expelled‘s “anti-evolution think tank”-backers the Discovery Institute and Ben Stein, who says he doesn’t care if his $3.5 million doc makes money, he just wants to impact policy?
Discuss: Will you see both documentaries to get “balance,” only the one that fits your beliefs, or neither (i.e. don’t care, will contribute ticket money to alcohol)?