Meet the Mormons, Prequels

What with all the hubbub around the new epic “Meet the Mormons,” a fantasy thriller of extraordinary depth and intrigue, I present the Prequels.

Apparently, folks were still getting the hang of watching “moving” pictures, so these are barely qualifying as “moving.”  I mean, sloooooow.  And emotionally the equivalent of a cement injection straight into the hypothalamus.

Set aside about a week to watch these “films,” which are mostly about death, and how SLOW we move towards it, especially when watching old Mormon movies.

First, the grand myth, Search For Truth.  Less concerned with the search than with the conclusion, I’m afraid.

Still frame from: Search For Truth

The inspiration for a little known film, Star Wars, this brilliant postmodern undoing of the space fantasy genre stands alone in the firmament of Mormon film.  And for the first use of the “Agnostic Pirate” character, who would dominate YouTube satires in later years.  Tommy Monson plays Isaac Newton, in his first but certainly not last effort at acting.  Almost as slow and dull as a PBS documentary, or that dreadful Cosmos series.  But worth watching, and not insincere, nor stupid.

Still frame from: Of Heaven and Home

Of Heaven and Home

A classic tale of intrigue, deceit, revenge, and lust.  And Home Teachers.  The inspiration for Brokeback Mountain, believe it or not.   Explores how bad things happen to bad people, and by “bad people,” they mean, your kids.  You know who you are, fighting the Lord’s Home Teachers and their honest attempts at surveillance and inquisition, and maintaining a perpetual presence in one’s home, even during the holidays.  Notable for introducing “Jocko” in the Provo vernacular, an early term for a True Blue Mormon.  And for Mitt Romney’s film debut as the lecherous home teacher Dave.

Still frame from: Measure of a Man

Measure of a Man

Classic noir treatment of the seedy underbelly of Provo, Utah.  Acting is off da hook.  This one got me off the sauce permanently.  I mean Root Beer.  At the Drive-in.  With Hal and Blaine.  Gives me the jumps.  Dialects alone make this worth watching, along with the creepy internal monologues.

Still frame from: Welfare Another Perspective

Welfare: Another Perspective

Worth watching for the car chases, knife fights, and exploration into the darkness of humanity.  And for the closing monologue, too.  And watch out for the jogging family.  Yikes.

Still frame from: Up In Smoke

Up In Smoke

It’s Humbar Time: I’d Rather Have It Than Pie.  As honest a documentary as the later “Meet the Mormons.”  Which is to say, both brilliant satires, with many levels of interpretation.  Watch for the Bruce McConkie cameo.

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Time Pulls The Trigger

Another dramatic film with a complex, nuanced message about life and death, and all that makes us human.  Winner of the Academy Award for best educational animation in a motion picture, 1960.  Seriously, the animated sequence 10 minutes in is a trip.  Think Fantasia reimagined by J.Edgar Hoover.  Then Mickey Mouse gets poisoned by a remorseless dude in a suit.

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8 thoughts on “Meet the Mormons, Prequels

  1. baron munchistan says:

    I died. Laughing. Seriously.
    That was so ludicrously funny…no wonder the average mormon will never read you. You are SO damn irreverent to their (our?) Idols! Idols of suits and authority, dominions of various degrees of supposed righteousness; idols of real estate and swiss banks; of corporations and imposed texts of meta-sizedness.

    When’s the international tour starting? ! Could be the mormon version of ” Tyson- a broadway play”

  2. isfahan says:

    Finally on volum 5 and I must say it’s got me hooked. And I’m only on page 8!!

    Simple to understand and strait as an arrow.

    Big props to you for this momentous work

    Is-Fahan

  3. pmccombs says:

    Dear fans of Mormon cinema,

    I thought I’d bring to your attention a classy new short entitled “Meet the Mormons’ Underwear.” Or something.

    http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/temple-garments

    Riveting stuff… Not sure when the soundtrack will be released. If you’re like my facebook friends, you might want to #ShareGoodness and pass this on. It added +3 sacredness to my facebook news mashup, nestled as it was between the the cryptic melancholia of a recent divorcee and a hilarious photo of an ex-neighbor’s kid’s bum crack. We need to sweep the world with this. The underwear itself may not be magical, but this media presentation totally is.

    1. day2mon says:

      It seems like we ought to be apologizing, if they aren’t magical. I wouldn’t be ashamed to wear magical underwear, but symbolic representations of my connection to god, as underwear? Hmmm….it seems like the problem is they apparently aren’t magical, but just like the nun’s habit, the Buddhist’s saffron robes, the blah blah blah. Who is the audience for such a fruit of the loom film? Maybe they could’ve got Michael Jordan to be a spokesman.

      1. pmccombs says:

        You know, I think Madonna would make a better spokesperson, confused as she is about under clothes and over clothes. Finding her extreme lingerie to be, in fact, important symbols of something or other, it became necessary to present them to public scrutiny like a virgin might present her nun’s habit. That’s only logic, so I suppose, in a way, this sort of church production was inevitable. A robe is fine as signs go, but what good is a hidden symbol that only serves to maintain a degree of separation between a pair of nice trousers and the skid marks that would otherwise soil them? That’s the substantial magic of all underwear, but it’s not an effective symbol of anything. Yes, treat them with all the reverence due to the object they invisibly symbolize, except for the part where one smears one’s bodily excreta in them all day long. There’s a certain absurdity to it.

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