Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Napoleon Dynamite

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Jared Hess, a former BYU student, has directed a film entitled Napoleon Dynamite (the trailer is available here). It's received rave reviews ever since it made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

Oh, and another good thing about it: It's not about Mormons. I haven't been particularly thrilled with the glut of Mormon-themed movies that have come out during the last few years. It's good to see a Mormon make a movie about something other than his faith.

Don't get me wrong. I think Hollywood has vastly underestimated the market for movies that explore religion in a reverential, rather than hostile and profane, manner. (I think Mel Gibson's The Passion has sparked a trend towards films which reverence religious belief.) However, I think Mormons have a broad spectrum of skills and interests, in addition to faith, which can be expressed on film. I hope Jared Hess leads the way in getting other Mormon moviemakers to broaden their horizons a bit.