The dark side of the festival circuit? Never quite getting over bouts of mystery festival flu. To take my mind off my persistent, certainly tubercular cough, here’s a quick look at some of the finer points from reviews of Ben Stein’s fascinatingly loopy creationist doc “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” a film that’s attracted most of its controversy due to who hasn’t been allowed to see it at advance screenings.
Jeannette Catsoulis at the New York Times calls the film “one of the sleaziest documentaries to arrive in a very long time,” adding: “Mixing physical apples and metaphysical oranges at every turn ‘Expelled’ is an unprincipled propaganda piece that insults believers and nonbelievers alike.” Jeffrey Kluger at Time writes that “It’s in the film’s final third that it runs entirely off the rails as Stein argues that there is a clear line from Darwinism to euthanasia, abortion, eugenics and–wait for it–Nazism.” From Nick Schager at Slant:
Court actions against intelligent design curriculums are dismissed via a movie clip of a judge making funny faces and twirling his gavel, and the scientific community’s supposed fear of scrutinizing Darwinism is explained via the sight of Dorothy pulling the curtain back on the Wizard of Oz. It’s proselytizing Morgan Spurlock-style, replete with a childish animated cartoon and CGI sequence of a cell’s inner workings.
And Vadim Rizov at the Village Voice almost finds something to like: “[Intelligent design proponents] protest that they’re simply interested in secular alternatives to Darwinian evolution; their scientific opponents, meanwhile, are potential Communists and Nazis. Bizarre and hysterical.”
[Photo: “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” Rocky Mountain Pictures, 2008]