Oh what I would give to be in Park City, Utah, on Sunday for the debut of Kevin Smith’s latest flick at the Sundance Film Festival. Smith is no stranger to controversy, but the screening of his independent horror film “Red State” promises to attract quite the frenzy.
“Red State,” a satirical examination of extreme conservatism and Christian fundamentalism, follows a trio of high school boys who stumble upon a group of crazy, murderous, Bible-thumping psychos. It’s unlike anything Smith has ever directed before, and nothing about its premiere is conventional.
First, Smith announced he would auction off the distribution rights to the film right there in the Eccles Theatre following the screening. No word on what Smith plans to do if there are no sufficient bidders for the $4 million movie, but his first priority is finding someone who cares about the film as much as he does. He even said in a podcast about “Red State” that he would sell the rights to a lower bidder if they were passionate enough.
That alone would make it an interesting screening. But now on top of that, the Westboro Baptist Church has announced it will protest the film at its premiere. The Kansas-based church (or hate group, rather), has drawn media attention for its extremist views about homosexuality, other religions and essentially anyone who isn’t exactly like them. The group has protested the funerals of soldiers and Elizabeth Edwards, but was kind enough to back out of protesting the funeral of 9-year-old Tuscon shooting victim Christina Green.
Westboro Baptist Church issued a press release deeming Smith “a hater of Biblical proportions” whose film “mocks the servants of God,” and describing the organizers of the Sundance Film Festival as “f– enabling perverts.” In response, Smith issued his own press release stating his intention to counter-protest with “30 minutes of fun-filled photo opportunities.”
He also takes a shot at Westboro Baptist Church’s hate-fueled ideologies in the press release, stating “God doesn’t hate f–s or anyone else for that matter. God saves! Then, God passes it to Gretzky – who roofs that s— top-shelf! Then God and Gretzky high-five and belly-bump, celebrating their hockey prowess. And never once do they give a s— if anyone is gay or not.”
Needless to say, the “Red State” screening is sure to be one of the most talked about at Sundance this year.
Caution: Video is NSFW
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Follow Alexa Milan on Twitter at http://twitter.com/alexamilan.