Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The temple - the movie

I had yet another serious doubt about my place in Mormonism when the temple film started up. I heard there was a film, but seriously? SERIOUSLY? When the reality of it hit - that I was sitting in a movie theater dressed like an asshole - I felt deeply embarrassed, like I had been tricked into being there. It was definitely more anti-climactic than my baptism for the fact that there had been so much hype around the mind-blowingness of the temple.

Behind the curtains... a movie screen!

The temple movie is horrible. It's an unintentially campy spin off of the Creation story. I can't believe anyone can sit through this crap regularly for years on end. You have a silly, big, booming God voice narrating the creation, landscape shots that seem to move between the awe inspiring aesthetics of a nature program and the kitsch of Thomas Kinkade sunsets, Adam and Eve wandering about a stage garden with foliage covering their waists and crotches, crows cawing whenever Satan enters or exits a scene, cheesy lines, and bad acting. It's absolutely awful stuff and yet it's supposedly the tool God uses to teach us His greatest secrets.

 Michael Ballam steals the show as Satan

I wasn't convinced, but I shut my critical eye and convinced myself that the Church didn't have to win the Palm d'or at Cannes to be true. I needed to pay attention to the information, not the film making. This was holy stuff I was watching. I mean really sacred stuff. So I doubted my doubts and watched on.

By way of post script let me clarify that there were two movies by the time I went through and they were both horrible, then they dropped one a few years back only to introduce a new film version this year which I haven't seen (I've read that it's now more Lord of the Rings-esque!). There's also the non-film version of the ceremony that requires temple workers to reenact the drama. Essentially all of my Mormon friends, active and inactive, say the live session is way better than the movie, and I'm sure they're right. But it's still totally inane bullshit.

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