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Why Not “Twilight”?

Why Not "Twilight"?

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Here’s something I don’t quite get about the recent explosion of boycotts and activism stemming from the Prop 8 vote. People are loudly calling for a boycott of Sundance (a plea that I, and many indieWIRE readers, have argued is somewhat misguided).

So how come we heard nary a beep last week leading up to the release of Twilight? While protestors are so up in arms that they are suggesting to MOVE Sundance to another state despite its minimal ties to the Mormon community (if Sundance simply avoids use of the Marriott and Cinemark, you’re left with little to argue about: that festival has done more for LGBT visibility than many people seem to understand)… they aren’t saying anything about Twilight. Could it be too many gays have a hard on for Robert Pattinson and a soft spot for vampire love stories?

Well, even though you’ve already poured $70 million toward the film, think about this before going again or for the first time. Care of a Time magazine interview:

An observant Mormon, [Twilight author Stephanie Meyer] doesn’t drink alcohol and has never seen an R-rated movie. She’s not perfect–although Mormons avoid caffeine on principle, she drinks the occasional cherry Diet Pepsi. “It’s about keeping yourself free of addictions,” she explains, sitting on a huge couch in her living room. “We have free will, which is a huge gift from God. If you tie that up with something like, I don’t know, cocaine, then you don’t really have a lot of freedom anymore.”

What makes Meyer’s books so distinctive is that they’re about the erotics of abstinence. Their tension comes from prolonged, superhuman acts of self-restraint. There’s a scene midway through Twilight in which, for the first time, Edward leans in close and sniffs the aroma of Bella’s exposed neck. “Just because I’m resisting the wine doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the bouquet,” he says. “You have a very floral smell, like lavender … or freesia.” He barely touches her, but there’s more sex in that one paragraph than in all the snogging in Harry Potter.

Meyer – who is going to making pay dirt off this movie and the many to follow – said she will give 10% of what she makes off of the film to the Mormon church. The same church that largely funded Yes on 8. Do you think the Marriott Park City is going to be raking in Meyer-style dough from 10 days of Sundance?

I don’t necessarily think any of this witchhunt boycotting is going to get us anywhere. But I do think that we need to be equal opportunity boycotters if thats the game we’re playing. I was waiting all last week for an explosion of anti-Twilightisms, but very little came… So I suggest that if you are the one of the folks (and I know there are some…) that think Sundance should be boycotted or moved to another state, and you also saw Twilight this weekend… you should look reach down and grab your foot, and extend it slowly into your mouth.

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