Filmmaker Brian Flemming, after directing Nothing So Strange, a mockumentary which imagines the assassination of Bill Gates, is now at work on The Beast. According to its pre-production official site, the film will be based on little-known historical data which suggests that Jesus Christ may have never existed. Release date? 06-06-06, of course.
Fair bet: this project will cause Flemming & Co. to catch even more flak than they did for, um, "killing Bill". I genuinely look forward to seeing how the most arrogant and narrow-minded names in news (like Fox's Cavuto, whom you can admire at work on Nothing So Strange in the previous link) will respond to a movie that carries the infectious meme of Jesus as a historical sham. I do hope they won't put Brian through too much hell, though.
And now, the Questions of the Day: Would we ever see such movies if it weren't for independent filmmakers? And when things of this level of controversy do make it into the big Hollywood channels, isn't it usually because somebody like Flemming did it years earlier? OK, so my Questions of the Day are a tad rhetorical. Nonetheless, they point to a reality that is worth thinking about. While you're thinking, click this link and visit another Flemming project: Free Cinema. From the site:
'Now that digital technology has made the feature film as cheap to produce as a novel (i.e., for nothing), it has become possible for filmmakers to experiment with their own copyrights in ways that were formerly impractical.
It is a virtual certainty that Hollywood will not be conducting these experiments.
That leaves us. And the free-culture movement is showing us the way. Already, Open Source and Free Software have transformed the software industry, making software creators happier, better and more independent. New musicians are getting turned on to free culture every day.
What feature filmmakers are going to put their toes in this water? What new and exciting cinema could be created outside of the standard Hollywood copyright dogma? What happens when you set a feature film free? Free Cinema intends to find out.'