News: SL Trib on Mormon films this fall

As a follow-up to Eric’s excellent fall preview of Mormon cinema

Yesterday’s edition of the Salt Lake Tribune featured movie critic Sean Means’s a preview of fall Mormon cinema titles. The article also discusses attempts by Mormon filmmakers to create crossover hits.

Movies discussed include “States of Grace: God’s Army 2,” “Mobsters and Mormons,” “The Work and the Glory: American Zion,” “Church Ball,” “Just Like Heaven” and “Suits on the Loose.”

As usual, critical favorite Richard Dutcher had some interesting things to say about Mormon cinema:

” Even with familiar non-Mormon actors, Dutcher said, some LDS filmmakers have ‘this deluded sense of making a film that would only appeal to Mormons, but somehow believing it’s going to cross over into the mainstream.’

“The other unwelcome trend, in Dutcher’s view, involves films that are sold to investors as LDS-themed, but ‘by the time the movie gets to the market, you can’t really recognize any Mormonism in it — and still calling it a Mormon film just because Mormons make it./

“Dutcher vows that won’t happen with ‘States of Grace.’

“‘It’s not another treatment of a day in the life of LDS missionaries,’ Dutcher said. ‘This time, it’s LDS missionaries who are part of a much larger story. It’s more of an ensemble film that has characters from different religions, and no religions, and how their lives intertwine in present-day Santa Monica. . . . It’s very much designed not to just be accessible to Mormon Christianity, but hopefully embraced by all Christians.'”

Also in the article, director/writer John Moyer explains his approach to “Mobsters and Mormons”:

“‘Mobsters and Mormons,’ Moyer said, was an effort to ‘find something that would appeal to LDS audiences, but also possibly be able to spill over outside of the LDS market — that there were no inside jokes that if you weren’t LDS, you weren’t a home teacher or an elder, you wouldn’t get. I tried to steer away from that stuff consciously, and tried to find stuff that would play off of the world’s generalized concepts of what Mormons are.’