A different dark is rising
August 14, 2007 1:34 AM   Subscribe

We've discussed David L. Cunningham before, especially the controversial 9/11 docudrama he made. But there's more to the man who's the son of Christian reconstructionist and University of the Nations founder Loren Cunningham. There are a lot of movies he claims to have directed on his IMDB page that don't have any external verification outside of self-published websites, which seems to contradict IMDB policy. Then there's the fear from both pagans and various political bloggers and fans of the books that his upcoming adaptation of the The Dark is Rising fantasy books is going to completely butcher the source material. The movie is produced by Walden Media, the production company owned by conservative christian billionaire Philip Anschutz, who's trying to "clean up Hollywood", in association with 20th Century Fox.
posted by Joakim Ziegler (9 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The great thing about the film industry is that — despite constant whining from conservatives — politics won't get you far if you can't make money for your investors. Frauds like Cunningham can't sell tickets, which is why they have to lie about their resume and rely on investors with nefarious agendas to get work.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:54 AM on August 14, 2007

Which movies exactly do you say don't exist?
posted by A189Nut at 3:09 AM on August 14, 2007

That Authorblog list of differences linked to in the Chocolate and Vodka post is superb by the way. Of all the books in all the world that had to be adapted by a Christian fundie, why did it have to be this one?
posted by longdaysjourney at 3:28 AM on August 14, 2007

I loved these books so much growing up. It's one of the reasons I didn't read Harry Potter as an adult (or... have not, yet). I kept thinking "Well... they probably won't be as good as "The Dark Is Rising."

I haven't checked out your links yet but... Man if this is all true, this is bad, bad, bad news.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 5:19 AM on August 14, 2007

Oh dear, the film trailer is terribly depressing. The Dark is Rising series was so richly imagined, it's awful to see it turned into Home Alone 3: Wizards n 'shit.
posted by snoktruix at 5:42 AM on August 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

Liked the books as as a kid, although I only dimly remember them now, but even so--yikes! That trailer was horrendous. It looks like the fake trailers that make the Shining seem really upbeat, or turn Mary Poppins into a horror movie. The tone couldn't be more wrong.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 7:37 AM on August 14, 2007

A189Nut: According to Wikipedia, the movies in his resume that people have been unable to confirm independently are:
  • Baja 1000 (1996)
  • Walkabout Australia (1996) (V)
  • Pacific Mercy Ships (1995)
  • Passport to the World (1993)
  • Target World (1992)
  • The Pitcairn Story: Mutineers in Paradise (1991)
Now, that doesn't mean they don't exist, it just means that they might not, and that noone else outside of Cunningham's own organizations and agencies have bothered to mention any of them on the whole web. IMDB policy is to not include movies that can't be shown to have general public interest, and they ask for a link to some sites (film festival programs, reviews, TV listings) when you add a new movie. It seems in this case they've allowed Cunningham's representatives to just dump a bunch of movies in there without independent verification (the biography of him on IMDB is also written by his representatives, etc.)
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:58 AM on August 14, 2007

Seriously, only 7 comments worth of people are interested in this on all of Metafilter? (5 discounting my previous comment and the comment of the original poster.)

I've overestimated how well read we mefites truly are. Or should I say... YOU mefites?! (And by "well read," I mean "well versed in semi-popular childrens fantasy books of the 70's and 80's. WHICH SHOULD BE A LOT MORE THAN THIS!)

Seriously, where's the outrage?

This is blasphemy, pure and simple, and I demand mob justice.

Heck, I invoke it. Heed!
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:04 PM on August 14, 2007

SmileyChewtrain: I was hoping for more outrage too, or at least some discussion. I'm not personally as invested emotionally in the books and the adaptation as you are, but I'm concerned about the overall trend, the political agenda, and the faking of credentials.

And I guess I'm annoyed that I have a hard time getting movies I've worked on into IMDB, maybe because although I have respectable independent sources, they're mostly in Spanish, and it seems no one there can read it. Or something, they don't deign to give a reason for rejecting submissions, or even actually tell you that they've rejected them, you just have to wait for 6-8 weeks to see if it gets in, and if not, you can assume it's been rejected.

And then some no-talent fundie hack gets a list of 6 movies into IMDB as director, without any independent verification at all? Yeah, it pisses me off.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:21 AM on August 15, 2007

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