Back in 1985, Jean-Luc Godard released a movie called Hail Mary that made Catholics breathe fire. (Paradoxical metaphor noted.) It was a modern-day retelling of the immaculate conception where a woman named Marie gets pregnant even though she is a virgin. But it was also a French experimental film, so Marie has a number of unholy attributes, including a rather foul mouth. She uses words such as “cunt” referring to her own anatomy, and she appears wholly (not holy) unclothed. (Oh, the blasphemy!) I saw Hail Mary at the Roxie in 1985. Why? Because the Catholics were out in force trying to steer people away from it. Would I have seen it otherwise? Not a chance. Did I like it? Not really (hey, I was 18), but I liked seeing it because I got to cross a picket line of religious zealots and tell them just where they could stick their thought-policing.
The Catholics protesting a documentary called Corpus Christi: Playing with Redemption could take a lesson from this: They risk sending more people to see the film by making noise about it, especially in San Francisco, a city that contains Catholics who are openly queer and don't feel one bit guilty about it. (Now there's a stand-off we'd love to see: red-state Catholics vs. San Francisco out-and-proud Catholics.)