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The trouble with "Towelhead"

Towelhead, the excellent directorial debut of Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball, has been criticized by some people for its sometimes funny, frank approach to decidedly unfunny subject matter (including, but not limited to, statutory rape).

Towelhead_2

Ball has a theory as to why some viewers have trouble with the film's mix of humor and drama. "These are all totally valid emotional responses, but they tend to frighten some people. That's one of the worst legacies of Christianity - hating ourselves for what we feel. Just feeling something is one thing: Acting on those feelings is something completely different. If we're going to beat ourselves up merely for feeling something, that just gives those feeling more power."

In case you missed it, here's my interview with Ball and the cast of Towelhead, which ran in Sunday's paper.

 

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can't fight this feeling anymore

Loved the story and your review...I saw the movie over the weekend and thought it was extremely well done. We laughed, and we cringed, and we were caught up in every moment. Not everyone can walk that tightrope between hilarity and horror, but Ball does it as well as anybody ever has.

Also, the cast is terrific with the tricky material; Peter Macdissi as the girl's father is especially good as someone who cares about his daughter but cares about himself and his comforts a lot more. But Ball never makes it too easy to hate him: This guy is not a great dad; he punches his daughter on the leg and sets some truly dumb rules, then leaves her alone all night to do whatever it s she's doing...but you know, he's absolutely right to worry about her because she's doing things that nobody thinks a 13 year old should be doing.

I'm beginning to think Alan Ball can do just about anything, and that Towelhead may be even better than American Beauty.

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