CP Movie Night This Saturday: Wreck It Ralph

Sep 5 2013

This Saturday evening, September 7, we'll have yet another fabulous Candler Park movie night in the park. The feature presentation will be Wreck It Ralph: http://movies.disney.com/wreck-it-ralph (Please note that Ferris Bueller was previously scheduled for this date but changed due to concerns about language.)

The movie will start at dusk, which is around 8 pm, but come at 7 pm for hanging out with neighbors and kids running around. 

Also, save yourself the trouble of making dinner that night. CP neighbor Chris Fitzgerald, co-owner of Uncle Maddio's at Edgewood, will be there selling pizza (thanks Chris!). So bring your blanket and chairs and make an evening of it.

Amorphous "concerns about language"

You explain that Ferris Bueller was pulled "due to concerns about language," but frankly, I think that begs the question. Ferris Bueller is rated PG, and I presume that when the City issue the movie permit (months ago by now), this particular movie was included on the list that the Special Events Coordinator approved in conjunction with the permit. Personally, when it comes to movies in the park I don't have a dog in the fight, but I (and, I'm sure, others) do have more than a passing interest in the 1st Amendment and acts of censorship that may be based on little more than the whims of people in positions of power. The City's policy expressly prohibits unrated, NC-17, R, or X rated movies but not movies rated PG, and by excluding PG from the list the Parks Department strongly implies that movies such as Ferris Bueller are not objectionable. The movie's showing had been long-advertised by CPNO (and others), so I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that maybe somebody actually watched the movie somewhat recently and, having heard dialogue that offended his or her delicate sensibilities, determined that the movie is not suitable for viewing in Candler Park. I believe that if said individual is employed by the City, then the extent and exercise of that person's authority needs to be re-evaluated, and now's as good a time as any. Likewise, if said individual isn't with the City, then that raises a whole host of other issues that need to be identified and resolved pronto. The CPNO's membership voted to contribute several thousands of dollars (to whom, I'm not entirely sure) so that this and other movies could be shown in Candler Park. Accordingly, I believe that the membership, having relied on the City's policies existing when it voted to approve the expenditure, are entitled to much more information about the who, the when, the why, and the how somebody's "concerns about the language" contained in the movie metamorphosed into a determination that the movie is not to be displayed in the park. If you could pass along this concern to whenever informed you about the determination concerning Ferris Bueller, then perhaps the individual who had these "concerns about the language" in this particular movie could step forward and explain how decisions concerning other movies in the park will be made in the future. Thanks.

Movie night response

Ferris Bueller is actually rated PG-13 not PG. That being said, there were numerous complaints to Friends of Candler Park from different families about the language and content of Ferris Bueller. In an effort to please these families, it was decided to show a movie for a less mature audience. Luckily, Wreck it Ralph was well attended and lots of kids and adults enjoyed the show.

This was clearly not a sinister plan to fight the 1st Amendment or to upset the people who were planning on attending Ferris Bueller. This was purely a judgment call. I do not think anybody wanted this to be the next big issue in Candler Park but unfortunately it looks it is heading in that direction.

Exactly who are you referring to when you say “positions of power?” If you are referring to the CPNO board , I doubt anybody would call that group “powerful.” Last year every position ran unopposed (which could also be interpreted that these people stepped up to do a volunteer job that nobody else would do). And of course, since it is a volunteer job, there is no pay whatsoever (jobs without pay are rarely considered powerful). I think we should be stepping up and thanking the board more often instead of criticizing their every decision. The same can be said about Friends of Candler Park. A volunteer group just trying to improve the neighborhood, not a sinister power hungry group.

It is too bad that another fun activity in CP is being complained about.

Just more complaints

Thank you for your candid and illuminating response. Persons in a position of power include individuals who, among other things, can determine what others are able to do with or on public property. I was actually hoping it would turn out that it was somebody with the city who had made the decision to axe the movie, because it is their responsibility and, ultimately, it is they who are accountable to all the citizens of this city. When parents don't want their minor children to be exposed to certain sights or sounds then they have every right and responsibility to prevent that from happening. However, what they don't have is the legal or moral authority to prevent others from going, or taking their minor children, to see something at a public park merely because it's judged by "numerous" anonymous people to be inappropriate for their own children. And why you decided to drag the members of the Board into this issue I haven't a clue; are you saying it was members of the Board of CPNO who decided that Ferris Bueller wouldn't be shown in the park? Regardless, I do think it highlights yet another reason for knowing who, exactly, constitutes this "Friends of Candler Park" group that regularly receives CPNO funding, seemingly has but a single member, and maintains an ongoing presence in the park that borders on the ubiquitous. But I digress.


Who, exactly, is being censored here? The people who volunteer a great deal of time to make this wonderful event possible exercised _judgment_ about what the typical movie night audience might want to see. If Mark Clement wants to claim--as I doubt he would--that he was forced (not persuaded) by someone at the city to change the movie, then we might have an injured party.

How about this: You can spend dozens or hundreds of hours of your time organizing a movie night--getting permits, raising money, corralling equipment--and then YOU can pick the movie you want to show. IF, at that point, someone tries to interfere with you showing a PG-13 movie in a public park, THEN you can invoke 1st amendment rights.

Finally, I think Mark--whether he is the only member of "Friends of Candler Park" or not--is a much better friend of Candler Park (the park itself and the neighborhood) then those people who snipe at him but who, as far as I can tell, do far less to make the neighborhood better than Mark does. I have no idea why this animosity exists, but I find it incredibly tiresome.