Friday, July 21, 2006

Dakota Fanning's Controversial Content in Hounddog

I looked at my blog stats today and was very surprised to see an unusual amount of google hits, most of which were people searching something to the effect of "Dakota Fanning Hounddog."

All of these google searches are being directed to my post about the movie Hounddog. Hounddog is a movie where a young girl (Fanning) overcomes the side effects of sexual abuse by singing and dancing like Elvis.

Well obviously this is a gutsy role for Fanning, the 12-year-old girl who seems as though she could do it all...BUT there is new controversy.

According to Cinematical there are some heavy hitting scenes in this film where Dakota Fanning is "raped in one explicit scene and to appear naked or clad only in 'underpants' in several other horrifying moments."

Apparently, this has caused some of the financial backers to pull their money from the film, but the film is still pressing forward. This certainly is no Charlotte's Web or Dreamer.

It seems like their pushing Fanning into gutsy roles to shape her image into a quality actress not just a cutsy kid-star. I would think that her acceptance into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) earlier in July probably helped cement that impression (note: the 12 year old can't even see rated R movies, who will she vote for Academy Award winners?)

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Out Of Jersey said...

This is reminiscient of Bastard out of Carolina or the latter version of Lolita. This is a terrifying idea. Do we really know how having children acting in such roles will affect them? Though I got to meet Miko Hughes at a horror convention and asked him how he felt about being in such roles and he told me it was more like playing a game or something.

Attila the Mom said...


You know, I wonder if it's worth it for "artistic integrity" of a film.

Granted, a child probably grows up pretty damn fast in showbiz, but to show rather than imply an "explicit rape of a 12-year old" is something that really really skeeves me out.

I guess maybe I'm old fashioned in that way.

jasdye said...

i don't think you are, or at least hope you're not, 'attila.'

i think it's supposed to be artistic, but it is just plum freaky-deaky. there are some people out there that would get their kicks from that. i believe that rape and child molestation needs to be addressed, certainly, and we should be able to see some scarring redemption come out of those ashes. But it just seems like some portrayals (like some portrayals of war by pacifists or anti-war protestors) can feed the fire.

*shivers to his bone*

help us, Jesus

Gordon Hackman said...

Yeah, I admit it freaks me out too. I try to have an open mind about the arts and the fact that not everything that's discomforting or disturbing or even offensive is therefore automatically wrong, but I feel this is going too far as well.

I'd actually question rather or not it's necessary to have such explicit scenes in order to have artistic integrity. The idea that we need to see every detail of an event in order to capture authenticity strikes me as a bogus one. We seem to have a cultural obsession with the idea that revealing everything somehow equals authenticity.

Much of the power of art comes from suggestion and implication. I think sometimes we confuse being shocked or seriously disturbed with genuinely being moved by a great piece of art.

Out Of Jersey said...

There is something to be said about subtlety and innuendo. Anyone remember the rape scene in A Streetcar Named Desire? It still sends shivers down my spine.

Sher said...

Saw the previews today for three movies that seem like they might be good...

1. The Last Kiss (I love Zach Braff)

2. Hollywoodland

3. Running with Scissors

Do any of these meet up to your standards? Our life group should go on a movie outing to the drive-in or somewhere cool sometime.

J.D. said...

I haven't seen it yet, so I'll give it the benefit of a doubt.

However, when it comes down to the rape scene, I agree that it being explicit is not necessarily something I need or care to see, as the effect can be quite well accomplished without the experience being totally visual. The reference to "A Streetcar Named Desire" is particularly don't see it, but it still punches you in the gut without subjecting you to near-porn.

Out Of Jersey said...

Speaking of subtlety, I just got back from seeing Clerks II and there is a donkey show scene. More than I needed to see! ouch! Definately not as good as the first film, it dragged quite a bit, but it had its moments.

Miss Scarlet said...

Yuck, I can't stand that little girl. And I DEFINITELY don't want to see her at any stage of undressed, ew!

D. Prince said...

This whole thing makes me very uncomfortable. Especially that part about her Aunt mentioning the "Oscar Worthiness" of it all. Sick.

JW said...

The whole relative thing is kind of sickening to me. Their primary focus should be being her agent for crying out loud.

I just hope that the filmmakers are really.... careful, about doing this. Mysterious Skin was another film in the realm and they were very careful about it, so I suppose it can be done.

As far as AMPAS goes.. it is odd who they let in. There are several nominees who don't get in, and yet they let in someone who can't even vote. Michelle Williams still isn't in, and Joaquim only got in this year despite a previous nomination, for example.


Paula said...

Interesting how we all have such strong opinions about a scene we haven't seen.

I've done some TV/movie acting, and the whole thing is usually very VERY fake, so that you feel as the Cubicle Rev. pointed out, like you are playing a game.

That isn't to say that it can also feel very much real and like you are trapped. I saw an interview with Linda Blair, and in some of the scenes in the Exorcist, her screams were's like the director was pushing her, doing painful things to her to get a "good performance". Yikes.

I hope the director of this little actress chooses the high road, instead of trying to instill fear into her to get the good shot. If she's actually scared or in pain, that isn't acting anymore, is it?

Magnus said...

I have been told that William Friedkin was quite abusive with his actors. Ellen Burstyn aquired a back injury do to Friedkin's action and he slapped the priest in the funeral scene to get the right effect. Peter Chattaway - knows all of the stuff that Friedkin has done. I'll ask him about the car chase in the French Connection again, very scary.

Magnus said...

The Cubicle Reverend said...
"There is something to be said about subtlety and innuendo. Anyone remember the rape scene in A Streetcar Named Desire? It still sends shivers down my spine."

Agreed. It is possible to show the audience horrors of rape without actually showing the rape.

Anonymous said...

Just in case anyone doesnt know, which probably half dont as i have noticed that a lot of sites conveniently leave it out, but we wont be seeing dakota naked at all. Rather she wears a body suit in all scenes where she would be undressed.

Anonymous said...

while I agree with everyone about the shocking fact of the rape in this movie, in a recent article in the magazine premiere the director has said that the majority if not all of the rape scene focuses on dakota's face and nothing else there is no flesh scene and and it sounded like you saw hardly any of her attacker.
Also the filming of the scene was not done all at the same time in order to not traumatize the young actress.

Anonymous said...

can't stand the girl. can't stand rape of ANYONE in a movie or on TV. who cares how old the person is? is it suddenly ok to watch when someone turns 18? don't think so.

Anonymous said...

WTF are we (as a society) doing?!

By showcasing child-abuse in this explicit way, it only worsens the problem by motivating pedophiles.

We're more concerned with protecting "art" than we are protecting CHILDREN.

Help us God. And please help the helpless kids of this twisted, evil world.

Anonymous said...

This is not art. Everyone knows what it is and who will be running to see it. It is equally as disgusting and evil as "Bastard Out of Carolina" and Jodie Foster and Brooke Shield's early work.

How can anyone defend this?

Anonymous said...

For all the christians and so called church people in here bashing the film hounddog and dakota fannings family here is some words from the bible.You must be warned this is “sick stuff”.

Genesis 19

19:32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
19:33 And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
19:34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. The Seduction of Lot
19:35 And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
19:36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.

Exodus 4

24 At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met {Moses} and was about to kill him. 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched {Moses’} feet with it.”Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said. 26 So the LORD let him alone.(At that time she said “bridegroom of blood,” referring to circumcision.)

“A flint knife wow that had to hurt her son real bad” “and then she touched moses with her sons removed foreskin”"sick sick sick” I would never allow a child to read this stuff.

these are but a few of the many graphic and sexual readings you may find in the bibles. Remember children are read and taught this stuff.HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THIS STUFF TO KIDS.Mabey we should ban children from reading the bible and remove from all public places then never allow any one under 18 years old to read such things.Who is the sick people now.

Now keep your mouths shut before you promote those that seek to destroy good people like dakota fanning and her family.

kat said...

well I think Ms. Scarlet needs to go find a hate website or something.
No one cares how much you hate a 12 year old okay sweetheart? :)

I think yes, it could be risky for the child performing in such scenes as rape and almost naked, however watching interviews of Dakota Fanning I believe she has an astounding understanding and knowledge of what she is doing.

I think this controvercial movie opens doors and eyes to those pf us lucky enough to have never experienced what many children do. We don't live it but we know it still happens. However I don't think the majority of people grip the reality of the pain and intense reality of rape and abuse.
I give this movie so much credit.

Facebook.Com/FindCash said...

That is a great point, that Fanning cannot even watch an R-rated moved, yet she can film what is illicitly expressed as an R or even X-rated scene!

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Anonymous said...

There are no explicit scenes in this movie. A picture of her face as she gasps, that's it.

The thing is though, you can't show only the neat pretty sides of life, you've gotta show the dirty ugly truth that happens every day.

People have been complaining about the lengths with which filmmakers will go to create entertainment; but the filmmakers don't make a scene like that to entertain; it's supposed to be horrifying. So be disgusted, but watch it - don't close your eyes and pretend it's not there.

Kids should be thoroughly informed about what kind of freaks are out there..

Anonymous said...

I can only hope many many people have the chance to read this. I am sitting over here in a third world country fighting for the freedom of the american people. How dare you cencor the american people the same way thies bastords over here have a choke hold on thier people. why am I over here doing this? why so the so called "christian community" can put a strangle hold on peoples right to create. For christ sakes if you dont like the movie "DONT WATCH IT" but no, some right wing prick always has to have a say in it, You know cause this movie and others like it are going to turn people in to ragging pedofiles. "morons" but its ok because what im going to do is get a origanl copy of this movie and im going to spred it around the internet like a wild fire every blog every comment board this movie will be just to prove a point. thank you christian bastard for trying to cencor me and the other american people. but you wont win this round.