Just when you thought the weird saga of Ben Stein’s new film criticizing Darwin’s theory of evolution couldn’t possibly get any more ridiculous comes this live report from a sneak preview at the Mall of America. Hold on to your pharyngula.Noted biologist and science blogger P.Z. Myers was barred from the theater and threatened with arrest at a Minneapolis pre-release screening of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed on Thursday night by the film’s producers — despite the fact that Myers appears in the documentary in an on-camera interview and is thanked in the film’s closing credits.
But the thwarted scientist doesn’t stop there.
Myers immediately blogged his misadventure at a nearby Apple store.
I went to attend a screening of the creationist propaganda movie, Expelled, a few minutes ago. Well, I tried … but I was Expelled! It was kind of weird – I was standing in line, hadn’t even gotten to the point where I had to sign in and show ID, and a policeman pulled me out of line and told me I could not go in. I asked why, of course, and he said that a producer of the film had specifically instructed him that I was not to be allowed to attend. The officer also told me that if I tried to go in, I would be arrested. I assured him that I wasn’t going to cause any trouble.
Meanwhile, his wife and daughter were admitted into the film screening without incident.
In a supreme twist of irony, the Myers clan (absent P.Z.) accompanied Richard Dawkins, a British evolutionary biologist, atheist and author of the controversial book, The God Delusion, into the theater. Like Myers’, Dawkins’ interview is also negatively portrayed in the film, as noted by Colorado Confidential in one of the first published reviews.
Today Myers provides further explanation of the incident, his family and Dawkins’ reaction to the film, and responds to accusations that he was disturbing theater patrons.
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed has been thoroughly panned by the scientific community and newspaper film reviewers. However, a Kansas City business magazine — in an apparent attempt to give Entertainment Weekly a run for its money — published an editorial calling it “arguably the smartest and most sophisticated documentary ever produced on the right side of the cultural divide on any subject, ever.”
Couple Myers’ experience and our January report on a promotional telephone press conference of pre-screened, softball questions posed to the filmmakers, and the “intelligence” of the movie’s premise becomes sketchier yet.
The film opens nationwide on April 18.
Skatje Myers writes a review of “Expelled” after her father, P.Z., was summarily ejected from the theater:
I’m expected to say something about the events that occurred last night at Expelled, but you all know the shenanigans involving my dad being expelled, but Dawkins getting in. Here’s my impression of the movie:
I’m trying very hard to be unbiased, but that’s pretty difficult in this situation. Regardless of content, the movie was surprisingly unpolished and cheap-looking. It might be due in part to being unfinished, but how far off can they be when it’s released in less than a month? The camera-work was shakey, obnoxious, and they seemed to like to zoom into ultra-close-ups. Ever wonder what’s up Dawkins’ nose? Here’s your chance to find out.
Read the rest at her blog, Lacrimae Rerum.