Tony Sams | | Date: 15/11/2004
(saved from http://www.idsnews.com/news/print.php?id=15478 17.04.2005)
New Kinsey film debuts at IU Auditorium
Bill Condon is sorry.
The Academy Award-winning director and writer of the new movie «Kinsey,» a biopic about IU professor and human sexuality research pioneer Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey, is sorry because when it came time to give acknowledgements in the film’s credits, it read that the filmmakers would like to thank the «University of Indiana.»
«I’m sorry, I’m sorry,» he said to some beleaguered moans during a press conference at the University Club in the Indiana Memorial Union before the Bloomington premiere of his film. «That’s what happens on a limited budget and a 37-day shooting schedule.»
Condon promised it would absolutely be corrected in subsequent prints.
But by the end of the evening, the gaffe was the last thing on the minds of filmgoers, who, for $50, were treated to cocktails, a film premiere and a discussion at the IU Auditorium, which also raised money for IU’s Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction.
Actress Laura Linney — who portrayed Kinsey’s wife Clara in the film and who was freshly flown in from a film shoot in Vancouver — producer Gail Mutrux and Condon were in attendance Saturday night on campus.
Condon introduced the film with a brief, and ironic, anecdote.
«Dr. Kinsey was once asked what he thought about a Hollywood movie about him, and he said, ‘I can’t think of anything more pointless.’ So here we are,» Condon joked.
But Condon was sincere in his thanks for IU, which he said had been an incredible host for him and his crew. Condon, Mutrux, set designer Richard Sherman and Liam Neeson, who stars as Kinsey, visited the campus, the Kinseys’ home and the institute prior to film’s production.
Condon said coming back to the campus created an interesting feeling.
«It’s very strange, only because I was here before,» Condon said. «The film becomes your reality. You find Indiana in New Jersey. You find Liam Neeson in Alfred Kinsey. Then you come to the real place, meet the real people, and it’s scary.»
«Kinsey» was not shot at IU, but rather in New York because of the film’s copious speaking parts, Condon said. New York also provided a large pool of actors.
Viewers instead will see campuses that resembled IU as the setting for the film. Exterior shots were filmed at Fordham University in New York City, and interior shots were filmed at Columbia University and Bronx Community College, both also in New York City.
Walking through the IMU, Condon said he was reflecting on the history of the campus where Kinsey worked more than 50 years ago, and how some minor details were changed for the movie.
«Our Herman Wells doesn’t wear a mustache because Oliver Platt looks like Hitler with a mustache,» Condon joked.
Condon praised Wells for his support and steadfastness with defending Kinsey amid the controversy in the 1940s and 1950s.
«Wells is a genuine hero, and there’s a wonderful movie to be made about him, I think,» Condon said.
Condon said the film struck a personal chord with him as an openly gay director. To add to the personal attachment, he said Kinsey’s granddaughter gave him one of the professor’s signature bow ties as a gift once the film was complete.
Condon also presented Julia Heiman, current director of the Kinsey Institute and participant in a discussion following the film, with a $25,000 donation given to him from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Heiman said she appreciated the film’s subtlety and thoughtfulness, which she has had time to reflect on over the course of the past few months.
«I have seen this movie seven times,» Heiman said. «I have never seen a movie seven times.»
She said the Institute will continue to push for expanded sex education and research, as well as continue to facilitate a nationwide discussion.
«I think that the press can get caught up in opposing poles — pervert/hero, good/bad — that reduces it to some kind of sexual simplicity that was never there,» Heiman said. «There is a way to go beyond what is simple and have a conversation.»
Heiman said she wasn’t sure if the film will change anyone’s values, but hoped it might allow people to think differently, if not for a little while.
For $1,000, guests were invited to a private reception with Condon, Linney and Mutrux. For $20, they could just attend the film’s premiere.
Liam Neeson was originally scheduled to attend Saturday’s events, but ended up playing host to «Saturday Night Live» as part of the film’s publicity tour.
Both Kinsey’s daughter, Anne Call, and his granddaughter, Wendy Corning, were in attendance for the film’s local premiere, as well as Paul Gebhard, an original member of Kinsey’s research team who is portrayed by Timothy Hutton in the film.
— Contact senior writer Tony Sams at firstname.lastname@example.org.