Monday, October 15, 2018
Things To Do

Scientology movie 'Going Clear' creates buzz at Sundance Film Festival

A hot ticket at the snowy Sundance Film Festival this week is a scathing documentary about Scientology from an Academy Award-winning director.

Alex Gibney's Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, based on Lawrence Wright's 2013 book, reportedly earned a standing ovation at its Sunday premiere. Gibney won an Oscar in 2008 for Taxi to the Dark Side, exposing torture tactics at Guantanamo Bay.

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is co-produced and will be telecast by HBO beginning in March, with no date confirmed.

Much of the material in Wright's book has been reported for decades by Tampa Bay Times journalists, earning a Pulitzer Prize in 1980. The Church of Scientology's spiritual headquarters are located in Clearwater although Gibney's movie focuses on the church's Los Angeles headquarters, and connection to Hollywood stars like John Travolta, Tom Cruise and Kirstie Alley.

According to news reports from Sundance in Park City, Utah, Going Clear traces Scientology's origins under the leadership of science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard, and an abusive culture alleged by former members who broke away.

Hollywood Reporter reviewer Leslie Felferin wrote of Going Clear: "This impeccably assembled and argued film represents a brave, timely intervention into debates around the organization that have been simmering for some time."

Variety film critic Scott Foundas, a Plant High School graduate and former Times movie critic, called Going Clear "a great film about the dangers of blind faith."

As expected, the church isn't pleased with Gibney's documentary.

An unattributed statement published at Scientology's website FreedomMag.org said in part: "The Church has documented evidence that those featured in Gibney's film regurgitating their stale, discredited allegations are admitted perjurers, admitted liars and professional anti-Scientologists whose living depends on the filing of false claims."

Sunday's premiere at Sundance reportedly attracted numerous celebrities including actors Alec Baldwin and Tobey Maguire, comedian Jason Sudeikis and New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.

Contact Steve Persall at [email protected] or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall.

Comments
David Small’s ‘Home After Dark’ a powerful graphic novel about adolescence

David Small’s ‘Home After Dark’ a powerful graphic novel about adolescence

Although it’s set in the 1960s, the book’s story of a young teen’s struggle with bullying and homelessness is as urgent as ever.
Updated: 2 hours ago
‘Edgar & Emily’ imagines literary legends sharing verses and souls

‘Edgar & Emily’ imagines literary legends sharing verses and souls

TAMPA — Pale candlelight and a comforter on the king-sized bed set a ghostly mood for Edgar & Emily, which Jobsite Theater has scheduled to run beyond Halloween. David Jenkins directs Joseph McDonough’s comedy, which premiered six months ago in south...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Halloween happenings in Pasco and Hernando counties

Events for youngsters and the braver set.
Updated: 3 hours ago
Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda talks about guiding fans through grief, singing Chester Bennington’s vocals and more

Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda talks about guiding fans through grief, singing Chester Bennington’s vocals and more

There are songs Mike Shinoda can't sing. One More Light, for example.The ballad, from Linkin Park's 2017 album of the same name, was already deeply personal when Shinoda wrote it in tribute to a friend who died from cancer. But after last year's deat...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Royal baby: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle expecting child in spring

Royal baby: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle expecting child in spring

LONDON — Prince Harry and his wife the Duchess of Sussex are expecting a child in the spring, Kensington Palace said Monday. The announcement came as Harry and the former Meghan Markle arrived in Sydney at the start of a 16-day visit to Australia, Fi...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Pasco Events for Oct. 19

Mark your calendars
Published: 10/15/18
‘The Conners’ return to TV without Roseanne this week

‘The Conners’ return to TV without Roseanne this week

The Conners will be trudging along without matriarch and star Roseanne Barr.The remaining cast members of the Roseanne spinoff have been leaning on one another in the wake of ABC’s firing of Barr in May after she made a racist remark on Twitter.Nary ...
Published: 10/15/18

Hernando Events for Oct. 19

Here's what's happening.
Published: 10/15/18

Hernando Briefs for Oct. 19.

News and notes on your community.
Published: 10/15/18

School notes for Oct. 19

School calendar, events, briefs
Published: 10/15/18