Feb 28 2011 8:17am

For The Love Of . . . Documentaries?

Independent film festival Full Frame, to be held in Durham N.C. from April 13-17, announced on Thursday that their opening night film will be Guilty Pleasures, British documentarian Julie Moggat’s 2010 exploration of how romance publishing powerhouse Harlequin Mills & Boon has affected the lives of five lucky, lucky subjects.

 There are the three M&B obsessives, hailing from Japan, England and India respectively; there’s the male romance author who writes as the venerable Gill Sanderson; and there’s Stephen, the cover model for many a steamy sex romp whose life is one of celibacy and insecurity.

Shown in the UK last year, and airing on Canada’s CBC earlier this month, Tanya Gold of The Guardian said: “Guilty Pleasures bills itself as a ‘real life romcom’ and it is – in the way that Triumph of the Will was Zionist propaganda.”

Oh, good. So, just as Trekkies reduced sci-fi’s most notable fandom to a punchline, Guilty Pleasures, it seems, gives the love of love stories a bad name. But the real freak out moment? Gill Sanderson’s a dude? A balding, paunchy, 70-something dude? With a moustache? Huh. Actually, that explains a lot.

Rachel Hyland is the co-creator of GeekSpeak Magazine.

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Liz Maverick
1. Liz Maverick
I don't know why it annoys me so much that they chose to highlight a male author. So many female authors and they go for a guy who, from the description above, sounds like Ron Jeremy.
Aliza Mann
2. AlizaMann
I am so unhappy to read this. It's almost mocking to use such a person when authors are so willing to talk.
I was equally upset at the limited romance themed movies at the Oscars last night. Hmph!
Rachel Hyland
3. RachelHyland
Oh, I know! I freely admit I haven't seen the documentary, and for all I know I have been led astray by the sparse reviews of it I was able to locate. But I find it somewhat infuriating that instead of a fair and balanced look at romance readers -- whether they be addicted to category titles or not -- Moggat apparently chose to look only at the extremes. And yes, I am sure many female M&B authors would have been happy to discuss their work in a measured and informative way... which, I'm also sure, is exactly what the filmmaker didn't want.

According to reports of the film, Gill Sanderson's alter ego Roger says that one of his rules is: "I never have -- and never will have -- a red-headed hero." Evidently that would be a bad thing. Someone should really tell Diana Gabaldon...
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