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I stumbled on this story, reading today's Times and I immediately thought it would make a wonderful film... Take a look at the following snippet:

A Dazzling Priest’s Lurid Fall, to Drug Case Suspect - New York Times
From the time he joined the priesthood three decades ago, he seemed destined to become a star. As a confidant to two bishops and then as the erudite and clubbable pastor of two churches, Msgr. Kevin Wallin was a towering figure in the Roman Catholic Church in southwestern Connecticut. Parishioners felt buoyed by his homilies. They hungrily signed up for his far-flung spiritual pilgrimages, flocked to church fund-raisers to catch his melodious voice interpreting show tunes. He attended opera with a man who would become a cardinal and he himself appeared bound for a bishop’s miter. But then about two years ago troubling questions began to be whispered. He acted odd. He was thinner. He walked stooped over. He was absent. Was he sick? Or dying? And then the spicy talk about suspicious men trooping in and out of the rectory. Finally, last month’s revelation. The priest was locked up, charged with dealing crystal methamphetamine. At a time when priests from California to Delaware have been accused of loathsome deeds, the allegations against Monsignor Wallin, the former pastor of the Cathedral of St. Augustine in Bridgeport, are of a notably different dimension: that he was a drug dealer and addict who was buying an adult novelty shop to launder ill-gotten proceeds, a priest who was cross-dressing and having sex with men. (Read More)
The problem that came to my mind immediately was the following... Should the film be a tragedy? A comedy? A tragicomedy?

Who should direct it? Michael Haneke? Terry Gilliam? Stephen Spielberg? The Coen brothers? Or David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker?

Who would you cast as Father Wallin? Matt Damon? Ryan Gosling? Michael Bublé? Or Peewee Herman?

I really would love readers to riff on this one!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, Azazello
  •  because cross dressing is awful? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, high uintas
    priest who was cross-dressing

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:11:06 PM PST

    •  A fair question for N. R. Kleinfield, (0+ / 0-)

      who authored the piece for the New York TIMES.

      The sentence struck me as well, suggesting that the TIMES' editorial staff had a chip on their shoulder or were otherwise tone-deaf to the insinuation that cross-dressing is unacceptable.  My thought was that Kleinfield also uses the adjective 'lurid' with greater emphasis than it might otherwise deserve.  

      We all know Wallin should not have been selling drugs.  But apparently some folks at the TIMES are too easily freaked out by Wallin's private life.  

      We also all know that Wallin's private life would not please the rule-barkers at The Vatican, well apart from the sale of schedule 1 substances.  But while a legal line was crossed and The Vatican was outraged, etc., the article fails to make Wallin's private identity human.  Kleinfield uses it for evidence against Wallin undifferentiated from his role as priest.  

      •  did the mention they (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        found him cuffed and naked after he dialed 911? How, I have no idea.

        Or is that another priest?

        "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

        by Horace Boothroyd III on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:38:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Speaking strictly for myself, I don't have (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Horace Boothroyd III

          any problem with someone in handcuffs as a concept in and of itself.  It's one bin in the sexual smorgasboard and carries no negative connotation, IMO.  

          I don't like cops who handcuff people with half a joint in the glove compartment.  

          And nudity seems just fine.  Ain't got no problem with that at all.  If someone wants to walk naked down the street, I say go for it, although the cops who cuff kids with a joint in the glove compartment are also likely to freak out at public nudity.  City ordinances will be scandalized, etc.  

          And, personal opinion here, I'd recommend the summer months as opposed to February in Boston or St. Paul.

          •  I have issue with hypocrisy (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Buy not with kink, because that would be a hypocrite thing to do.

            "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

            by Horace Boothroyd III on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:43:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Right. The Vatican always seems way, (0+ / 0-)

              way up in the tower, totally disconnected from the lives of its flock.

              Wallin was regional, presiding over a very modern New England congregation, is my guess.  Romantic visitors late at night would be an issue for his higher-ups in Rome but apart from the Church's homophobia, is acceptable.  Priests jeopardize their positions by flipping The Vatican the bird, and god knows it doesn't take much to upset The Vatican.

              Wallin's drug running is problematic no matter what line of work he's in.  But if he was an addict as well, selling drugs to have money to buy them, his use might be seen as a disease, a health issue, rather than just "He sells drugs, he's bad."

              Just guessing, but I'm thinking Wallin may have shown very significant emotional support to many, many people over a long period.  I'd hope some of those people show him some now.

          •  This thing has so many levels... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I think perhaps you'd have to been Catholic to see how far this person has strayed from what he is supposed to represent. The most honest thing would have been for him to have quit the priesthood long ago. I'm serious when I say I'm not sure if this is a tragedy or a comedy.

            •  I don't know which it is for Catholics, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              although it seems as if Wallin has more a record of virtue and engagement than transgression, and of course, I'm counting only the drug running as transgression.  

              The Vatican would fiercely disagree and might see it all as a piece.

              Had he quit, yes, he would have avoided the tension with the top folks in Rome without the drug running charge.  Once it got to the sale of schedule 1 substances, that shut everything down at once.  

              I thought Kleinfield's article leaned way too heavy on the private life and cheated Wallin of the things he had done right and well and for a long time prior.  

              •  I think you are missing... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                this thing from the context of Wallin himself, the priesthood is a huge commitment for a devout Catholic... this incloses a huge element of self-betrayal... that is the tragic part... who did he think he was fooling? His parishioners? God himself? How did he rationalize all this?

                •  Graham Greene meets Tarantino? (0+ / 0-)
                •  Going with your idea for the film, (0+ / 0-)

                  I think he could be drawn as a figure true to more than one life, more than one set of values.  

                  If he shone in his role as a priest and was true to its calling and its daily application, he was true also to his personal life, his private pursuit of erotic pleasure and release.  

                  The screenwriter could ask the audience to consider that there can be more than one truth, and that it is possible, if perilous, to manage to be truthful to conflicting sets of circumstances.  

                  Agree -- the practical limitations are enormous and even insurmountable.  But there is a divine spark in both Wallin the shepherd of his community and Wallin the mere human who is true to the imperative of desire.

    •  It's kinda awful if you're a priest (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Horace Boothroyd III

      along with all the other stuff he was up to. But, I agree I see not reason to highlight that part except to further sensationalize the story. They had a wealth of things to talk about.

      "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

      by high uintas on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:25:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd go with a drama. I'd have a woman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    direct the film.  

    Possibly Lorraine Levy, for example.  

    Wallin sounds to me as if he'd been extraordinarily effective in his community.  No reason he should not have been.  The 13th Century may still have been in play at The Vatican, but he raised funds that lifted several boats, he seems to have written and delivered insightful sermons in exchange for the attention of his congregants, and he sang beautifully.  

    The subtotal there is impressive.  

    The actor playing Wallin would have to agree to a drastic weight loss.  Lovers seen coming and going at odd hours.  The camera can consider a montage of Wallin's worried face and the subtle peace in the religious statues in the grounds outside.  

    One scene:  historical flashback of nails in the palm of a Roman sentry at Golgotha, then cut to a vile of white dust in the palm of Wallin, late November afternoon, the rectory a realm of brutal silence.  

    Good music can be composed to be a "character" in the film.  Lean piano passages in A minor recorded in a cathedral.

    Yeah, a drama for sure, with a strong view toward consideration of Wallin's humanity.  I'd buy a ticket to such a film and would watch it in hopes that the human Wallin is prevails.  He was said to be running meth.  And his love life would have enraged The Vatican.  If dealing drugs violates the law, an interesting, engaged, and significant human should be figured into the balance.  

    I'd cast Jeremy Irons as Wallin.

  •  I like that readers are... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...worried by the author of the piece mentioning the priest's cross dressing. That was better than I could have hoped for.

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