Originally created 02/04/05

New releases are sure to stir emotions



This week, Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook said the studio could, in the not-too-distant future, release The Song of the South on home video. The film, which has never been released in the U.S. market, has long courted controversy over what critics consider a soft-sell of the slave/master relationship in the American South. Mr. Cook's compromise? An introduction, much like the one accompanying the DVD release of Disney's World War II propaganda films, would place the movie in historical context. Intro or no, this film is sure to continue courting controversy. Here are some upcoming releases and events that, like Disney's animated tale of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox et al, are sure to engender some heated exchanges:

'The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas'

There's really no way to skirt around the obvious, this musical is about prostitutes. There are no vague innuendoes or veiled references. It's about prostitutes, the people who frequent prostitutes and, yes, those opposed to the practice of prostitution. Although light-hearted, musically engaging and very thoughtful, safe money says the Augusta Players' production, which opens tonight, will provoke strong feelings and conversation. Why? Because it's about prostitutes.

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas will be staged today and tomorrow at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12-$35. Call 826-4707.

Books

1066: THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE BAYEUX TAPESTRY BY ANDREW BRIDGEFORD: Outside of "What's Mona got to smile about?" one of art's great controversies has been the Bayeux Tapestry. The 230-foot tapestry (which is actually an embroidery - just one of the controversies) tells the story of the events leading up to and through the Battle of Hastings. Among the arguments surrounding the piece: Is it English or French? Are there pieces missing and what are they? What is the symbolism behind the 623 humans, 58 dogs, 202 horses, 41 ships, 49 trees and 2,000 Latin words carefully sewn into the linen and, most importantly - why was it made?

These are queries that scholar Andrew Bridgeford attempts to answer in 1066: The Hidden History of the Bayeux Tapestry. Mr. Bridgeford's book, scheduled for a Tuesday release, is likely to incite more discussion.

DVD

BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS: When Evelyn Waugh's novel Vile Bodies was published in 1930, it was hailed as a bright but controversial satire of the young, smart set. Rife with adulterous moments and moral ambiguity, it set forth ideas that were not, well, very British. It seems unlikely that the recent film adaptation of the book, Bright Young Things, will be greeted with the same moral high-ground posturing. Let's be honest, what seemed steamy 75 years ago often isn't worth raising an eyebrow over today. Bright Young Things is released on DVD Tuesday.

Music

3 DOORS DOWN - SEVENTEEN DAYS: Words that have never been applied to Mississippi band 3 Doors Down: edgy, ground-breaking, experimental or bold. Words that often have been applied to 3 Doors Down - predictable, mundane and uninspiring. How could a release by this act be considered controversial? Well, bearing their past musical sins in mind, just the idea that this band was allowed back into a studio is reason enough for rage. Seventeen Days is released Tuesday.

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or steven.uhles@augustachronicle.com.