HELP US KEEP REPORTING. DONATE TO ORLANDO WEEKLY PRESS CLUB.

Friday, October 20, 2000

Powder-puff piece

Movie: The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Posted on Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 4:00 AM

Our Rating: 0.00

Self-pity can always find a sympathetic ear. How else to explain "The Eyes of Tammy Faye," in which the producing/directing team of Bailey and Barbato depict Tammy Faye Bakker-Messner -- the infamous televangelist's moll and false-eyelash abuser -- as an innocent dupe of corrupt forces?

Their puzzling but highly entertaining documentary traces Tammy Faye's rise to the top of the electronic church and her subsequent fall from grace. It's an odyssey that allows the filmmakers to open up a storehouse of vintage broadcast footage and interviews with their fascinatingly otherworldly subject.

But Bailey and Barbato appear so tickled by Bakker-Messner's outrageous personal style (and her history of making nice with AIDS patients) that they do everything in their power to excuse or ignore her possible hands-on involvement in wrongdoing.

As a work of cinematic journalism, "The Eyes of Tammy Faye" barely deserves a passing grade. It isn't just a puff piece; it's a powder-puff piece. The producers allow Bakker-Messner herself to send notes to her enemies soliciting their participation in interviews, then expect us to be outraged that most decline. (Would Pat Robertson really respond in the affirmative to a missive from Tammy Faye? Would you?) What makes the film watchable is its priceless medley of clips from the Bakkers' early days as the vaudevillian proselytes of regional TV. The evangelical puppet shows alone are as jaw-droppingly bizarre as anything you'll see in "Midnight Shorts."

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 16, 2020

View more issues

Calendar

© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation