Page last updated at 06:56 GMT, Tuesday, 3 March 2009

MLA questions Ulster-Scots 'porn event'

By Johnny Caldwell
BBC News

Illustration from Flesh Gordon

A very unlikely combination - softcore porn and Ulster-Scots - looks set to be the most controversial offering at this year's Belfast Film Festival.

'Flesh Gordon', an erotic spoof of the Flash Gordon films, is being dubbed in Ulster-Scots at an event billed as Shockin'ly Spaiked O'er Smot (Badly Dubbed Porn) Live.

Three local comedians are to provide a live translation of the 1974 R-rated film.

Although organisers have admitted the event was conceived in the spirit of all things tongue-in-cheek, the mix of Ulster-Scots and porn will undoubtedly get people talking in the hamely tongue and others.

"The use of Flesh Gordon may seem at first a peculiar choice of film in which to parody Ulster-Scots, but on further review seems an almost logical preference," said a Belfast Film Festival spokeswoman.

"Contrasting Ulster-Scots against such a coarse and roguish piece of film will optimally highlight the extent of the detachment between the culture of the tongue and the culture of the film."

Porn is porn, is porn, is porn - and whether it is done Ulster-Scots-style, well, it really doesn't come into it
David McNarry, UUP

"Ulster-Scots is something over which we all can claim ownership and having enjoyed a raised profile in recent times, so it seems only appropriate that it should be developed and used in a variety of manners."

Although he has not seen Flesh Gordon, Stormont Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee member David McNarry questioned its inclusion in the festival's programme.

"Porn is porn, is porn, is porn - and whether it is done Ulster-Scots-style, well, it really doesn't come into it," said the UUP MLA.

"This event has presumably been given funding and all this kind of thing does is make people look all the harder at an application the next time it comes round.

"The committee wasn't aware of this but the department must have been."

The Alliance Party's Ian Parsley, who has studied linguistics including Ulster-Scots, said: "I think what is actually being ridiculed is the way Ulster-Scots has been promoted rather than Ulster-Scots itself.

"That's a result of it being used by people as part of a political battle, rather being promoted on its genuine linguistic merits."

Shockin'ly Spaiked O'er Smot (Badly Dubbed Porn) Live takes place at The Menagarie, University Street, Belfast, on Thursday 2 April at 9pm.

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