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Priests Get Panties in Bunch Over 'The Golden Compass'





Soulfire
I just found this outlandish...

Yahoo! News wrote:
Christian groups are up in arms here over a new children's film starring Nicole Kidman and based on an award-winning novel by British author Philip Pullman, accusing it of being anti-religious.

"The Golden Compass" which opens here Friday is the film version of "The Northern Lights," the first book in Pullman's "Dark Materials" fantasy trilogy aimed at teenage readers.

The books by confirmed agnostic Pullman trace the fate of a young girl, Lyra, as she becomes drawn into an apocalyptic battle of good against evil, meeting a host of strange characters along the way including a polar bear, voiced in the film by Ian McKellan.

Evil in Pullman's books is represented by the church, called the Magisterium, whose acolytes kidnap orphans across England to subject them to horrible experiments in the frozen northern wastelands.

"The Northern Lights" won Pullman the 1995 Carnegie Medal for children's fiction in Britain, and the final volume in his trilogy, "The Amber Spyglass" was the first ever children's novel to be awarded the prestigious British Whitbread Book of the Year award in 2002.

With its 180-million-dollar big budget movie, New Line studios is hoping to repeat the box-office success of its "Lord of the Rings" series.

And it aims to tap into the young audiences of cinema-goers who flocked to the five "Harry Potter" films making them big earners for Warner Bros.

But already "The Golden Compass" is whipping up the same controversy which saw the "Harry Potter" series based on the novels by British author J. K Rowling, accused by some on the religious right of promoting witchcraft.

The author's attack on organized religion has been toned down for the film, in a bid to attract as wide as audience as possible, something director Chris Weitz has acknowledged.

"In the books the Magisterium is a version of the Catholic Church gone wildly astray from its roots," Weitz wrote in the British Daily Telegraph.

But "if that's what you want in the film, you'll be disappointed," he warned.

However, the sanitized version of Pullman's book has failed to appease the Catholic League, which gathers some 350,000 members, and which has already been sending out leaflets denouncing the film.
"The Catholic League wants Christians to stay away from this movie precisely because it knows that the film is bait for the books," said president William Donohue.

"Unsuspecting parents who take their children to see the movie may be impelled to buy the three books as a Christmas present. And no parent who wants to bring their children up in the faith will want any part of these books," he added.

The League already took on the movie world in 2006 to denounce the blockbuster "The Da Vinci Code" and its central tenant that Jesus Christ had a child by Mary Magdalene whose descendants still survive today.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops however has been more nuanced in its approach warning in a review of "The Golden Compass" of its "anti-clerical subtext, standard genre occult elements, character born out of wedlock, a whiskey-guzzling bear."

But it adds that "taken purely on its own cinematic terms, (it) can be viewed as an exciting adventure story with a traditional struggle between good and evil, and a generalized rejection of authoritarianism."

"The Golden Compass" will be released in some 3,000 cinemas and only 60 have so far refused to screen it, according to the industry daily Variety.

"It's this undisguised anti-religious theme that has numerous groups in a lather, but perhaps more of an issue for some ... will be the film's lack of exciting uplift and the almost unrelievedly nasty treatment of the young characters by a host of aggressively unpleasant elders," Variety added.


Priests are angry! They are going to go tell you how angry they are in leaf-let form. I'm sure some people are going so far as to say those who see/support the film are going to burn in the fires of Hell for all eternity.

At any rate, I think it's a simple Good Vs. Evil, People Vs. Authority kind of idea. Besides, which institution is resonsible for (I would say) the majority of oppression throughout the recent history (past 2000 years)? The Church, of course!
gh0stface
You know, whenever a religious group tries to boycott a kids book, it makes me that much more interested to see what the fuss is all about and check it out. Sometimes I think that religious organizations are too close minded that they believe that they need to tell each individuals what they should and should not do and can and can not do.
Bru, stuffce
I read the books as they came out and I heard around that time that the "church" was angry. Not giving a damn, I ignored the news then and will pretty much ignore it now.

The books were brilliant and my daughter, for whom I bought them, loved them. Lyra is a great character and a good role-model for young girls, the stories are traditional Good vs Evil action adventure with great characters and the whole trilogy is written with an intelligence that is rare in what are essentially books for smart kids.

I read all of the books eagerly and I will be seeing the movie this Christmas with my whole family (grand-parents included).

My advice would be to do the same, unless you are some Catholic loser without the faith to watch a simple movie (albeit with an anti-organised religion subtext). They will be a bit Harry Potter, a bit Snow Queen and a bit swords and sorcery-style Narnia. What's not to enjoy?
Bru, stuffce
I should mention that, despite being marketed as kids' books, the series is very intelligently written and no more a kids' book than Lord of the Rings was, just more enjoyable.
HalfBloodPrince
gh0stface wrote:
You know, whenever a religious group tries to boycott a kids book, it makes me that much more interested to see what the fuss is all about and check it out. Sometimes I think that religious organizations are too close minded that they believe that they need to tell each individuals what they should and should not do and can and can not do.


Its quite simple. The Vatican is in cahoots with the film-makers. They all know that if there was one humanely possible deed that could ensure that the movie was watched/book was read by every sentient being on the planet, it was the Vatican sending out leafelets denouncing it. Laughing
Bru, stuffce
HalfBloodPrince wrote:

Its quite simple. The Vatican is in cahoots with the film-makers. They all know that if there was one humanely possible deed that could ensure that the movie was watched/book was read by every sentient being on the planet, it was the Vatican sending out leafelets denouncing it. Laughing


That explains why "The Da Vinci Code" was a success.
HalfBloodPrince
Yup. And I'm pretty sure the Harry Potters could out-sell Titanic ('97) had the Vatican distributed a few (million) leaflets telling how our children will try to perform black magic after watching them...
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