Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Time to stay home and rent a movie instead

Initial reviews of The DaVinci Code are mixed-to-disappointing. Disney announces that Prince Caspian, the Narnia sequel has been pushed back from late 2007 to May of 2008, and Universal Studios has purchased the movie rights to show us the horror that was Beslan. No thank you...that is one movie I will NOT be seeing. Watching the news unfold and reading the accounts of that awful tragedy has scarred me enough, thank you.
The most disappointing part of this whole DaVinci madness is not just that sheeple are buying into the load o'crap that is Dan Brown and his fiction, but that Tom Hanks, Ron Howard, and even Ian McKellen (et tu, Gandalf?) have used the occassion to take shots at Christians and Christianity as a whole.
Matt Lauer on Today interviewing Opie and Ian:
"There have been calls from some religious groups, they wanted a disclaimer at the beginning of this movie saying it is fiction because one of the themes in the book really knocks Christianity right on its ear, if Christ survived the crucifixion, he did not die for our sins and therefore was not resurrected. What I'm saying is, people wanted this to say 'fiction, fiction, fiction'. How would you all have felt if there was a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie? Would it have been okay with you?"

There was a pause, and then famed British actor Ian McKellen [Gandalf of Lord of the Rings], piped up:

"Well, I've often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying this is fiction. I mean, walking on water, it takes an act of faith. And I have faith in this movie. Not that it's true, not that it's factual, but that it's a jolly good story. And I think audiences are clever enough and bright enough to separate out fact and fiction, and discuss the thing after they've seen it."

And finally, we have the following response from the press office of the Opus Dei Prelature sent to ZENIT to the derisive comments that were uttered by Ron Howard:

On Thursday the Italian press published interviews with Ron Howard, director of "The Da Vinci Code" film. In statements attributed to him, Howard said that "to deny the right to see the film is a fascist act," and also "to tell someone not to go see the film is an act of militancy and militancy generates hatred and violence." The Opus Dei is mentioned several times in these interviews. The phrases seem to refer to recent statements by Church authorities.

I would ask Ron Howard to keep calm and express himself with respect.

It is not wise to lose sight of the reality of the situation: This film is offensive to Christians. Howard represents the aggressor, and Catholics are victims of an offense. The one offended cannot have his last right taken away, which is to express his point of view. It is not the statements of ecclesiastics or the respectful request of Opus Dei -- to include a notice at the beginning of the film that it is a work of fiction -- which generates violence. It is rather the odious, false and unjust portrayals that fuel hatred.

In his statements, Howard also repeats that it is simply a film, an invented story, and that it must not be taken too seriously. But it is not possible to deny the importance of the movies and literature. Fiction influences our way of seeing the world, especially among young people. It is not right not to take it seriously. Artistic creativity certainly needs a climate of freedom, but freedom cannot be separated from responsibility.

Some have praised Howard's "brass" in having the courage to take on Christians with this movie. I demure. If Opie TRULY had the courage they attribute to him to take on "militancy and violence" he would be making a movie taking on Islam, or the murder of movie-maker Theo Van Gogh in the Netherlands a few years ago. You can bet that if a Christian had murdered a filmaker we'd never hear the end of it. But a Muslim stabbing to death a filmaker critical of Islam on the open street? Nary a yawn from Tinseltown.


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