The Uninspired Manifesto

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

First Negative Press For 'The Golden Compass'

This story comes from, which, I'm assuming after reading through the site a bit, is a Daily News site for catholics. At least, that's the interpretation I drew from it.
The best selling novels of atheist author Philip Pullman which were written specifically to indoctrinate children with anti-Christian values, have sparked the creation of a controversial new fantasy film to be released this December 7 by New Line Cinema - a Time Warner Company.


The trilogy consistently gives a negative portrayal of the Catholic Church. Priests-one of whom is an assassin-are evil and violent while one positive character is an ex-nun who has lost her faith. There is even a pair of "sexually ambiguous" angels. The main problem, however, as one Amazon reviewer noted, is that "The evil in this story is God". The reviewer stated, "I realized part way through the second book, that the characters Lyra had been fighting against, and I had been rooting against were God, His Angels, and His followers."
In context of the anti-religious books, the movie is making an obvious negative parallel with the Catholic Church. The dark and evil organization called "the Magisterium" in the film has the same name as the body that makes up the Catholic Church's teaching authority - the bishops in union with the Pope.
I grew up reading the 'His Dark Materials' trilogy. It was among my favorite books when I was young, and still is today. Of course there are atheistic undertones in the novel, because Pullman is an atheist. Just like there were xian undertones in The Chronicles of Narnia. Even so, are you so afraid of this one movie, you have to shoot it down before even seeing it? What child watching this film is going to interpret the evil 'Magisterium' as a parallel to the Pope?

As much as I would like the film adaptation to retain those undertones, there's no way Warner Bros. could get away with that without fucking riots in the street from The Catholic League. Do yourself a favor and read the book, if you haven't already. Then, sit back and wait for a film studio to fuck up another classic novel.
posted by Nick at 3:11 PM


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