Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"The Golden Compass" - Satan's fodder or studio PR bonanza or boondoggle

Talk about flashback to Jesus Christ Superstar and 1973.


Over three decades ago I remember sitting in church as the pastor warned us, “Jesus is not a hippie!” and “no matter how catchy the music sounds…” we were to ignore this film as if the devil himself would be there selling popcorn and milk duds,"...or we were surely headed straight for the burning coals of Hell!"

So I get this email the other day from some “in-laws” warning me about a movie entitled, “The Golden Compass”

The email forewarned that I needed to immediately spread the word near, far and away, that the film is pure evil on a pogostick [My in-law happens to lean in what I’d consider a, "Christian fundamentalist" direction (this the same bunch that have been sending me unsolicited emails for the last several years informing me what a saint/hero George Bush is/was (they stopped sending that trite crap a few months ago - imo proof btw there is a God) so of course with all this hub bub I am now 100% compelled to delve deeper into this innocent looking film.

Ok… so I’d already seen the trailer for Compass and thought it looked… eh… kinda… sorta… interesting and Nicole is always hot, but I hadn’t yet been apprised of the potential religo-politik conflict that lay ahead until I looked in my email inbox. ('Proof of life' that smiling PR guru’s pray for daily that such millions in free press would be unwittingly spread from the likes of gullible religious zealots/in-laws that never learned how to use Bcc.)

In October 2007, the Catholic League called for a boycott of the film. Perhaps someone should tip off the Pope how Hollywood actually works.)

From Wikipedia: Several key themes of the novels, the rejection of organized religion and the abuse of power in a fictionalized Catholic Church, are to be diluted in the adaptation. Director Weitz said “in the books the Magisterium is a version of the Catholic Church gone wildly astray from its roots” but that the organization portrayed in his film would not directly match that of Pullman’s books. In an attempt to avoid a religious backlash, the Magisterium will instead be a critique of all dogmatic organizations. Weitz said that New Line Cinema had feared the story’s perceived anti-religious themes would make the film financially unviable in the US, and so religion and God will not be referenced directly. Attempting to reassure fans of the novels, Weitz said that religion would instead appear in euphemistic terms, yet the decision has been attacked by some fans, anti-censorship groups, and the National Secular Society (of which Pullman is an honorary associate), which said ” they are taking the heart out of it, losing the point of it, castrating it”, “this is part of a long-term problem over freedom of speech.” The changes from the novel have been present since Tom Stoppard’s rejected version of the script, and Pullman himself believes the film will be “faithful”.

As part of a two-month protest campaign, the Catholic League has called for a boycott of the film. They believe that while the religious elements of the film will be “watered down” from the source novels, it will still encourage children to read the series, which League president William A. Donohue says “denigrates Christianity” and promotes “atheism for kids”, citing author Pullman as saying that he is “trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief.” It is the League’s hope that “the film [will fail] to meet box office expectations and that [Pullman’s] books attract few buyers.”

Director Weitz says that he believes His Dark Materials is “not an atheistic work, but a highly spiritual and reverent piece of writing” and Nicole Kidman, a Catholic, has defended her decision to star in the film, saying that “the Catholic Church is part of my essence. I wouldn’t be able to do this film if I thought it were at all anti-Catholic.”

The Golden Compass is a forthcoming fantasy film based upon Northern Lights (titled The Golden Compass in the US), the first novel in Philip Pullman’s trilogy His Dark Materials, slated for release on December 7, 2007 by New Line Cinema. The story tells of Lyra’s adventure to the far north in search of her friend. The project was announced in February 2002, following the success of other recent adaptations of fantasy epics, and at $205 million is expected to be New Line’s biggest budget project ever after a series of box office disappointments in the past year.

So is the film going to be bad for kids?

Is the devil gunna be our new best friend?

Oh wait… if there’s no God… then there’s no devil!

Will Nicole Kidman also be responsible for all the uncontrollable erections she causes by being so hot?

Are we going to stop believing in God or is God gunna stop believing in us?

Or wait just a freaking second… … dare I venture... is this just another movie!

Some commentators have indicated they believe both sides’ criticism will prove ultimately “impotent” and that the negative publicity will prove a boon for the film’s box office, while other evangelical groups, such as The Christian Film and Television Commission, are adopting a “wait-and-see” approach to the film before deciding upon any action.

Blame the Bush era... blame the ill-informed public... blame the fluoridation of the water!

But whatever you do please just f*cking decide for yourself.


The Golden Compass Website


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  1. Yeah, I've had my fundie relatives and friends send me those emails. Great PR for Pullman! I'm Christian, and have a brain of my very own...we are planning to go see the film. It looks good. I respond to all those emails with a "I have to reserve judgment till I see it."
    I know they love that. ;-)

  2. I found your blog while researching info for my very own rant about all the anti-god emails I've been getting about this. You know, I really had no plans to see this movie at all till I was repeatedly told to boycott or I'd be on the express train to hell....guess I'll see you there :)