Monday, August 20, 2007

Kidman: film not anti-Catholic. She's kidding

I heard a play by Philip Pullman on the radio sometime ago, I was really shocked by the anti-Catholic bigotry. Pullman is one of the leading children's authors. The fantasy worlds he creates are full of talking animals, magic and the triumph of good over evil, and the evil is always something which has strong Catholic elements. Pullman is not just an atheist, but agressive and cmbative in his atheism.

Catholic News
Nicole Kidman has denied that a new film she's making is anti-Catholic. The movie features an organisation known as "The Magisterium", which kidnaps children to remove their souls.

The Brisbane Times reports that Kidman told a US magazine that her Catholic faith affected her consideration of the script for the film, which is titled The Golden Compass.

The fantasy film is based on a novel by Philip Pullman called Northern Lights. It is already attracting attention in the US for avoiding much of the book's perceived anti-Catholic rhetoric.

Kidman said some of the religious elements were removed from the movie script.

Kidman told the magazine: "I was raised Catholic, 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 due for release in the US on 7 December.

See American Papist


Anonymous said...

Whatever may have been excised from the script, the imagery certainly evokes the Church - the coat of arms over the door, the candles and the use of the title 'Magisterium'.

The Brighton Gardener said...

That is not a subtle reference to the Church. What I cannot understand about people like Pullman is the sheer paranoia! Like hoardes and hoardes of the English give a crap what the Church says! It'd be nice if the Church was revered in this country but it simply isn't the case.

Mac McLernon said...

Philip Pullman has spoken on Radio 4 about how his children's books are anti-Catholic...

On the side of the angels said...

banned my kids from having anything to do with the books, or from even listening to it on the radio. Admittedly this may seem harsh and depriving them of 'classic' children's literature...but I simply don't care - it aint happening on my watch; and they will not be watching the film either.

Fr Ray Blake said...

They are banned, well, "not considered suitable" in our school.

Philip Andrews said...

There is no mistaking the anti-Catholic sentiment in this film. Not just the word "Magisterium", but other words, "heresy", “oblation” (General Oblation Board) for example. The gothic splendour of the Oxford colleges is unmistakably Christian. And it’s not just the book and screenplay, notice how the director reflects the author’s stupid sentiments: the genuflexion in the trailer is very reminiscent of the style of genuflexion used by Catholics, and some Anglicans, before the Blessed Sacrament; a baddie is portrayed in a black cassock-type outfit with ‘cure’ preaching bands. The name of one of the character, "Lord Asriel", is derived from Asrael, one of the ‘fallen angels’, but as far as I can make out, he might be a sort of good guy, with God as the baddie? Certainly, it is an oppressive Christian Church that steals the show as the arch-villain. Already, Wikipedia has a detailed page where the anti-Christian stance is clearly explained. Still, at least Westminster Cathedral wasn’t used for the filming of this movie.

I’d not come across this guy before today and I will certainly not be buying his rot. A great deal of energy seems to have been wasted on the Harry Potter books, letting this nasty little man sneak in under the radar.

How about a pan-Christian boycott of this film (and its stars?)? Let’s show ‘em how ‘oppressive’ the Church can be, where it most oppresses them, in their greedy little pockets.

Just an idea! said...

Surely, instead of removing material like this from children, it's a good opportunity to teach them the difference between truth and fiction?

John said...

Nicole Kidman "married" Tom Cruise in a "Scientology" ceremony. Both were baptised as Catholics.
Subsequently, Cruise divorced Kidman and she reverted(?) to being a Catholic. He then "married" Katie Holmes, also baptised as a Catholic, in another Scientology ceremony.
What a mess, three baptised Catholics have made of their lives!


Anonymous said...

Would that in reality the Magisterium was as powerful as this film suggests. Few know it exists, still less follow its teaching.

Maria said...

Someone pointed out to me in a review that "Dust", a substance in the books which children are taught is bad but which they conclude is actually very good, is Original Sin. Chilling...

They also feature an ex-nun named Mary who tossed her crucifix into the sea and ran off with a guy from Spain.

Apparently Pullman actually stated somewhere that he wrote the books as a sort of anti-Chronicles of Narnia. In the third book, God is "revealed" to be an impostor, really just the eldest angel, but not the Creator. He just wants to be put out of his misery, so the child-"heros" tip him out of the litter he's in into nothingness. It's really disgusting. "Just an idea!," all things considered I don't think these books are good for children.

Henry said...

I tried to read Northern Lights but found it didn't make sense so I gave up two thirds of the way through.

Magic is fine if it has a consistent logic, but Pullman's book lacks one.

Anonymous said...

I really wasn't bothered by the books, and I'm a Christian! I honestly don't think that young children, who probably couldn't even understand the books as they in my opinion are for older people (14-17), are suddenly going to hate God after reading the books. They don;t even take place in our world! It's a make believe fantasy world, okay people? I think some time you just need to grow up and stop getting all worked up about these kinds of things. There are more important things to think about. I'm in line to see the movie, I just hope they don;t try and turn it into a child's franchise.

Anonymous said...

Why is everything anti-catholic? If your actions seem to emulate something that you consider negative. Why dont you change your actions instead of blaiming those that write the stories?

Over the past 7 years a lot worse has come out out about the Catholic church and its relathionship with Children in REALITY then this movie could ever even hint at.

A wise man once said 'Remove the log from your own eye before you try to remove a spec from your neighbors eye.'

Maybe just maybe, Phillip Pullman was trying to make a fun and thought provoking novel that will improve society. If you make mistakes address those mistakes instead of others.

RP said...

The books are not a subtle reference towards the church and it's evils, it is very clear that that is what they are. Some of the points that the books make are valid.

The main focus of the books is on how religion often tries to supress individual thinking. This can't be said to be untrue simply because that is what the story of Adam and Eve tells us. God tells them not to eat from the tree of knowledge, so that they can't know the difference between good and evil. "For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."--And while on this topic, how were Adam and Eve suppose to know that they should listen to god if they don't know what is right and what is wrong.

When I read "The Golden Compass: Unmasked," I found it interesting that the Golden Compass was criticized for trying to hide what it was preaching in an award-winning book for children, but later in the article, "The Chronicle's of Narnia" were commended for doing the same thing. The only difference was that "The Chronicles of Narnia" is pro-Christian while "His Dark Materials" is anti-Catholic.

I read these books when I was 9. I consider it fortunate that my parents do not know what I read. It is not right for parents to restrict what their kids can read, just because it clashes with their own beliefs.