Catholic League to attack Angels & Demons
The Catholic League are about to attack another film, with Elizabeth: The Golden Age (Filmstalker review), The Golden Compass and The Da Vinci Code (Filmstalker review) in its wake, the group are setting their sights on the next Ron Howard adaptation of a Dan Brown novel, Angels & Demons.
Meanwhile the studio executives behind the film must be laughing and thanking god for this group who are about to shamelessly promote the film for them and give them more advertising than the film may well deserve. After all it did The Da Vinci Code film no end of good.
You might remember back when The Da Vinci Code (Filmstalker review) was being filmed there was quite a lot said about the film from the organised church, things like edicts telling the members not to read the book, pamphlets explaining the inaccuracies according to their book and press releases galore to counter the film and try and harm it upon release.
It never worked though and The Da Vinci Code actually went on to earn something ridiculous, in their article about this latest attack Variety say it earned US $758 million worldwide. Now I'm sure that what the church was saying and doing at the time did help raise that figure somewhat.
So undaunted by their failures on these previous films, it looks as though the Catholic League are set to try and harm the release of Angels & Demons.
Once again they are claiming that the film has an anti-Catholic agenda and they are going to start sending out press releases from Monday countering the story discussing the false aspects and claims in the novel and film.
Speaking through the totally impartial MetroCatholic and DFWCatholic sites, the president of the Catholic League announced the start of...
“...the educational campaign informing the public about the agenda behind Angels & Demons.”
Well that'll be good, I told you, free advertising. He goes on.
“Next week we will begin to make available to the public a booklet that I wrote on ‘Angels & Demons.’ It details the myths, lies and smears that are made against the Catholic Church. It also provides evidence of the anti-Catholic animus harbored by those associated with the film.”
“The Da Vinci Code was replete with falsehoods presented as fact, and now the tag team is back again delivering a curious blend of fact and fiction. All done at the expense of the Catholic Church. Brown-Howard are obsessed with Catholicism. It is not enough to criticize it–they are hell bent on demonizing it. It is not enough to drag out dirty laundry–they invent it. And the fact that they pay absolutely no price for their propaganda shows beyond dispute that anti-Catholicism is the one bigotry Hollywood likes.”
Wow. Okay the guy is getting a little out of control and blowing things out of proportion. Once again I'd feel the need to mention freedom of speech and the fact that it's a film and a fictional story, both in book and film format. It would be different if it was non-fiction and trying to pass itself off as history, or if it was a fictionalised account of a true story and was inaccurate. Except neither is true, it's fiction.
The Guardian have an interesting piece which, although it says pretty much the same as the Variety article, does go a little further and cites a past comment of the Catholic League's president.
“Describing opposition to Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ in 2004 he said Hollywood was 'controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular'...He later apologised for his remarks, saying he regretted the use of the word 'controlled'”
Oh dear, I think that says a lot. I can't help but think there's definitely an agenda on the side of the Catholic League itself. The films they attack are anything that presents their religion in any light other than the one they want. What about freedom of speech and freedom of thought? What about the fact that these films are mere entertainment and are far from something inciting or truly challenging?
Looking at what has happened before I can't help but think this is just going to help the film even more and have the opposite effect that the Catholic League would want.