Golden Compass

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Paladin, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    I find it hard to believe that with all the hype over the new movie "The Golden Compass" no one is talking about it here.
    The Catholic church is convinced that it is bashing them, and other Christians are afraid it is spreading atheism among children. What do you all think?
     
  2. Faithfulservant

    Faithfulservant New Member

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    I wont watch it and I wont allow my kids to watch it. I cant think of anything more to say on it lol
     
  3. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    While I read on Snopes that the author said he does intend to promote atheism in these books, and to counter things like CS Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, (which makes it a bit different from the Harry Potter books), I still don't think it's a big deal. I think it's pretty cheesy of the author to say that, kind of sounds like he's trying to make a stir to attract attention to his books. I was interested in reading the books but those comments put me off reading them.
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    If a movie's goal is to openly promote atheism, I'd love to watch it with my kids and then discuss the information in it.

    There are a ton of movies, errr, most movies, have numerous points in them that we can discuss, was that reaction appropriate, was violence required, how would you respond in that situation? I find that movies often bring up situations that allow some introspection and open avenues of communication with my children that wouldn't easily be obtained otherwise.

    I can't imagine faith in my children being so weak that we couldn't see the movie.
     
  5. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    I wont be going to see the film because it has been deliberately doctored by the Hollywood crap-merchants to appease the christian right book-burners. Pullman is a good fiction writer and I enjoyed the trilogy a lot. His anti Catholic stance is not central to the story but does add to the flavour and removing it as Hollywood has strips the movie of integrity. I feel there should be absolutely no pandering to any group on so called religious grounds as it is contrary to the spirit of freedom of expression. It shows again how radical Christianity and Islam are indistinguishable, which shows there is nothing special about any particular faith and that crazy is crazy wherever you find it.

    Tao
     
  6. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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  7. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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  8. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    that's what I thought...
     
  9. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    I'm at the point now, snoopy old friend, that seems inclined to allow people to wallow in whatever illusion they wish, be it politics or religion, both are constructs and have no meaning beyond our own minds. In the free speech issue I think it wise to not draw attention to crazy thinking by protesting it. I intend to see the movie and then render my impressions of it. I do hope it is a thoughtful rendering of ideas, but we will see.
     
  10. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    you are indeed pervaded by the wisdom that comes with fartdom. :)

    the clips I saw suggested a jolly good adventure fantasy for kids and families; I imagine any thinly veiled assault on the Catholic church / organised religion would, as tao said, be long gone from it.

    s.
     
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Quite frankly I'm surprised to find there's still Christians who expect not to be challenged by the cultural media output. The message I'd like to get across is the realisation that they do not live in a Christian culture, haven't done for some considerable period of time now ... wake up and get on with it ...

    I read the books, my partner read the books, and my kids read the books.

    I thought the first was brilliant, a good step beyond Harry Potter, and brought it home for my daughter. Unlike HKR, Pullman does not simply re-arrange a well-known and well-established witch-in-training fantasy format, he genuinely (I think) creates something of a new, new world.

    Our general view is the criticism increases with the procession ... the first is better than the second, and the third we all regarded as something of a fudge and a fix, a deus ex machina ending that was a poor solution to the questions posed at the outset.

    The anti-Catholicism is discreet in the first, if there at all. I notice that Oxford is not up in arms about abuses to its own university traditions (the trilogy opens in a parallel-world Oxford).

    By the end of course, it's full on, and as a rule of thumb, the more this agenda muscled its way into the narrative, the more my kids were inclined to lose interest.

    My kids, btw, aren't Catholic, rather they viewed the author as having 'lost the plot' and 'gone off on one'. Personally, being more cognisant of the terminology and more tellingly I think, of the mythological imagery that is simply 'lifted' and dropped in place to carry some semblance of a story along, I found the material derivative and lacking the originality of the first books.

    +++

    An acceptable criticism levelled at Lord of the Rings was that, by Book III, Tolkien was more interested in the mythology of Middle Earth than in resolving the conflict. Huge wodges of backstory could have been edited out, with no detrimental effect on the story of Frodo, Sam and the Quest.

    I think in time a similar criticism will be levelled at Pullman, he's allowed his anti-Catholicism to elbow its way into centre stage, a huge clumping brute called "you mustn't miss the point" that takes over the story and for a while actually pushes Lyra into the wings.

    +++

    As ever, 'love' will be the decider ... whether the reader cares enough about Lyra to wade through the quagmire of the last book, and whether Lyra ... but that would be a spoiler for anyone who might read the book.

    +++

    A film critic here said the movie just did not work. Too much of a dependence on CGI effects and not enough fidelity to Lyra's story — the product of a movie machine more interested in dollars than discernment. The defence that the movie was watered down to appease a Christian audience will no doubt be offered as an excuse if it performs poorly. It seems that the heart of Lyra's story ... and that's the only story that matters here ... is missing from the film.

    Movies rarely make you think these days, and as one movie maker noted (Peter Greenaway) no other art form talks down to and insults the intelligence of its audience quite as much as the movie does — they just dish out the same old easy stereotypes.

    Thomas
     
  12. Eudaimonist

    Eudaimonist In Galt We Trust

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    I intend to see it, and I wouldn't unless there were people complaining about the movie. This is also why I saw the Last Temptation of Christ.


    eudaimonia,

    Mark
     
  13. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

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    Perhaps the producer should make two versions of the movie, a sanitised version and an unsanitised version . . . just so that I can make a comparison between the two.:D

    If that isn't possible, I'll have to get my hands on the book to get a taste of the author's passion. If the sanitised version of the story is the only version of the movie I can get, I fear I'd be struck down by the disappointment of having to watch a movie less offensive than it should have been, and knowing that I could have been offended more but wasn't being provoked as much.

    It's quite possible that I'd be blown away by the anti-Catholic (ok I'm not Catholic, but just for argument's sake), anti-Christian, anti-religion, etc. sentiment and find it all repulsive and boring by the way its overdone. But I'd have to see it.

    Whatever it is, I want amusement. If it's meant to make fun of something in a friendly way, it's ok if it's entertaining. If it's overdone, it'll just be boring.

    Much like Life of Brian, which I've been told was a parody on Jesus Christ, I think it's ok to just poke fun at concepts in a religion. The question is whether it's a "parody" or whether it seeks to vilify, demonise or belittle a religion, or whether it's just a story that entertains us with a political struggle. Think X Men. Is it trying to inspire religious hatred?

    It may indeed refer to religious influences in real-life, in much the same way Stargate and Star Trek do in certain episodes. In Stargate it's the Ori, and during the last few seasons there is a question, if a bunch of people present us with a religion that says their god(s) created the universe and we must embrace its teachings, and they perform miracles in front of us, do we accept their claims?

    In Star Trek Enterprise, one episode was a story of a planet that followed a religion where it was believed that the so-called Makers constructed a bunch of Spheres that allowed transdimensional beings into our universe. The people split up over whether those Spheres were created in six or seven days, or something like that. That was obviously a reference to Genesis in the Bible. At the end of the episode, everyone on the planet was killed off with no survivors. They fought one another to death. Captain Jonathan archer takes one of its most prominent religious leaders to the home planet to show them what's happened to their once glorious world.

    Neither of them name religions in the real-world, but they describe similar paradigms. Does the actual story reference real-world organisations directly? ie. Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Episcopal Church? Does it address adherents of a particular religion, or labels associated with them directly, like "Christian" or "Christianity" Does it quote verses from the Bible? . . . or does it simply say "Church." Church doesn't have to refer to Christians or Christianity. It may refer to a religion and its organisation, but not necessarily a group of people in the real world.

    Is this is a Fantasy story, or is it set in the real-world? Like Tomb Raider and The Da Vinci Code? X Men? The League of Magnificient Gentleman? . . . or is it more like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Narnia?

    But anyway . . .

    I just had another thought. Let's suppose someone makes a movie that is designed to impress Western viewers, but misrepresents Chinese culture. Ching Chong China Man is made to look stupid and unarticulate. I think I anticipate a lot of rioting in Chinatown . . . the decadent West has done it again. The arrogant white devils are once again flaunting their pompous and condescending attitude and lording it over a millenia-old civilisation.

    Could Christians be seen as a kind of Ching Chong China Man that is being ridiculed in the story? Could this be another Danish cartoon? You tell me. You've read the story right?:D

    I reckon it is still possible to have a movie Christians can accept and like even if it has elements that they'd find provocative if it's properly marketed. The author is an artist that has to know how to shape his artwork in a way, even if it is provocative, is still seen as an excellent piece of artwork. It's like Tin Tin. In some places the Tin Tin cartoons show some slight racism and ignorance of the cultures it depicted, but most of the content is ok. Take the television series 24 for example, which featured Muslim/Islamic phenomena in at least 2 of its seasons. Was this offensive to Muslims?

    If the author is a militant religion-basher, the warped mindset will show up in his work. Is this another Tin Tin or another Sheikh Al Hilali?

    Just thought I might throw that in.:eek:
     
  14. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    Dont know to much about the film, but if it is aimed at children then it is just one more thing that is pushing them to not put God in their lives. and as the bible tells us in 1 JOHN 5;19 the whole world is in the power of the wicked one (satan) and we all know that he is in opposition to God . and he molds a childs thinking in all sorts of ways .
     
  15. flowperson

    flowperson Oannes

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    I've not seen the film, but my impression is, too much fantasy, not enough reality. Don't get me wrong, motion pictures are an "escape" experience, and from what I've seen and read about The Golden Compass this is a winner from the fantasy escape viewpoint. But then I don't much like the production standards of many films made since 1990, too much digital manipulation for effect, and not enough human emotional content. Think that this is an accident ?

    But the "animal spirit guide" concept also mirrors ancient human realities in that in neolithic times, each human was endowed with an animal spirit guide which would inform his/her human protege at critical times in their lives. This looks like an updated version of this theme. For my money go out and rent a copy of Clan of the Cave Bear if you want something closer to the truth of it all. Jean Auel's book of the same name upon which the film was based is also an excellent read.

    This faux theological wrestling between conservative and more progressive Christian factions is only another aspect of the bogus culture wars which have been going on for much too long now. The real test would be to discover why the culture wars are even taking place at this point in time. The Episcopalians are experiencing its needless consequences as we write.

    flow....:rolleyes:
     
  16. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

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    You reckon this is what killed Star Wars Episodes 1 to 3? All that time and money spent on special effects? It's kind of funny.

    I'm not much of a movie critic. There was a time when I was naive. A movie was just a movie. I never thought there was any magic to it. Just a couple of guys and girls acting out what's on the script. I didn't study drama and acting in high school. When Episode 2 or 3 came out, I went on the web looking for information on the movie. I found a lot of criticism . . .

    Bad acting. Cardboard actors without real personality.

    It turns out that a lot of movies and films are like that. Perhaps not bad acting, but a bad story. The Matrix, X Men, etc.

    I found hardly any criticism, though, for Lord of the Rings. I looks like it was really well done.

    Life would be pretty boring without war and conflict.;)
     
  17. greymare

    greymare New Member

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    Ive not seen the film but I cant wait for it. YAY i love these kind of movies. Ive seen the trailers for it an it looks like my cup of tea. I LOVE the Lord of the Rings trilogy , all the star wars. all the star trek. chronicles of narnia and tomb raiders and indiana jones etc. its all fun its all good. (funny, how they all seem to be "boy" movies.LOL)
     
  18. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    boy movie: Many people die quickly, explosions, great special effects.
    girl movie: One person dying slowly, no explosions , lots of piano music.
     
  19. greymare

    greymare New Member

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    yep that abut sums it up. I guess thats why I like the boy movies. LOL
     
  20. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    Hi All!

    Thomas,

    Writing a story, I have heard it said, is a voyage of discovery for the writer. Sometimes also I have heard it said to be a shedding of baggage. I cannot know for sure but I posit an uneducated guess that Pullman has had or has close knowledge of the dark side of the sick abuse that was virtually systemic throughout the Catholic 'care' system until very recently. There are many anti-Catholics out there, not in a sectarian us'n'them mindset, but that have had experience of cruelty visited upon them in the name of the Catholic Church. This may bore you but to them the pain of unhappy youth lives long. A generation from now that part of history will be forgotten, till then let those who still suffer vent their pain, its the least the Church can do.

    Salty,

    I'm not a big fan of Hollywood. A film from there has to get real special reviews to get me to watch it. After all you only need to see a handful to have seen virtually every one, so where's the point?
    The Last Temptation and The Life of Brian are probably the 2 most religiously contentious movies in my lifetime. The first was a serious effort at bringing Jesus down to a human, not 'godly' , level and truly managed to capture the passion of Kazantakis' book(s). To my mind it is one of the finest films ever made. It has an almost hallucinogenic quality to it, like it jumps inside the world of a schizophrenic, and allows you to ponder truly what is divine revelation. But people do not like to face the idea that their faith might be based on a madmans delusions, even though we put 1000s of people on expensive drugs every year for claiming the same.
    The Life of Brian is an out and out atheistic parody of the sheer ridiculous nature of many aspects of the Christ story that again tries to humanise the Brian through comedy. For many reasons atheists like those in the python team are drawn to the Christ story and I think it is because its essence is a human story, not a divine one. Lets face it the only thing sanctionable about the Christ story are the perversions of it that have become the mainstream religions, and the horrors committed in that name. I think you would have to go a long way to find someone who could sit through that movie and not laugh, but its those that "refuse" to watch that protest. Such people are beyond help... best leaving them to their refuse.

    Mee,
    Letting your children get a broad range of views, and thus allowing their minds to fully develop, is far far preferable than to locking them in the closet of a perverted ideology, and getting stunted twisted part-persons.

    Flow,
    A trip down memory lane, I read Clan of the Cave bear... romantic tosh, (well maybe not when Ayla was forcibly mounted by that Neanderthal :eek:), but enjoyable none the less. :)


    Holding out, not been to see GC yet but my son arrives on the morrow and wants to go...so I may be forced to:rolleyes:

    Missing CR but have so little spare time these days :(

    Cya all soon

    Tao
     

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