Friday, April 24, 2009

Is the new movie Angels and Demons Anti-Catholic?


From the National Catholic Register Blog:

"The Hollywood director and actor isn’t an angel, that is, when it comes to disseminating anti-Catholic propaganda through his movies.

Howard has taken issue this week with Catholic League President Bill Donohue’s assessment that Howard’s about-to-be released film Angels & Demons is guilty of being grossly anti-Catholic.

Howard is the director of Angels & Demons, which is based on Dan Brown’s novel of the same name. Howard also served as director of the cinematic version of Brown’s notoriously anti-Catholic novel The Da Vinci Code, which is a sequel to Angels & Demons.

In a commentary at The Huffington Post, Howard complains Donohue’s criticism of his upcoming film is unfounded. Writes Howard, “Let me be clear: neither I nor Angels & Demons are anti-Catholic.”

The film version of Angels & Demons hasn’t even hit theaters yet, so it’s difficult to judge exactly how anti-Catholic it is.

But Howard’s earlier direction of The Da Vinci Code makes a mockery of any claim that he’s not anti-Catholic. Both Brown’s historically fraudulent potboiler and Howard’s screen version of it are replete with calumnies against Christianity and the Catholic Church. And unfortunately, many credulous readers and moviegoers assume those calumnies are based in fact.

Go here to learn more about the shortcomings of The Da Vinci Code.

Entertainment Weekly speculates here that Howard is actually happy to be singled out as being anti-Catholic and indeed is trying to draw more attention to this criticism by penning his Huffington Post article.

Why? Because, according to Entertainment Weekly, Howard hopes the controversy will hype box-office receipts for Angels & Demons to the same stratospheric levels as attained by The Da Vinci Code.

“Well played, Mr. Howard,” remarks Entertainment Weekly’s Jeff Labrecque. “Donahue might be your biggest critic, but he’s also your greatest publicity tool.”

Entertainment Weekly’s theory may be plausible, but either way Howard’s role in translating Dan Brown’s novels onto the silver screen reflects little credit on the Hollywood director.

After all, it’s debatable whether it’s more objectionable to have disseminated nasty anti-Catholic bigotry because you are really are a nasty anti-Catholic bigot, or to have disseminated the same nasty anti-Catholic bigotry simply because you’re willing to do almost anything to make money from filmgoers."

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