The Vatican is its own worst enemy. Aside from being a creepy, cultish fraternity of falsehoods, they've also seen it fit to extend their tendrils into the entertainment industry.
Well back off, man! This is my territory!
I saw the Golden Compass a couple weeks ago and never got around to a proper review. In brief, I'd say the film is a fun, benign experience conceived with spectacular imagination. At times, it seems a little heavy handed, and the pacing toward the end of the film is a bit swift --seems as if the filmmakers were working overtime to cram in the last story elements. But amongst 3 generations, myself, and my two younger brothers, there has not been a film in recent memory that has generated as much discussion and interest.
And that's exactly what the Catholic church fears most: discussion and interest. The Pope and his minions have just issued a statement slamming the film as "devoid of any particular emotion apart from a great chill."
The editorial continues:
"In Pullman's world, hope simply does not exist, because there is no salvation but only personal, individualistic capacity to control the situation and dominate events,"
Well, I cannot imagine more inaccurate criticisms. Devoid of particular emotion? What about excitement, fear, and joy? Something in the film did a good job of eliciting these responses. And last I checked, a little girl's ability to galvanize groups of people does not equate to hopelessness and strict individualism.
You know what gives me "a great chill?" Local and national movements to restrict children from this film's relatively benign storyline. My brother's friends have been subject to this abuse. What are they afraid of? Is their faith and the faith of their children so precarious that merely viewing a fiction could topple the whole deck of cards? Then let it topple, you hypocritical hucksters!
I've seen The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. I'm told these stories reek of Christian parable. You know what? If I did some digging, I could probably find it. But at the end of the day, Gandalf is not Christ, he's still Gandalf, and Aslan is still a lion. And knowing there are deeper allusions does little to affect the persuasiveness of the fiction.
So way to go, Vatican! Way to mirror more closely the Magisterium, that cartoonish satire of yourselves in The Golden Compass. You're not doing yourselves any favors and you're certainly doing a disservice to children and free-thinking people around the world.