Monday, October 17, 2005

Sometimes You Can't Agree With Anyone

This is one of those cases where everyone is wrong, or at least deeply objectionable. On the one hand, you've got Philip Pullman, who announces that the Narnia books
contained "a peevish blend of racist, misogynistic and reactionary prejudice" and "not a trace" of Christian charity.

"It's not the presence of Christian doctrine I object to so much as the absence of Christian virtue," he added.

"The highest virtue - we have on the authority of the New Testament itself - is love, and yet you find not a trace of that in the books."
Which is not only completely wrong-headed, but one of those black-hole-calling-a-vacuum-cleaner-sucky type of situations to boot. But on the other side, you've got Evangelical Christian groups announcing that
"We believe that God will speak the gospel of Jesus Christ through this film," Lon Allison, director of Illinois' Billy Graham Centre, told the newspaper.
[Hopefully no one's noticed, but AtWQ has been comment-spammed by one of these groups, whose website (which I won't link to so as not to reward that sort of behavior) offers The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe-related teaching guides for churches and prayer groups.]

Caught in the middle is the film itself, which I'm rather ambivalent about. The trailers suggest that the film will be something like Narnia by way of The Lord of the Rings, in the long-standing Hollywood tradition of 'I like this book! Now let's change everything that makes it interesting and unique!' (see. And also). I've heard a lot of good things (and Tilda Swinton as the White Witch is paricularly promising) and I'll certainly be seeing the film, but not with great expectations.

1 comment:

Elise said...

Yeah, Pullman needs to get off his high horse. For one thing, His Dark Materials isn't even POSSIBLE without Narnia, so give me a break already. But I also hate that these books that were so absolutely formative to my imaginative and moral development are being coopted by the religious right. Lewis would have been appalled, I fear. But looking at the previews, I have hope - they seem to indicate that the movie has been made by someone who really loved that world. If they are to Narnia what LOTR films were to the LOTR trilogy, I'll be satisfied. And anyone who can cast Swinton as the White Witch can't be too far off the mark, right?

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