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13 October 2008 @ 04:12 pm
on controversy and its effects  

it seems to have been deathly quiet here, which saddens me. as such, i have a question for discussion. it's not as srs bsns or in depth as our "weekly" (totally need to get on that, y/y?) topics but i think for the hdm fan, it still carries some relevance:


yeah, so. essentially, i want to bring up the controversy of the golden compass when it was released in the united states - i can't speak for other countries, as i lived in the united states when it was released, but perhaps others of you can add an international perspective. anyways, some of this fanbase (albeit not a large section) is christian or perhaps belongs to another monotheistic religion ('sup to the two jews who mod this community with me, represent), so i have some questions for both sides:

+ do you think the controversy surrounding the movie was called for? &explain
+ was the film adaptation watered down too much, or was this appropriate to make it accessible to a wider audience? &explain


+ will the poor reception the film received from opponents in the united states (and perhaps other countries) prevent us from seeing blue-richards, kidman, and craig in the subtle knife and the amber spyglass? &flail

because, damnit, i really want sequels!

aaaaand go.

(on another note, we need more members to get this place rockin'! there is not enough hdm love around here. anyone want to help get the word spread? we should have a contest of sorts.)
inksplotched on October 13th, 2008 07:00 pm (UTC)

i believe the controversy is greatly uncalled for, and the reason is: plenty of christian novels and films are produced every year, not to mention the involvement in the music industry. do you see atheists, agnostics, buddhists, or muslims putting up a huge fuss about it?

no. yet when one novel-slash-film with a basis in atheism gains a little bit of prominence, there's an explosion.

this comes down to freedom of speech and freedom of religion. the conservative right went to such lengths to block something they disagreed with. again, i don't know about other countries, but that goes directly against a fundamental principle in the us. if they can have their books, movies, cds, then any group should be able to as well. the content wasn't obscene, nor highly offensive, and if any person or group disagreed with it, they should have just refrained from viewing it and left it at that, not mounted a campaign against it.

also, the movie was slightly watered down, which should have appeased the opposition. however, i don't think it would be a huge problem if the movies continued, because most of the big controversy actually occurs in the other books. but since i'm not sure that'll happen...

which is the worst part. how can they make the first movie of a trilogy and not continue! they should have gone lord of the rings on us and made a deal for all three at once. now... what, we'll never have a legitimate casting for will?! /cry

...oh. that gives me an idea for a post in the future: casting will. :D
Liz: lyra/willbazcat89 on October 13th, 2008 08:49 pm (UTC)

Frankly, it disturbs me to see how willing the religious right is to block out first amendment right.

And also, if this was the reception to Golden Compass, they're going to flip their shit come Amber Spyglass.

And yeah, they should have done it in the LOTR way.

I used to picture will as a kind of PoA era DanRad, but obviously that can't work now....
inksplotched on October 13th, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
And yet when people attempt to enforce separation of church and state, the radicals of that faction are being OPPRESSED ZOMG WHAT ABOUT THE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS?!

Obviously I'm not slamming every Christian that ever was, but the number of this sort of people in that demographic is alarming.

Honestly? I would be so amused by the reactions to Amber Spyglass if it ever got through.

I need to celebrity-hunt for someone to represent Will, I don't really know who I'd use at this point in time.

Edited at 2008-10-13 10:17 pm (UTC)
Lizbazcat89 on October 13th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)

Please do. And then share your findings with me.
inksplotched on October 14th, 2008 02:17 am (UTC)
lirl @ "so there", we are skilled debaters.

will do! (c wut i did thar?)
Lizbazcat89 on October 14th, 2008 02:47 am (UTC)
lirl i fail at typing. *ALSO

We have mad skillz. And we snap z's.

Jeanne "dancing in the" d'Arc: Effy (o rly?)rose_dawson on October 13th, 2008 10:34 pm (UTC)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Lizbazcat89 on October 13th, 2008 10:40 pm (UTC)
and he looks like he could go from presh to hawt when he's older. YES. I APPROVE.
inksplotched on October 14th, 2008 01:45 am (UTC)
only in the last picture... he kinda strikes me as too skeezy to be will. i prefer someone a little more ~fresh and wholesome~. or, you know, not wholesome, with the whole murdering thing... but less like pedophile bait.
Liz: ms. coulter modbazcat89 on October 13th, 2008 08:45 pm (UTC)

Our first discussion made me sad...it was probably a bad topic. Stupid inneffective brain. ANYWHO.

Frankly, I think that most of the controversy was caused by people who hadn't ever actually read the books. Most of them seem to have protested on the claims that OMG THEY KILLED GOD OMG which does not show any signs that they read the books; if they had they would have realized that the Angel Formerly Known As God (sorry had to go for that one) was imprisoned by his own officials, and actually Will and Lyra's rescue was an act of mercy that allowed him to dissolve into peace and oblivion. *realizes that I am peraching to the choir* *shuts up*

tl;dr: they are ignorant mob mentality people who have never read the books. most of them, anyway.

I think the Golden Compass movie did a very good job with the religious subtext, and while it was much less blatant than it was in the book, it was still there, and it was still easy to find as long as you knew where to look.

Frankly, if we don't get to see any Will/Lyra onscreen action, I will be seriously unhappy.
Ahsavka / Askut / Sophiaahsavka on October 13th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
The controversy that surrounded the movie was the same that nibbled at the books for years, but book-controversy tends to be safe, because 1) you can sit slack-jawed in front of a screen and watch a movie, but being outraged by a book takes more effort and 2) it is acceptable for there to be controversial books to all but the craziest crazies, whereas with movies for some reason people are much more eager to censor. Think of the children!

The problem with it is that, in the first book, the most controversial thing is the fate of our Roger (is it safe to assume this community is spoilerific?) and the anecdote that he and Lyra stole wine and got drunk. This "killing god" business doesn't come about in the first book. Or the second. The controversy is thus silly, but unfortunately I do think it had an effect on box-office sales.

There were attempts to water down the story, but I don't think it had much effect on the first movie. What it would've had on the rest ... god only knows. But I don't see much, here. Church -> Magisterium, the daemon room does not appear, Tony's rather more optimistic fate, and ending the movie before the end of the book.

Only the bit with Tony sticks out, to me. The rest I can handle. It's largely fitting with the way the books are styled -- the first book is mostly the adventure of an (admittedly sneaky) innocent named Lyra Belaqua. She matures with the books. The first one can be light, I think.
♦ k a h l i a ♦: {stock} cupcakes! on play school!cuban_sombrero on October 14th, 2008 07:43 am (UTC)
I don't remember much about the Christian controversy here in Australia, because I wasn't really a fan back then, but I know some of our major religious leaders voiced similar concerns to the US.

And then Nicole Kidman got a ton of negative reviews and we all boycotted the movie some more, anyway. :)
inksplotched on October 17th, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC)
Really, negative reviews? I thought she did a fantastic job, as do most of the His Dark Materials fans I've spoken to about the movie's casting!

Sadpants, I am.
Opallene/Opallena: bunniculalelenmargyle on October 14th, 2008 06:54 pm (UTC)
Not called for. Yes, it's our first amendment right to shout out about whatever the hell we think of any particular entertainment piece. But in cases like this: Ironically, while exercising their own first amendment right, the Christian Right essentially called for the suspension of that same right for other people, i.e. freethinking authors and filmmakers. I'll bet they're glad our nation doesn't (literally) worship the film industry, for in that case the masses would've tried their darnedest to extinguish their right to protest against films! (Personally, I think a little bit of karma would do the Christian Right some good. ;))

I guess (unless I'm wrong), all they really did was urge people not to see the film. Nothing illegal or even quite morally wrong about that. (Film- or book-banning in public collections, however, is an entirely different matter!) But it sure doesn't make for good PR! They'll stay right there on the "closed-minded hypocrites" shelf in my mind, and I'll have them to bear a grudge against in the likely event that I don't get to see more of what I'd like to see in the future. (More HDM, other popular entertainment with atheistic themes, etc.)
;the jacket salvatoreiselyn on October 16th, 2008 12:10 pm (UTC)
New member here. Anyway...

No, I don't think the controversy was entirely called for. Yes, Pullman used Christian-themed ideas in the books, but it is NOT Christianity. I'm Christian, but I can tell the difference between someone bashing my religion and using elements and ideals to create something entirely different (and amazing!)

Next question. I'm one of those rare individuals who saw The Golden Compass before reading the books, and after having ran to Border's the same day and picking them up, I can safely say that yes, I do feel the film was extremely watered down. I also wish that they hadn't cut out the final chapters from the first book to give the movie a "happier ending." But considering that they cut out all meantions of religious aspects out of it, it makes me wonder how they'll work it in if they ever did decide to make the sequels.

And lastly...I hate to say it, but probably. Plus with New Line now being broken down and sold off in pieces, there's more red tape to go through. And the more times that passes, the less likely it seems that the other two films will ever see the light of day.