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Religious Watch


5th March
2009
  

Nutters, Angels and Demons...

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Catholic League starts campaign against latest Dan Brown movie

Angels and Demons poster Catholic League president Bill Donohue announced today the start of a campaign against Angels & Demons.

The movie, which opens May 15, is based on the book by Dan Brown.

Bill Donohue writes:

Next week we will begin to make available to the public a booklet that I wrote on Angels & Demons . It details the myths, lies and smears that are made against the Catholic Church. It also provides evidence of the anti-Catholic animus harbored by those associated with the film.

Author Dan Brown and director Ron Howard are getting good at this. The Da Vinci Code was replete with falsehoods presented as fact, and now the tag team is back again delivering a curious blend of fact and fiction. All done at the expense of the Catholic Church.

Brown-Howard are obsessed with Catholicism. It is not enough to criticize it—they are hell bent on demonizing it. It is not enough to drag out dirty laundry—they invent it. And the fact that they pay absolutely no price for their propaganda shows beyond dispute that anti-Catholicism is the one bigotry Hollywood likes.

We will have something to say about the lies tomorrow. On Wednesday, we will address the anti-Catholic sentiments of the producers and film crew. Next week we will release the booklet. By the time we are finished with Angels & Demons , there should be few who won't know what the Brown-Howard agenda entails.

 

25th March
2009
  

Update: Censorship Demons...

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Catholics wound up by Angels and Demons

Angels and Demons poster The Vatican is poised to boycott Angels & Demons , the prequel to Hollywood blockbuster The Da Vinci Code .

Avvenire, the Vatican's official newspaper, says in its latest edition that the church cannot approve of the film.

Italian newspaper La Stampa reported that the Vatican will soon call on Catholics to boycott the film. However, the same article quoted Archbishop Velasio De Paolis warning that a boycott could create a boomerang effect by giving the movie more publicity.

Based on article from indiancatholic.in

Meanwhile in India the Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) has objected to the Columbia Pictures film

In a statement issued to Indian Catholic, Joseph Dias, general secretary of CSF said that the anti-Church depictions in the film are sufficient reason for Christians to call for action against the film, as was the case with Dan Brown's earlier Da Vinci Code .

Angels & Demons has been roundly criticised by Vatican, which has also refused permission to the makers to shoot the film on its premises, leading them to recreate important parts of Vatican city in the studios & go ahead, he said.

Dias said CSF has sent memorandums on the film to India's Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, besides the Censor Board at Mumbai.

Dan Brown, the author of Da Vinci Code seems to have excelled in the art of Catholicism-bashing and he takes his anti-Catholic agenda further with the novel - Angels & Demons . Co-producer, Brian Grazer wants Angels & Demons to be ‘less reverential' than The Da Vinci Code , meaning more liberally anti-Catholic – which it is, if one goes by the book, he said.

 

22nd April
2009
  

Update: Easily Hurt Religious Sentiments...

Indian bishops whinge about Angels and Demons

Angels and Demons poster The Catholic Bishops Conference of India, the country's top Catholic body, is calling for a ban of the Tom Hanks-starring Angels & Demons set for worldwide release on May 15.

This film could seriously hurt religious sentiments, CBCI spokesperson Father Babu Joseph was quoted as saying in media reports over the weekend: Christianity is not understood by the majority of people in India yet, and many non-Christians may mistake the content as the truth.

CBCI secretary general Stanislaus Fernandes reportedly has written to the chair of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) asking to stop the film's release.

We are still waiting for a print to arrive from our head offices, after which we will submit the film to the CBFC, Sony Pictures Releasing India managing director Kersy Daruwala said.

Father Anthony Charanghat, a spokesman for the Catholic archdiocese in Mumbai also called for a boycott: We are calling on Christians to adhere to the principle of not supporting anything that goes against our faith. We are asking people not to watch it.

 

3rd May
2009
  

Updated: Censorship Demons...

Indian bishops offered the chance to ban Angels and Demons

Angels and Demons poster India's Censor Board Screening Committee has now seen the film Angels and Demons and have not issued sertificate.

They have referred the film to a Revising Committee with the censor Sharmila Tagore and a panel of 4 catholic bishops.

Here is a press statement from Christian Secular Forum:

We have represented to the Censor Board, that in matter pertaining to Catholicism, the opinion of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) should be binding. The Censor Board has therefore asked for 4 representatives of the Catholic Bishops to see the film. The CBCI has also already written to the Censor Board calling for a ban on Angels & Demons . The ball is now in the Catholic Bishops' court. If after seeing the film, it recommends a ban - Banned it will it be.

We are also given to understand that the Censor Board wants the Church to settle for a Disclaimer.

Update: Angels & the CSF

3rd May 2009. Based on article from hindu.com

In a statement on Saturday, Joseph Dias, general secretary of the Christian Secular Forum (CSF) urged Catholic bishops to call for a boycott of the film.

It also filed a complaint with the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, urging him to take action against officials of Sony Pictures on various counts.

The CSF submitted a memorandum to Central Board for Film Certification chairperson Sharmila Tagore, calling for wider consultations to further scan the film and ensure that it did not hurt the sentiments of Christians. Scenes depicting violence in churches should be removed and care should be taken while dubbing the film in other languages.

The earlier revision committee, which recommended a disclaimer and an A certificate, was based in the capital and not comprehensive enough, said Dias. If the film was not cut adequately to remove the objectionable scenes, the CSF would consider legal options, he warned.

 

5th May
2009
  

Update: Angels and Demons and Whingers...

UK catholics line up to support the hype for Angels and Demons

Angels and Demons poster UK catholic leaders have attacked Angels and Demons , the film adaptation of Dan Brown's book.

The Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon, the Bishop of Nottingham, warned that the film could stir up anti-Catholic sentiment.

This is so outlandish, it's total rubbish, said Bishop McMahon, who is one of the Church's most senior bishops: It's mischievous to stir up this kind of anti-Catholic sentiment. It's a gratuitous knocking of the Church and I can't see any reason for it.

Bishop McMahon said that Catholics were getting tired of the sensational stories and plot lines contained in Brown's novels and subsequent film adaptations: I don't think that Catholics will be interested in seeing this as it's so far removed from the truth.

Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the US, accused Howard and Brown of smearing the Catholic church with fabulously bogus tales. Donahue is exasperated by the way that he says Brown and Howard blend fact, fiction and conspiracy theory. I have never dealt with two more disingenuous people, he told The Daily Telegraph: They wouldn't dare treat any other religion like this.

Howard responded in forthright fashion: Let me be clear: neither I nor Angels & Demons are anti-Catholic. And let me be a little controversial: I believe Catholics, including most in the hierarchy of the Church, will enjoy the movie for what it is – an exciting mystery, set in the awe-inspiring beauty of Rome.

There has also been high-level discussion within the Vatican about whether to urge a boycott of the film, according to Italian media reports. It took that step with The Da Vinci Code , but the film enjoyed staggering box office takings of $758 million and some Vatican insiders fear their high-profile opposition backfired.

Let's be careful not to play their game... by giving them free publicity, said Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, the Vatican economics minister, who still made clear his derision for the book as a manipulation in anti-Christian key of people, events and history.

 

8th May
2009
  

Update: Censorial Subterfuge...

Vatican opt out of Angels and Demons hype

Angels and Demons poster There has also been high-level discussion within the Vatican about whether to urge a boycott of the film, according to Italian media reports. It took that step with The Da Vinci Code , but the film enjoyed staggering box office takings of $758 million and some Vatican insiders fear their high-profile opposition backfired.

Let's be careful not to play their game... by giving them free publicity, said Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, the Vatican economics minister, who still made clear his derision for the book as a manipulation in anti-Christian key of people, events and history.

So in its first pronouncement on the film, Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano described Angels and Demons as harmless entertainment which hardly affects the genius and mystery of Christianity.

While the gigantic and smart commercial operation is filled with inaccuracies and stereotyped characters, the camera work is splendid , Howard's direction dynamic and alluring and the reconstruction of St Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel is magnificent.

An editorial in the paper added: It would probably be an exaggeration to consider the books of Dan Brown an alarm bell but maybe they should be a stimulus to rethink and refresh the way the Church uses the media to explain its positions on today's burning issues.

 

25th May
2009
  

Update: Pacific Island Demons...

Samoa bans Angels and Demons

Angels and Demons poster The Pacific island state of Samoa has banned the movie Angels and Demons , Radio New Zealand International reported.

It quoted censor Lei'ataua Olo'apu, who is Roman Catholic, as saying that the film is critical of the Catholic Church and the ban will avoid any religious discrimination by other denominations and faiths against the church.

 

15th July
2009
  

Update: No Angels...

Angels and Demons pre-cut for its 12A cinema release

Angels and Demons DVD Angels & Demons is a 2009 US drama by Ron Howard

The pre-cut cinema release was passed 12A without further cuts in 2009. The BBFC stated:

This film was originally shown to the BBFC in an unfinished version. The BBFC advised the company that the film was likely to receive a '15' classification but that the requested '12A' certificate could be achieved by making reductions in four scenes. In particular the BBFC suggested that sight of blood splattering onto a character's face, sight of a character screaming in pain as he burns, sight of a wound being injected and sight of a character self-immolating and burning should all be reduced. When the finished version of the film was submitted, all these reductions had been made satisfactorily and the film was classified '12A'.

The BBFC further explained their 12A rating:

ANGELS & DEMONS is a thriller drama about attempts to stop a secret organisation from destroying the Papacy. It was passed '12A' for scenes of moderate violence and horror.

These include the sight of a dead man with a rat eating inside the corpse's mouth, a man bleeding on the steps of the Vatican, a bound man dangling over a fire as attempts are made to save him and a man setting himself on fire. These are permitted under '12A' Guidelines which say that violence must not dwell on detail; and there should be no emphasis on injuries or blood although occasional gory moments are allowed.

Sustained moderate threat or menace are permitted under '12A' Guidelines. There is such tension as a couple of men find themselves trapped in an airtight underground library after the ventilation system has failed. In a different scene, a bound man with a weight tied around him is thrown into water; he struggles fitfully under water before being rescued.

There is also mild language. The mild language is infrequent and includes 'hell' and 'bastard'.

 

24th October
2009
  

Update: Many Angels and Demons...

Three versions of Angels and Demons released in the UK

Angels Demons Extended Cut Blu ray Angels & Demon is a 2009 US drama by Ron Howard

There are 3 versions of Angels & Demons released in the UK

  • The Extended Version was passed 15 without further BBFC cuts for the 2009 Sony Blu-ray.

The Extended Version includes more violent footage than the Theatrical Versions.

See pictorial version details from movie-censorship.com

  • The US Theatrical Version was passed 15 without further BBFC cuts and is also on the 2009 Sony Blu-ray.
     
  • The pre-cut UK Theatrical Version was passed 12A/12 without further BBFC cuts for the 2009 cinema release and 2009 Sony DVD. The BBFC stated:

This film was originally shown to the BBFC in an unfinished version. The BBFC advised the company that the film was likely to receive a '15' classification but that the requested '12A' certificate could be achieved by making reductions in four scenes. In particular the BBFC suggested that sight of blood splattering onto a character's face, sight of a character screaming in pain as he burns, sight of a wound being injected and sight of a character self-immolating and burning should all be reduced. When the finished version of the film was submitted, all these reductions had been made satisfactorily and the film was classified '12A'.