Friday, May 12, 2006

DOES HOLLYWOOD GET RELIGION RIGHT? -- Does Hollywood get religion right when it makes movies? Catholic News Service reports the answers are diverse as cinematic fare. "Some people do their homework and get it right; other people exploit it," said Paulist Father Frank Desiderio. "If you mean the studios, then no they don't," said Barbara Nicolosi, who runs the Act One screenwriting program for Christians. "Studios are not in the habit of hiring people of faith to either write, direct or be in any creative capacity for projects that involve religion." Harry Forbes, director of the U.S. bishops' Office for Film & Broadcasting, said, "In the old days, Hollywood would bend over backward not to offend." While that era may have been inaccurate by portraying "an overly idealized view of religious types," Forbes added, "that is preferable to a disparaging view of religion, as you often get today." Nicolosi commented on several recent releases, including ABC's miniseries The Ten Commandments ("[They] missed "the entire theological heart of the Moses story"), blockbuster movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (" [It] didn't pack the punch it could have" because the screenwriters "didn't get Aslan"), and the forthcoming The Da Vinci Code (she dreads the May 19 release, and is advocating an "othercott," exhorting moviegoers to see the animated feature Over the Hedge that weekend instead).

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