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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Pullman's "The Golden Compass"

Many of you have seen the spectacular preview for the upcoming movie, The Golden Compass, which is based upon the novel by Philip Pullman of the same name.

The Golden Compass is the first volume of the well-known and rightfully controversial His Dark Materials Trilogy. I've read the books and expect the movies to be fabulously popular. The trouble is that Pullman is the reverse image of C.S. Lewis. While the author of The Chronicles of Narnia wrote in order to express Christian doctrine in the form of a gripping mythology, Pullman want to unravel Christian faith. If you've read the books, you know what I mean. The question, of course, is whether the films will delete the most egregiously anti-Christian elements in order to be marketable.

According to an article in Entertainment Weekly, religious groups are calling for a boycott. Writer Missy Schwartz cites the fact that The Da Vinci Code made over $200 million at the box office in the midst of a boycott as evidence that such things don't hurt Hollywood in the wallet, where it counts. The Last Temptation of Christ episode would seem to prove otherwise. Admittedly, that was twenty years ago.

One of my goals for 2007 was to re-read the Pullman trilogy and prepare some response material. Alas, I have not met that particular goal. Does anyone know of any substantial, book-length response to Pullman?

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