May 18, 2006

Da Vinci Mode



The SM chain of malls is standing by their conviction of not showing Brown's Da Vinci Code movie in all of its outlets. They say, all R-18 movies (regardless of the merits of the film) will not be shown because it will "harm" the minds of the movie-going public on the basis of immorality and all those pharisaical inanities. From a businessman's point of view, this is not a very good strategy. Why? A highly anticipated movie since Harry Potter 5 + religious controversy + popularity of the novel = Box Office Hit.

Any self-respecting entrepreneur would milk Robert Langdon for all its worth just to spike up his/her flagging movie sales. But I guess the Sy's are more Pontius Pilate than St. Paul for they would rather show the world that their movie houses are "hands clean" from any vulgar immorality than to let the public decide for themselves as to what's good for them. Isn't that already the job of the stupid MTRCB- to play God with their "moralistic" index of forbidden movies criteria? It's a pity that for a thriller without any nudity or violence, it still garnered a severe rating of R-18 (the severest in the world.) I didn't realized that a movie which explores the origins of our Christian roots would be deemed as unsuitable for viewers under 18! This reeks quasi-censorship, is it not? However, in fairness to MTRCB chair Marissa Laguardia, she is right in saying:
"Those groups, like the conservatives who want it banned, maybe they can tell
their friends, discourage their friends from watching it but it has to be shown.
Otherwise we will be the only country that will not show this film. Thirty-six
countries have already reviewed this film and they have not banned it. So are we
just out of the Stone Age?"
Yes, we're more advanced than the Stone Age, because we're definitely in the Medieval Age.

They felt the film would "confuse" the faith of many. Hey, if your faith is like the mustard seed that remains small and undeveloped (thanks to your parents and the church), then, it's not Dan Brown's fault is it? If you change your mind about Catholicism after watching Sophie Langdon, then there's no one to blame but yourself.

Why? If you're really concerned with your faith and salvation, then you'll try to seek answers from definitive sources, mainly the Church and common sense. The Church says that it's fictional and trivial. Common sense will tell you that by having facts derived from Merovingian legends and concepts contrived by conspiracist theorists, the novel is not a reliable source for straying away from the faith. Yes, it does asks questions, but no one yet (not even the book) has provided sufficient and credible answers- just mere speculations and suppositions. The Church did not address the origins of its Gospels or the persecution of Mary Magdalene, and the "Grail" theorists did not put up credible documentary evidence supporting the "sacred female" something-something. It's akin in saying that the Egyptian pyramids and the Mayan pyramids were built by the same group of aliens. It's the same as saying that hidden religious meanings in Da Vinci's painting are connected to some pagan ritual of the Heiros Gamos. Connect the invisible dots, I tell you. But what's funnier is that there are real groups of people trying to stop the showing of the movie. Geez. They're just a bunch of Bible-toting, holier-than-thou, pseudo-virginal, sexually-deprived sleazebags who try to bring attention to their miserable existence. I say to them: Get a life. As to Dan Brown, close but no cigar.

The Best Da Vinci Code Review: http://www.bettybowers.com/davinci.html

16 comments:

Dr. Emer said...

I agree. The Philippines is still in the Medieval period.

I still can't figure why DVC merited an R-18.

Jennie said...

So what is better? Not showing the Da Vinci Code because they claim it is against the church and the people refuse to tarnish the name of Jesus Christ or allowing smut movies to show like that of constantly naked women being raped? What hypocrisy! >rolls eyes<

They should just get over this whole Da Vinci Code debate and get cracking with trying to solve the country's more pressing problems.

postigo luna said...

emer - just a guess, but they gave it an R-18 because you need to have sufficient discernment to remember that the movie is fictional not factual. imagine what sort of effect a movie like that would have on a 10 year-old kid, or even an impressionable 15 year-old. or are we so caught up in the hoopla that we're insisting that even minors can deal with such a sleekly packaged revisionist tale? like it or not - personally, I don't - religion plays a major role in the formation of the next generation, and if you teach impressionable kids to disbelieve the teachings of the church to which they belong, to whom will they turn for moral guidance?

jennie and juls - sm's decision not to show the DVC should be respected, I think. after all, they started doing this long before the DVC came along, so its kinda far-fetched to suppose that they're anti-DVC. besides, there's robinson's, the ayala malls, and every other sinehan eager to cash in on sm's principled stand. if you ask me, impressive nga that sm is willing to lose money just to stand up for what the corporation believes in.

that's a damned sight better than corporations that refuse to take a moral stand in the name of profit. :)

just my two cents, my brother.

Kiko said...

A chinese-owned business has a take in protection of catholic morality forming?? They're not even catholic so I don't think they should butt in. It's not like we're converting chinese to christians.

For whatever Sy's motives are, we respect THAT. Sometimes you can't help think.. And just like the previous commenter said -- you can go watch it at another movieplace. After all, the quality of SM cinema's (with the exception of Megamall perhaps) don't deserve to host such a film. For kids who get to watch The Da Vinci Code and get malformed values, it's the parent's fault.

Medieval age? not even close. "Kiddie Age" is more like it.. whenever I see people in barong on TV squabble like kids, yes I believe the governance of the country is in the "Kiddie Age".

For fuck's sake, just watch the film! I'm wondering why people are so worked up with it.. I've read the book eons ago and after seeing the movie, I'm disappointed because it didn't produce the total 'effect' that I was expecting it to have.

postigo luna said...

Sabi ni Kiko: "For kids who get to watch The Da Vinci Code and get malformed values, it's the parent's fault."

And that's why it was given the R-18: so when kids do watch it, you know where to put the blame. kung GP yan, like what rabid DVC fans want, how do you fix responsibility?

watson said...

I have watched the movie. And .. wala lang. Sure, the revelations they made, coupled with National Geographic's Secret Bible week and their publication showcasing the Judas Gospel created a flurry of activity.

But in the end, it's really the person who has to stand on his convictions. After all. God gave us the power of free will.

Jules said...

dr emer: kaya nga, it's not the state's obligation to censor films because of conflict in dogma. it should be the parents' obligation. i felt it was an overkill.

jennie: yes, they should put their energies somewhere else.

postigo: i think you're underestimating kids nowadays. ;) if kids find it confusing, it's the parents who are obligated to explain to them, not the state. And for moral guidance, i think there's a separation of church and state written in the constitution, so i leave all moral advisories to the CBCP circulars, and not to publicity-mongering councilors or MTRCB.

SM's loss is Ayala's gain. We respect his decision no matter how stupid and pharisaical it is. We went to watch the last full show and it was full pack. cheers!

kiko: you're correct. it's the parent's fault for not molding the spiritual lives of their children because they can always explain how fictional the movie is or how blasphemous it is. I think Sex and Violence should be R-18 because these are adult issues, but religion?

watson: ultimately, it all boils down to the person itself.

ade said...

One word: PARANOIA.

postigo luna said...

postigo: i think you're underestimating kids nowadays. ;) and you're over-estimating them. just because they use the same idiom you do, just because they act like miniature adults, doesn't mean they are adults. that's the trouble with us. we raise our kids to be copies of ourselves and delude ourselves into thinking that precociousness equals maturity.

if kids find it confusing, it's the parents who are obligated to explain to them, not the state. precisely. but how can the parents be on hand to explain if the kids are just allowed to waltz in and out of theaters the way anti-dvc advocates want. there must be a measure of control to ensure that social mechanisms - like parental guidance - are given the chance to operate. freedom should not be without reasonable boundaries. otherwise, there would be no freedom at all, only anarchy.


And for moral guidance, i think there's a separation of church and state written in the constitution, so i leave all moral advisories to the CBCP circulars, and not to publicity-mongering councilors or MTRCB. the separation of church and state only means there will be no official state religion, and that there can be no laws that deal with religious matters. Moral guidance is not necessarily religion, but should actually be more reflective of community standards. Admittedly, the mooks over at the MTRCB often ignore this.

Jules said...

postigo: no offense lang...

how can the parents be on hand to explain if the kids are just allowed to waltz in and out of theaters the way anti-dvc advocates want. They can always talk to their kids at home or at the dinner table. If there's good communication between children and parents, I don't see why not.

there must be a measure of control to ensure that social mechanisms - like parental guidance - are given the chance to operate. freedom should not be without reasonable boundaries. otherwise, there would be no freedom at all, only anarchy.
You're correct. Only for sex and violence should be rated R18. But a film that has no nudity or violence be treated like a porno film is way way too much. It reeks censorship and it throws back to the days of the hypocritical puritanism. For me, I would have rated it R13 or R15 but not R18.

Moral guidance is not necessarily religion, but should actually be more reflective of community standards.
But my standards may be different from yours, that's why there has to be freedom of choice (especially information) similar to that of the US. THat's why you cannot impose the standards of the noisy minority over the entire population just because your so-called morals have been offended. That's unconstitutional. And "moral guidance" here in the Philippines is based where? The Book of Revelations perhaps? or the Index of Forbidden Books? Where's the tolerance that God has been telling us about?

The problem with us Filipinos, we're more into rituals and pakitang-tao and that we're following all the exteriors of Catholicism (going to church everyday, holding hands during Our Father, giving tithes), but we're still blind to the message of our faith. By making a big dungheap over the DVC, we're no better than the Muslims who went amok over the Danish Cartoons. :)

Jules said...

By depriving yourself of not reading the book, you're choosing to be ignorant as to how to attack the writings of Dan Brown. How would you be able to refute what's in there when you haven't read it or seen the movie? How would you be able to defend your faith when you haven't studied your enemy?

As they say, "A noisy drum is an empty drum."

And as a kicker, here's the homily of the priest in the movie Chocolat: "I want to talk about Jesus' humanity...about the way He was when He walked this earth. It seems to me that we find true godliness not in what we deny ourselves, or give up, or who we exclude...but in what we embrace, create, and who we include."

postigo luna said...

No offense taken juls. but ...

They can always talk to their kids at home or at the dinner table. If there's good communication between children and parents, I don't see why not. This is very unrealistic, man. when was the last time you did something you knew you weren't allowed to do and actually told your parents about it?

Only for sex and violence should be rated R18Why just sex and violence? Why not about matters of religion as well? do you believe that we all think alike about sex and violence and that we can all agree that it should be restricted? wake up and smell the coffe, man. by saying that you agree to r-18 for sex and violence, you're saying that sex and violence is somehow more damaging to the psyche of children than attacks on the validity of their religion - the religion that they observe when they go to mass on sundays. It isn't. Children who lose their religion are left with no moral guideposts in life. Who will teach them not to lie or cheat? What social control mechanism will operate to teach them that it isn't right to hurt people? the internet? the freedom of choice 'similar to the US' that you raved about? Look around you man. Ever heard of the study that proves that kids who are exposed to sex on tv lose their virginities earlier in life? It follows then that if you are exposed to challenges to your religion at an early age, you are more likely not to be influenced by its tenets later on. And once you lose that, where do you get your moral bearings? Children are not equipped for that free for all. And not all of us are blessed with philosophers and saints for parents.

But my standards may be different from yours, that's why there has to be freedom of choice (especially information) similar to that of the US. THat's why you cannot impose the standards of the noisy minority over the entire population just because your so-called morals have been offended true enough. but, for the sake of social order, all must be willing to accept a few restrictions on freedom. in the same way that people tolerate the presence of unpopular opinions, so too must the proponents of unpopular opinions accept that they must live among people who believe differently. What matters is that the restrictions must not be unreasonable. In this case, they are not. Limiting the audience to adults is not unduly restrictive or opressive, my friend. And, btw, newsflash! even in america freedom is not absolute. they tap phones in america, juls. they pull you over if you're a black guy driving an expensive car.

The problem with us Filipinos, we're more into rituals and pakitang-tao and that we're following all the exteriors of Catholicism (going to church everyday, holding hands during Our Father, giving tithes), but we're still blind to the message of our faith. By making a big dungheap over the DVC, we're no better than the Muslims who went amok over the Danish Cartoons. :) again, i must agree. except for that crack about them muslims. the muslims take their faith more seriously than catholics or christians do. why is that funny? or are you coming from the 'there is no god and we should all just be humanists and everyone who thinks that there is a god is stupid for believing in myth' school of thought? I too am a humanist. I don't believe that there is a benign god watching over us or a wrathful god waiting to punish us for our sins. But I have also learned to be more tolerant of people who believe differently, and to not make fun of their beliefs. even if it involves being upset over a bunch of cartoons.

By depriving yourself of not reading the book, you're choosing to be ignorant as to how to attack the writings of Dan Brown. How would you be able to refute what's in there when you haven't read it or seen the movie? How would you be able to defend your faith when you haven't studied your enemy? i hope this isn't for me ... but in case it is, i have read dan brown, and i find his work laughable. And speaking of noisy drums, i am painfully aware that there are those who speak out without really understanding all the interconnected issues they are sounding off on. people like that reminded of another saying; a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.


and juls? no offense lang.

yuri said...

what's there to be afraid of? If you're a true Christian,ur faith shouldn't falter whatver the reason maybe.

Jules said...

postigo: i'm glad there's someone who can articulate their arguments, most of the time, all i hear are Ad Baculums from others, which is not a very persuasive way to argue...

1st paragraph: You're right, that's why parents should take the initiative. If no one will explain to the child, who will? And if we all just sweep the film under the rug, it will not resolve the issue. that's the ostrich effect.

2nd paragraph: ummm... you're statements are full of sweeping generalizations... what you're trying to say is "stop sex education to highschoolers because of fear of promiscuity?" That's fallacious and that's underestimating teens nowadays.

but if you won't explain to them and let them be ignorant as to its consequences, who's to blame? by sweeping these issues under the rug as if they were not there, you're not giving them moral guideposts as how to answer difficult questions about their faith in the future. that's why we need to inform and educate the fallacies of the film, not to censor it.

3rd paragraph: by social order, you mean like North Korean social order? Like the German pogrom against the Jews? Like Orwell's 1984? i'll take the risk of social disorder against having some pharisee take away anyone's right to information. and newsflash, the R18 rating was just a compromise to the X-rating that some were trying to push

4th paragraph: umm... did you take a look at ALL the Danish cartoons? have you researched on the history of islamic art where the ottomans, persians and mughals also drew mohammad? i think some of the cartoons were insulting, but it's no reason why I should kill or vandalize. it's fanaticism at its best, and having the same explosive yet substanceless protests here, it reeks of fanaticism and religious bigotry. The point there is that our passions are gravely misplaced for everyone protest passionately at this fictional work, and yet keep silent to the poverty, social injustice, homeless children and the overpopulation besetting the country.

you said, But I have also learned to be more tolerant of people who believe differently... then, you have no reason to censor the DVC just to satisfy the feelings of the faithful few. then you have no reason to censor the film for atheist kids or buddhist teens since you're tolerant of other's beliefs.

5th paragraph: mutually, i'm also painfully aware that there are people too who make mountains out of molehills, like Chicken Little?

albert einstein once said,"it's alright to disagree, without being disagreeable." Cheers!

Jules said...

postigo: curious lang po, if you're tolerant of others' beliefs, how can you not be tolerant of yours? if not, doesn't it reek of "double standard?"

Anonymous said...

juls, i watched the movie last friday, Jun2. haven't read the book yet:)

the movie is interesting... pero some events presented were too preposterous to be true, hehe.

i used to visit and participate in the activities of one Opus Dei center in Bacolod (near USLS).
the Opus Dei in the movie is a totally different Opus Dei from the one i know. maybe coincidence in the name?? anyway, bad publicity is still publicity. we'll see what will come out of it:)

some of the books of St. Escriva (the Opus Dei founder) are among my favorites.

Rose AGL