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TOPIC: Da Vinci Code Protests

Da Vinci Code Protests 29 Apr 2006 15:49 #20678

  • Linda
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I just received the following email from a customer (maybe, I don't recognize the name and the e mail address is not on my newsletter mailing list).:

Your website indicates that you will be showing the Blasphemous movie “The DaVinci Code” at your theater beginning on Friday May 19th. I am writing to ask you to reconsider this unfortunate decision and offer the public another movie selection for that week.
This movie (and book) is a disgusting attack against Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Roman Catholic Church. The book’s author hides behind the irrational argument that “it’s only fiction”, yet the first chapter of the book is entitled “Fact”.
The ‘facts’ in this book are an outrage to Catholics and Christians around the world. Here, in Washington with a population that is overwhelmingly Catholic, we are not going to welcome a movie whose premise is that Our Lord and St. Mary Magdalene were married and had offspring.
No, we are not going to welcome such a movie. In fact, we intend to legally and peacefully protest this movie outside of your movie theater in full public view! This protest will be part of a nationwide campaign of America Needs Fatima to have 1000 protests of the DaVinci Code over the full course of days that the movie is offered in theaters.
It is then, with humility that I write you today and ask that you reconsider your decision to show this movie at your theater. The good people of Washington and the surrounding communities are adamantly opposed to the book and movie; deserve the support and respect of their ideals from their local businesses.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
(The was signed and both an email address and mailing address were given)

Have any of you received anything like this? If you have, how do you plan on handling it? I will play the film because despite what the letter, we have talked to many Catholics that have read the book and are eager to see the film. Besides, how could I not play a major blockbuster like this is more than likely going to be?
Thanks.
Linda

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Re: Da Vinci Code Protests 29 Apr 2006 20:27 #20679

  • leeler
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I saw this article and it has me concerned. I still plan on showing it but I REALLY don't want a protest in front of the theater over it. It ain't worth it.
http://movies.yahoo.com/mv/news/ap/20060428/114628356000.html

Vatican official reportedly called for a boycott of the upcoming "The Da Vinci Code" film Friday, saying it contained "slanderous" offenses against Christianity that would have provoked a worldwide revolt had they been directed against Islam or the Holocaust.

Monsignor Angelo Amato Pope Benedict XVI's former No. 2 when Benedict was head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith made the comments in a speech at the Pontifical Holy Cross University, which is run by the conservative Catholic movement Opus Dei, the ANSA news agency reported.

"I hope all of you boycott this film," the Italian agency quoted Amato as saying. He said the film, based on the best-selling novel by Dan Brown, was full of "offenses, slander, historical and theological errors concerning Jesus, the gospel and the church."

"Slander, offenses and errors that if they were directed toward the Quran or the Shoah would have justifiably provoked a worldwide revolt," he said, referring to Islam's holy book and the Hebrew word for Holocaust.

"Yet because they were directed toward the Catholic Church, they remain 'unpunished,'" he said.

Church officials repeatedly have spoken out against the novel and the upcoming film adaptation, which stars Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou and is scheduled for release May 19.

"The Da Vinci Code" contends that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had descendants, and that Opus Dei, which is close to the Vatican, and the Catholic Church were at the center of a cover up.

Last year, Italian Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone Amato's predecessor at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith called for a boycott of the book. And earlier this month, the preacher for the papal household, the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, denounced theories that make huge profits in denying church teaching about Jesus an obvious reference to the film.

However, Opus Dei, which is portrayed as a murderous, power-hungry sect in the novel, has specifically refrained from publicly calling for a boycott of the film, aware that bitter criticism of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" helped generate publicity for the movie.

Opus Dei has, however, asked Sony to put a disclaimer on the movie saying it is a work of fantasy. Sony has not responded to that request but has said it views "The Da Vinci Code" as a work of fiction that isn't meant to harm any organization.

Amato's comments were the second this week against the film by church officials in Rome.

Earlier this week, the Interior Ministry took down an enormous ad promoting the film that was plastered on the scaffolding of a Rome church after church officials complained that the film was against Christ and the Catholic Church.
"What a crazy business"
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Re: Da Vinci Code Protests 30 Apr 2006 20:46 #20680

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My 2 cents:

Haven't read the book, but I'm looking forward to the movie. I'm not Catholic, but I'm a Christian and I think most people would recognize that this is a work of fiction. However, I do know people that believe the theories in this book (and now movie) are completely true because they read them in this book!

I've read that some evangelical Christian groups are promoting the movie as an opportunity to talk to non-Christians about the Christian church and who Christ was. So Christians seem to be split on this film.

If you're in a small town, you might seriously want to consider having some dialouge with your regular patrons if they are angry about this film. Controversial films might temporarily lead to increased attendance, but if you lose the trust of your regular customers it could be bad for the long term.

Incidentally, did anyone complain when you showed "Hostel" or the "The Hills have Eyes?" Disturbingly violent movies like that it seems to me should be more controversial than Tom Hanks thrillers.
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Re: Da Vinci Code Protests 30 Apr 2006 20:55 #20681

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Just remember, they have the right to write the letter and protest the picture and you have the right to show the film. The decision is up to you. Just let's not get into a Catholic, Christian or protestor bashing mode.

Bob Allen
The Old Showman
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re: Da Vinci Code Protests 30 Apr 2006 22:11 #20682

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I have a twin theatre and if you would have asked me 3 months ago if I was playing DaVinci, I would have said yes with no reservation. About a month ago, I bought the book and now have decided not to play this movie. Another problem I have is if I play DaVinci, I won't be able to play Poseidon or X-men on the break. (I am committed to "Over the Hedge". My Sony rep seemed worried about Poseidon and its effect on DaVinci. Pretty interesting stuff.
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Re: Da Vinci Code Protests 30 Apr 2006 23:36 #20683

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We got emails like that when "The Last Temptation" came out. We ran the film, a LOT of people came (and drew their own conclusions), and nobody showed to "protest".

Not that I'd say the same will happen to you, but... you really do have to stay in control of your business. I had people complain when I ran a PG13 on a screen 180 degrees from the one they were watchine "Ice Age 2" on. Their position was that they didn't want to worry about their little Johnny turning his head and getting his fragile psyche squashed.

Gotta love it!

[This message has been edited by rodeojack (edited May 01, 2006).]
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Re: Da Vinci Code Protests 01 May 2006 00:26 #20684

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Yes we heard from this same group. At least the lady caller claimed to represent them. I got the call about six weeks ago. She delivered her spiel, and I thanked her for sharing her opinion. And then told her I would survey our customer base and decide from there.

Our area is also predominantly Catholic. So far I have had nothing but positive responses about playing the DaVinci Code. So we are going ahead with it. Dozens of the customers we talked with have read the book. And are anxious to see it come alive on the big screen with the talent of Director Ron Howard and actor Tom Hanks.

We are also small town and not worried about playing it at all.

My wife finally bought the book and is currently reading it. She tells me it is really good, and now can't wait for the movie. 46 million hardback copies in 44 languages sold. And now that it is out in paperback, it is selling 80,000 to 90,000 a day just in the USA. So there is definitely an audience building. Since those sales are unprecedented for a "grown up" fiction novel. Now add in all the non book readers who still really want to see the movie. And I smell over heating ticket printers.


I just wish the local bookstore and video store got some of the same pressure from these groups. Bookstore owner told me he has had no problems at all. No letters, calls or emails. And the video store owner told me Brokeback, Last Temptation of Christ, Dogma etc. are constantly rented out. Go figure...    Those same movies all had their detractors in their theatrical release periods.

It's just part of the business we have to put up with from time to time. Since we are the local face of Hollywood. I guess they connect us with our big screens more closely to Hollywood than video stores distributing the same product to the public.

Oh well..over the years we have been through Last Temptation, Dogma, Four Harry Potter movies, Passion, Fahrenheit 911, and Brokeback. And were still going strong. And we will get through DaVinci too with no problems.

This will all fade away as it always does a few days after it opens on May 19th. And everything will be back to normal. Until the next one comes along to ruffle someone's feathers......
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Re: Da Vinci Code Protests 01 May 2006 14:21 #20685

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Here is the official "Jesus Decoded" website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
http://www.jesusdecoded.com

"Introduction
By Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco



Causing people to see something they never saw before in a five-hundred-year-old work of art which is among the most famous and reproduced of all time is an accomplishment of genius, if that “something” is a valid new insight. If it is not, then this kind of achievement usually goes by other names.

The Da Vinci Code novel contains a claim that in Leonardo’s mural The Last Supper, which portrays Jesus and his twelve apostles at the meal he took with them on the night before he died, one of the twelve is not the apostle John but actually a woman who is Mary Magdalene.

Forget the Gospel narratives through which Leonardo, like every other Christian, would have known about the Last Supper and which contain no mention of Mary Magdalene; forget the fact that this mural seems to have caused no sensation among the monks whose refectory it decorated and who would have been as likely to recognize a female form then as we are today; forget the many paintings of the Last Supper which show a handsome youth often leaning on Christ’s shoulder or on his chest following the tradition that identified John with the unnamed “beloved disciple” of the fourth Gospel. If such a claim is put between the covers of a book, apparently it merits respectful consideration no matter how absurd.

What this novel does to Leonardo’s Last Supper, it does to Christianity as such. It asks people to consider equivalent to the mainstream Christian tradition quite a few odd claims. Some are merely distortions of hypotheses advanced by serious scholars who do serious research. Others, however, are inaccurate or false..."
http://www.usccbpublishing.org/productdetails.cfm?sku=5-742

"Was Jesus really married to Mary Magdalene? Did the Catholic Church suppress various secret Gospels that "tell the real truth" about Jesus and the early Church? Did Deception and politics determine which books were included and excluded from the Bible?

These are questions that some readers of Dan Brown's best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code are asking. And with the worldwide debut of director Ron Howard's film version of the novel coming in May, many others are certain to be exposed to the sensational claims which call into question fundamental orthodox beliefs about Jesus and the Church. To help separate the Catholic truth from fiction, the Catholic bishops have produced Jesus Decoded, a new hour-long documentary that presents clear and accurate information about the person of Jesus, his disciples, and the formation of the books included in the official canon of the Bible.

Shot on location in Israel, Turkey, and Italy, and making use of an international group of scholars versed in art, history, and Scripture, Jesus Decoded offers a solid Catholic response to "Da Vinci Code believers," concentrating especially on the first three centuries of the development of the Church. The documentary will be distributed to NBC TV stations for broadcast the weekend of May20 and it will be available to purchase on DVD..."




John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
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John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
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Re: Da Vinci Code Protests 04 May 2006 15:00 #20686

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English Catholic group opposes Da Vinci film boycott
http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=entertainmentNews&storyid=2006-05-04T130537Z_01_L04144710_RTRUKOC_0_US-RELIGION-DAVINCI.xml

LONDON (Reuters) - A group of prominent English Roman Catholics is opposing a Vatican call to boycott the film "The Da Vinci Code," saying the movie's release is not a threat but a chance to explain their faith, their spokesman said on Thursday.

A top official close to Pope Benedict has blasted Dan Brown's best-selling book as full of anti-Christian lies and urged Catholics to boycott the new film that is based on it.

But Austin Ivereigh, press secretary for Britain's top Catholic prelate Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, said the English group would propose a different approach in a statement expected shortly.

The signatories include monks, nuns, theologians and members of the Opus Dei group, which is pilloried in the book. Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, is not a signatory.

"We are not calling for boycotts or protests. Our view is that it is up to people to decide if they want to see the film," Ivereigh told Reuters. But he said the film-makers should have made clear the plot is fiction, not fact.

Brown's book, which has sold over 40 million copies, raises the possibility that Jesus had a child by Mary Magdalene, that she fled to France and that Christ's bloodline survives to this day.

"The danger is that by appearing threatened we give the book and the film the theological credence it doesn't have," Ivereigh said.

TRAP

Last month, Archbishop Angelo Amato, the number two official in the Vatican doctrinal office, launched a broadside against the book at a Catholic conference in Rome and said "I hope that you will all boycott the film."

Ivereigh, summarizing the group's recommendations, said: "We don't think it helpful to use the kind of language this Vatican official did because it falls directly into the trap laid by Dan Brown, which is that the Church is defensive because it is engaged in a 2,000-year-old cover-up."

The movie, which stars Tom Hanks and premieres this month at the Cannes film festival, is being released by Sony Pictures division Columbia Pictures. Sony Pictures is the media wing of Japanese electronics giant Sony Corp.

"We see the film's release not as a threat but as an opportunity. We are concerned that the Sony Corporation has refused to include a disclaimer at the beginning of the film making clear it is fiction," Ivereigh said.

"We don't take the book or the film seriously in themselves. But we take the people who read it and see it seriously. Many of them have been taken in by Dan Brown's fiction trading as fact," he added.

In his novel, Brown depicts the conservative Catholic group Opus Dei as a ruthless Machiavellian organization whose members even resort to murder to keep the Church's secrets.

Ivereigh, who is not a member of Opus Dei, said: "This is a good chance for us to explain ourselves and our faith.

"Opus Dei has 200 e-mails a day from people wanting to join. There is no such thing as bad publicity."

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Re: Da Vinci Code Protests 05 May 2006 00:15 #20687

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What i find funny about that last article is where they say the film makers aren't making it clear its a work of fiction...how crazy is that?? theres always disclaimers at the end of films, why do they suddenly need one at the start?? Should they start putting disclaimers at the start of all films just incase someone thinks theyre real?? Surely people these days know that all films are fiction.. even the ones based on true stories have fiction in them to make them more appealing!!
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Re: Da Vinci Code Protests 07 May 2006 10:01 #20688

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Cardinal urges legal action against Da Vinci Code

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - In the latest Vatican broadside against "The Da Vinci Code," a leading cardinal says Christians should respond to the book and film with legal action because both offend Christ and the Church he founded.

Cardinal Francis Arinze, a Nigerian who was considered a candidate for pope last year, made his strong comments in a documentary called "The Da Vinci Code-A Masterful Deception."

Arinze's appeal came some 10 days after another Vatican cardinal called for a boycott of the film. Both cardinals asserted that other religions would never stand for offences against their beliefs and that Christians should get tough.

"Christians must not just sit back and say it is enough for us to forgive and to forget," Arinze said in the documentary made by Rome film maker Mario Biasetti for Rome Reports, a Catholic film agency specializing in religious affairs.

"Sometimes it is our duty to do something practical. So it is not I who will tell all Christians what to do but some know legal means which can be taken in order to get the other person to respect the rights of others," Arinze said.

"This is one of the fundamental human rights: that we should be respected, our religious beliefs respected, and our founder Jesus Christ respected," he said, without elaborating on what legal means he had in mind.

A transcript of the documentary, due to be screened in Rome later this month just before the release of the film version of the best-selling book at the Cannes Film Festival, was made available to Reuters.

The book, written by Dan Brown, has sold more than 40 million copies.

The novel is an international murder mystery centered on attempts to uncover a secret about the life of Christ that a clandestine society has tried to protect for centuries.

The central tenet of the book is that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had children.

BLASPHEMY

"Those who blaspheme Christ and get away with it are exploiting the Christian readiness to forgive and to love even those who insult us. There are some other religions which if you insult their founder they will not be just talking. They will make it painfully clear to you," Arinze said.

This appeared to be a reference to protests by Muslims around the world over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

Last month, another broadside against "The Da Vinci Code" was launched by Archbishop Angelo Amato, the number two official in the Vatican doctrinal office which was headed by Pope Benedict until his election last year.

Amato urged a boycott of the film and Arinze, like his fellow cardinal, also blasted the credibility of the book.

"'The Da Vinci Code' presents (Christianity) wrongly ... any film produced on the basis of that book is already in error from the word go, no matter how interesting it might appear," Arinze said.

Catholic group Opus Dei has told Sony Pictures that putting a disclaimer on the movie stressing it is a work of fiction would be a welcome show of respect toward the Church.

In the novel and film, Opus Dei is characterized as the latest in a series of secretive groups that worked over the centuries to obscure truths about Jesus Christ.

Opus Dei is a controversial conservative Church group whose members are mostly non-clerics and are urged to seek holiness in their everyday professional jobs and lives. It has rejected criticisms that it is secretive and elitist.

The movie, which is being released by Sony Pictures division Columbia Pictures, stars Tom Hanks. Sony Pictures is the media wing of Japanese electronics giant Sony Corp.

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Re: Da Vinci Code Protests 17 May 2006 22:16 #20689

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Haven't seen the movie. But I read the book when it was still in hardcover and I hated it.

From everything I'd been hearing about it, I was expecting a densely-plotted, intelligent thriller -- the kind of thing Umberto Eco used to write. But I was soooo disappointed. It was trash, the kind of thing you buy at an airport newsstand and throw away when you get home. There is not a single original idea in "The Da Vinci Code".

But these boycotts and protests are starting to really annoy me. I'm not an idiot, I know it's fiction. What's all the shootin' for? Who are these people? What makes them think they should "save" me from some stupid movie starring Tom Hanks?
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Re: Da Vinci Code Protests 21 May 2006 08:07 #20690

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Update now that Da Vinci has opened.
We were one of 8 theaters in the St. Louis area targeted for this protest. Friday night about 10 people were across the highway with banners that were too wordy and small to be read. They stood in a line and were gone by dark. Last night there were about 7. They are supposed to be back next weekend. But for all my worry about how best to handle something like this, it was pretty much a non-event or at least had no major impact on our business. In fact a lot of the people who came to see it said they were going to see it twice just because of it so ultimately, it may help.
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Re: Da Vinci Code Protests 21 May 2006 12:22 #20691

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Protests and boycotts of movies and literature never work. They always end up feeding the media hype. Causing people to want to check out the "controversy" themselves. Instead of someone telling them what to watch and what not to watch. We had customers telling us they came to see what they were being told not to see.


We also had them show up around 4 or 5 pm Fri and Sat and leave before dark. Which was a good move since they had kids with them out along the highway.

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Re: Da Vinci Code Protests 02 Jun 2006 12:49 #20692

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As the saying goes, "Any publicity is good publicity". This is certainly true for exhibitioners. I would welcome any controversial film in the future.
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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