Skip to comments.Da Vinci Code to be filmed in Cathedral
Posted on 08/16/2005 3:32:37 PM PDT by blues-train
When he walks on to a movie set, he usually gets star treatment. But as Tom Hanks arrived at Lincoln Cathedral yesterday, he found himself somewhat upstaged. A handful of protesters were making their feelings known about the decision to film scenes from The Da Vinci Code in the historic building. Led by a Catholic nun, Sister Mary Michael, they claimed the movie, based on the bestselling novel by Dan Brown, should be filmed elsewhere. She led a 12-hour prayer vigil to push the message home. The controversial thriller is the story of a Vatican conspiracy to suppress the supposed marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. And despite the dean of Lincoln Cathedral branding the book 'a load of old tosh' he has agreed to let the movie be filmed there. He and the church authorities said yes after the producers donated £100,000 to the coffers.
Parts of its interior will serve as a double for Westminster Abbey, where church authorities refused to take part. Other locations include the Louvre in Paris, Winchester Cathedral and Rosslyn Chapel, near Edinburgh.
Yesterday Hanks, 49, who plays the hero, university lecturer Robert Langdon, was driven the few dozen yards from his hotel to the cathedral.
He quickly disappeared inside the building with director Ron Howard and co-star Sir Ian McKellen.
Sister Mary Michael, 61, said afterwards: 'I just don't think it's right that they are filming this story here.
'I know the bishop and dean argue it is fiction - and it might even be brilliant fiction - but it is against the very essence of what we believe.'
The Da Vinci Code, which has sold 17 million copies in 42 languages, has provoked controversy with its questioning of Christian doctrine. Around 200 crew will work on the scenes in Lincoln, which are expected to take five days to complete and are the first to be shot in Britain.
The cathedral will be closed to tourists for two days. Yesterday staff handed printed apologies to visitors who were turned away.
The dean of the cathedral, the Very Reverend Alec Knight, said it was right to allow filming to take place there.
'It is a huge opportunity in secular terms,' he said.
'We thought about the film company's offer very carefully, both from the point of view of disruption and also because of the text of the book itself.
'We are not often given an opportunity to enter such an arena, and this was an opportunity we needed to take in order to preach the Gospel.
'It would be very good for the cathedral, the city and the county.
'The Da Vinci Code is a load of old tosh. I have been a school chaplain, and these are the sort of things fifthformers try to trip you up with.
'But if people come here because of it then we have to look at what they go away with.'
It's an Anglican Cathedral isn't it?
Sister Mary needs some financial support to start a loooong novena that lasts Forever... Praying about the Da Vinci Code might actually do some good in terms of how the movie actually ends up on film and on the silver screen.
these question have plagued christianity for near all 2000 of its years....I have seen at least 2, 2 hour shows on cable TV and they both, in the end, debunked it as unprovable.
but for harmless entertainment.....so what.
Perhaps, Sister, but the dean believes quite highly in the power of gold. As if it hasn't been said a dozen times, the story is fiction so don't know why so many are freaking out over it. If anything, it might have more people thinking and cracking the cover of their dusty Bibles to check references. The church should view that as a positive, unless they'd rather people not start thinking.
That said, I can't wait to see the movie. I've not given my gold to Hollyweird in many years, but I just might when this one comes out.
I do not believe this is a Catholic cathedral even though all the stories seem to make one believe that it is.
This is a "state sponsored religion" edifice. A good example of Grmasci's direction on how to destroy Christianity:
"Religious sentiment cannot be destroyed through legislation, as Lenin believed, but must be redirected from the divine to the state"
Or in plain English make the state the religion.
England lost the cold war to the soviets, the dnc radicals here in the USA are still trying to help the soviets (or their survivors) win.
Curious Anglican news.
this is so sad. To let them film this tripe in a church is a travesty.
The book's writer claims it is a fictional story but the "facts" about Jesus in it are true.
I have no dog in this fight, but it's curious why people keep saying "It's a novel, what's your problem?" It is a novel, but the claims it makes are taken seriously by a large number of people. Spreading BS is something this agnostic takes seriously, and if you talk to many people about the book you will find some scary folks who think the book's sloppy research is all accurate.
My sentiments exactly.
Brown was taken in by a story constructed by mere conjurers. Priory of Sion as historical fact? Thirty or forty years perhaps. What nonsense. And he has sullied the good name of Opus Dei. Libelous!
Everyone I know suggested that I read this book (my interest in Grail stories, among other reasons), and I found it, and pronounce it here to be utter rubbish. His other books are just dreadful.
The real story is that it is a rock, not a chalice, and from it all good things come.
"I have no dog in this fight, but it's curious why people keep saying "It's a novel, what's your problem?" It is a novel, but the claims it makes are taken seriously by a large number of people. Spreading BS is something this agnostic takes seriously, and if you talk to many people about the book you will find some scary folks who think the book's sloppy research is all accurate."
I too have no dog in this fight, but isn't making a big deal about this similar to the Muslims getting all bent out of shape over Salman Rushdie, sans death threats?
She should move into the ditch across from Hanks house.
To let them film this tripe in a church - a church building, in my humble opinion, the people are the church, not the brick and mortar
I don't think people saying they oppose the position the author takes is "making a big deal" about it. The author makes claims he says are "the truth", while Rushdie claimed all along he was merely inventing a fiction spun off the inspirational work. So no, I don't see anything similar between the two cases, unless you're saying that everytime someone criticizes a claim someone makes, that's similar to the Muslim situation with SV, sans death threats.
I don't see how Sr Mary is going to have much of an effect on things considering that the cathedral is Anglican, not Catholic. I also am rather ambivalent about these kinds of protests that religious people stage against offensive movies, books, and plays. It seems that in the end the controversy just provides more publicity for the movie and the movie makes more money. Maybe we Catholics would be better off if we just ignored this trash.
On the other hand, it is disturbing how many people who read the DaVinci Code do not think it is complete fiction. Considering how anti-Catholic the book is, this is troublesome. Who knows how many people will become more disillusioned or hateful towards the Church because they think the garbage in this book really happened? Also, even though most readers of the DaVinci Code realize it is total fantasy, I have to admit that I find it disappointing that a book that slanders Christ has become so wildly popular.
You are wholly right. Wholly.
And this is the central problem with arts today, especially commercial arts. People do sit up and take notice, and in many cases take arts seriously.
Moreover, the artists are given a forum to air their wild assertions, and never called out for it. Our commercial culture has athletic arts, comedic and improvisational arts, performance arts etc., etc., as well as the fine arts. And all these artists seek attention and avenues to vent their foolish opinions.
VD Hanson wrote that today's artists are in possession of no learning, that no real scholarship furthers what natural gifts they possess. And this is the real problem: absence of moral taste and judgement. Their arts are entertaining, and they are indeed arts, but these have no place except in the shadow of great art.
I agree. The arts in general are more about pushing agendas--that's replaced the artistic impulse, it seems to me. Art is NOT a decorated version of some ideology--it CAN be an EXPRESSION of one's personal ideology. But when one looks at the junkyard of post-modern art, it's a collection of poses, reinforcing the politics of the artists and their intended audience. REAL art challenges, not necessarily on the political level--can anyone seriously say that the art patrons and lovers in NYC galleries are looking at work that CHALLENGES their liberal viewpoints? No--they're looking at billboards spouting their already-held points of view.
As for DaVinci Code, whatever my religious beliefs, a book that's an expression of the writer's beliefs is just fine--pro- or anti-religion. What I can't stand, though, are writers who claim their assertions are based on fact when they are based on some of the shoddiest research around. The book has been ripped apart on every conceivable level--the historical, artistic, and religious "facts" the author stands by have been laughed at and debunked in every legit (and non-Christian) forum I've seen--even the New York Times, no friend to religion, has shredded the writer's veracity.
I like honesty; I enjoy junk entertainment. But I can't stand junk entertainment posing as the truth.
Dan Brown's purpose was to fool the gullible by writing extremely "well researched" fiction. The popularity of his books stem partly the "non-fiction" elements.
If Shakespeare is known to have written his plays in an attempt to re-write history and fool the gullible, then he's just as bad as Dan Brown. Did he do this? Please post a link if you have one.
I'm reading a book by Orson Scott Card called "Red Prophet". In this book, Governor Harrison from the late 1700s is made into a terrific monster of a human being. Orson Scott Card specifically cites that he was never such a monster as portrayed in his book. So, when I read the book, I'm not lied to - it was pure story telling on Card's part and will never be confused with real, actual research.
Interesting data on Shakespeare. Since I don't have loads of time to research it myself, I'll give you the Dan Brown treatment and take your word for it.
I notice you refer to Oliver Stone's work as a "hatchet job". That's not a nice thing to say, and it implies that you don't appreciate his slanted work. Could it be that you have a problem with lies portrayed as facts in your movies? How do you feel about the Last Temptation of Christ?
Anything for a buck.
"based on some of the shoddiest research around"
Of course, that's the only way one can assess art, from their own ideological position. But this IS the place for ideology.
I believe it's old enough to have been Catholic at one time.
It kind of bothers me that so many profane movies are filmed in Catholic churches in America. There is kind of a disconnect there, even though there was a tv series I enjoyed immensely about a priest/detective type, and the interior of the church was beautiful.
On the other hand, what do they want when they want to do a piece on religion? A Methodist church? No, they like the backdrop of the Catholic churches, probably because of their beauty until the wreckovators took over. It's usually the traditional look they seek out.
Ironic isn't it?
Asset forfeiture of property owned by an organization planning a criminal enterprize, namely the overthrow and murder of the English Head of State,
Commercial criticism is of little or no value.
Real criticism requires vast learning, and genuine scholarship.
And real scholars won't visit the nonsense broadly termed art because, quite simply, it won't repay scholarly exegesis.
Film criticism can be just as scholarly as any other. You just have to know where to look for it.
Frank Kermode wrote in his great book "The Genesis of Secrecy" that great art is that which will indefinitely continue to repay scholarly examination.
I believe that there are few criteria by which these admittedly emerging arts are judged. Now, they may take time and some may yet arrive as worthy, but we are very early in the cycle.
But I would also say that the New York Times should know better: that little of this emerging 'tosh' is likely to be of real value. And yet they gush over one lesser piece after another. After all, if we're to dismiss 'Gerontion' or 'Burbank' from Eliot's work for its lack of moral taste and judgment, then little of the filmic media you would celebrate is likely to survive the rigor and discipline a great scholar would impose.
So, you might like to put down the Roger Ebert and Frank Rich, and pause before you pronounce standards that have been established by men like Kermode, and Raleigh, and Gardner, even with a newly minted Master of Arts.
At any given time most of anything is bad. The best however does survive. For example Hitchcock's Vertigo is among the high points of 20th century Art in general. Ebert and Rich weren't what I had in mind. Though both have their moments. I was thinking more along the lines of Andre Bazin who's contributions to critical writing stand with Dr. Johnson and Edmund Wilson. Bazin wrote about film. Lest you think I'm defending the pulp novel this thread is about. :-)