Friday, February 26, 2010

Why isn’t the Vatican also suing for the film’s portrayal of the destruction of … the Vatican?

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Christ the Redeemer statue (Rio del Janeiro) destroyed in ‘2012’
They gonna sue me next for using the shot as a post pic?

I’m either too tired or lazy to come up with anything particularly substantive to say about this, other than … *sigh*. Brazil’ Catholic Church is suing Hollywood for the portrayal of their beloved Rio de Janeiro Jesus monument in 2012. As if they weren’t inane enough already.

Brazil's Catholic Church is suing Hollywood for using unauthorised images of Rio de Janeiro's famous Christ statue in its disaster movie 2012.

The city's archdiocese is demanding unspecified damages and interest from Columbia Pictures for showing the iconic landmark being destroyed in a worldwide apocalypse in the film that came out last year.


Lawyer Claudine Dutra says the archdiocese allows use of images of the statue "in 99 per cent of cases".

But it turned down the film studio's request to show the statue being destroyed by a giant wave.

"The archdiocese refused the use of the religious symbol during pre-production of the movie, but Columbia Pictures did not respect the prohibition," Ms Dutra said.

Ms Dutra added that "many faithful have said they are shocked and offended by the images of the destruction of this sanctuary that the archdiocese wanted to preserve".

"We want Columbia Pictures to publicly declare that it did not intend to cause offence."

So … their complaint, other than that the film-makers used the iconic statue against their will (which is ridiculous enough in itself), is that they showed it getting destroyed in the film – thus shocking and offending some people?

There’s so much silliness loaded into this issue that it’s a pain to even try and parse. First of all, the statue being copyrighted or not is utterly irrelevant. It’s a bloody landmark, there for any and all to see any time they want. If a film features some shots of it (and 2012 only featured it for about 5–10 seconds, tops, if memory serves), to complain about it would basically be establishing a precedent expecting every other film-makers that ever caught a glimpse of the monument in their works without explicit authorization to apologize or pay up as well. It’s completely silly.

Of course, this “unauthorized images” stuff is just an obvious excuse to try and shroud the real reason why they’re bringing this up: because people got their feelings hurt. You know, by watching a religious monument get destroyed. In a disaster movie. Where the entire world comes to an end. (Thereby presumably destroying every single other religious relic that ever existed.) The hypocrisy here is just absurd. For crying out loud, the film depicts the greatest of Catholic icons, the freaking Vatican itself, crumbling to pieces and crushing hundreds of people beneath it to death. Curiously, no-one seems to be whining about that. (Though, that’s probably just because I haven’t heard of Bill “Whining Jackass” Donohue’s reaction to the film, yet.)

Frankly, the fact that religious pearl-clutchers got their panties in a twist over a disaster movie depicting one of their beloved structures get pulverized can only mean one thing: we need more disaster movies destroying precious religious icons. Not only to amuse ourselves at seeing the whiners go red in the face, but also to show them how incredibly silly they’re being. It wasn’t a bloody attack on their faith or anything of it; the point of the (very short) scene was to show a beloved and well-known landmark destroyed by the natural cataclysm destroying the planet. (In a fictional end-of-days film, as if this point hadn’t been hammered home enough already.)

(via @religionnews)