Thursday, August 7, 2008

Barb Nicolosi on Brideshead Revisited

The Key recently printed a negative review of the new film adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's masterpiece novel, Brideshead Revisited. I wished at print time that a more negative review was available.

The book and the original, faithful and gorgeously produced BBC film adaptation are two of the most beautiful instances of 20th Century Catholic imagination. I've read the book and seen all 11 hours of the BBC production a number of times. Nearly everyone I know who's been introduced to either has fallen in love with them, regardless of their original position on the Catholic faith.

Perhaps because the novel and original film production speak so effectively to modern man, the devil figured it needed to be remade - and so it was. Barb Nicolosi sums up the deceitfulness of the Julian Jarrold's new screen adaptation, screen-written by anti-Catholic Andrew Davies,
"Imagine if someone did a new adaptation of
To Kill a Mockingbird and it ended up savagely racist? That's what they've done here. A profoundly Catholic novel, in this 'adaptation', Brideshead Revisited is viciously anti-Catholic."

You can read her full post here.

Barb has a number of other very interesting recent posts on her blog as well.

I'm often asked why The Key prints positive reviews of films containing vulgarity. Barb was asked a related question recently (emphases mine):

HG: How can Christians get beyond curse word counting and overtly pious themes to determine if the message of a movie is Christian or not?

Christians need to view movies and television with a sense of context. That is, when considering a movie or television show, the questions need to be who is this show for, and what here is true? And then, what is there in this show that is a sign of the times that I can use as a means to talk to people about the Gospel? Too many Christians are not even reading the signs of the times. We are so engaged in ducking and running, and wishing we lived back in the 1830s. No, this is our time. This moment with its post-modern confusion, with its 24 hour chattering news cycle, its post-Sexual Revolution cynicism and vulgarity, and with the incipient sloth which is the ultimate gift of all our modern conveniences.

Christians need to grow up and understand that this is a very dark world which is locked in a high stakes struggle. What I mean by that is, we have people on one side thinking homosexuals can make a marriage, and scientists over there are experimenting on baby humans, and folks over there are wanting to euthanize grandma. This is not a moment in which a Precious Moments style message and apostolic approach is going to help anything. Christians should be the ultimate realists who are not shocked by the ravages of sin. An old nun once said to me, "Only fools are scandalized." The Scriptures say that Jesus knew what was in the heart of man, and so must we if we are going to tell stories that will lead people to compunction, and then grace.