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angelsanddemonsposter.jpgThis weekend, Terrence Rafferty of The New York Times looks at the tension that flares up whenever faith and cinema clash–“The awful thing about these religious-movie dust-ups is that there’s no resolving them to anybody’s satisfaction, either believers’ or nonbelievers'”–and argues, in his article, “Separation of Church and Film,” that movies like “Angels & Demons” and “The Da Vinci Code” have nothing to do with religion at all:
“Mr. Brown’s preposterous, cleverly plotted books are about the Roman Catholic Church as an institution, one that has been for many centuries extremely powerful and, at times, fearsomely secretive — and any institution that keeps too many secrets is going to generate conspiracy theories, some plausible, some (the best-selling kind) lurid….The climax [of “Angels & Demons”] involves jumping out of the papal helicopter without a parachute: talk about a leap of faith. That is just about the only act of faith depicted with any conviction in the novel, despite Mr. Brown’s occasional attempts to convince his readers that he has something to say about the conflict between religion and reason. As with most fiction writers and filmmakers, what Coleridge called “willing suspension of disbelief” is of far more urgent importance than any question of spiritual belief, and there’s no sense getting your cassock in a twist about that; it’s in the nature of storytelling, deep as original sin.”
What do you think of Rafferty’s take on Dan Brown’s books and their subsequent films? I for one, am excited to see an advance screening of “Angels & Demons” on Monday in NYC. Review to follow! I’m always up for a good thriller, religious or otherwise.

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