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New Movie an Anti-Religion Screed


According to the October 2 issue of Entertainment Weekly, advertising for The Invention of Lying, the new film from comedian Ricky Gervais, carefully conceals the atheistic subject matter of the movie. Writer Adam Markovitz explained that in the film, set in a world where everyone tells the truth, "The people...have no concept of heaven, faith, or God- until Gervais’ character fabricates ‘the man in the sky’ to placate them.’"

Markovitz observed, "What you don’t know- thanks to a carefully crafted marketing campaign- is the movie’s actual subject: religion." (The film’s distributors are Universal and Warner Bros.) The EW article quotes Gervais, who is himself a non-believer, insisting that the film is "not atheist propaganda."
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Anonymous said...

Having read the link, I'm with Gervais on this one. Creating an alternate world with no religion is perfectly legit, imaginatively speaking. It's just a comedy guys--don't become the Catholic weirdos who object to every tiny thing that isn't explicitly religious and Catholic.

--Elizabeth B.

Renee said...

I'm going to concur with Elizabeth. The movie was filmed, where I live, in Lowell Massachusetts. It had a lot of coverage of the plot line. I would rather see it as a positive, with Gervais adding the issue of belief systems into the movie. It's a good discussion starter. Lying and sin, understand God and why we understand to believe Him. A good lesson on how to speak the truth with charity.

Matt said...

My God, the movie has so much funding that the studio can afford to send PR guys to a blog?

The movie seems to indicate that belief in God is continued only because we lie about it. That the Truth would mean that everything we hold sacred and Holy is a lie. Or that religious belief can only come about as a lie.

And the above would have us simply smile nod and say "That's fine!"

Screw that. I'm not going to watch this trash. If I need more atheist propaganda shoved down my neck I'll just watch some reality tv show.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'll have to contact the people who made the movie and let them know I'm in their employ so I can get a paycheck! No, I'm not a "PR guy" for the film. I'm a Catholic stay at home mom of two going on three who happens to disagree with the way you're using the words "screed" and "propaganda." I haven't seen the movie, so I don't know if it's trash or not. It might be. It might also be propaganda--but again, I haven't SEEN it. That's the thing about art. You can't make an informed or accurate judgment of a work of art unless you experience it. Generally speaking, secondhand accounts are not sufficient. Now movies are not generally high art, but nevertheless I think critical thinking and fairness apply to movies as well.

Using the standards by which you're judging this movie, you'd have to say that The Silmarillion encourages paganism by imaginatively positing the existence of angelic beings or "gods" who helped to shape creation. Wow, Tolkien was just writing a paganistic screed! And that's a lot easier to say if you haven't read the book. I'm not saying that Gervais is an artist in the same way that Tolkien is, I'm just using that by way of analogy to demonstrate that you cannot judge a book or movie by taking one aspect of its premise and running with it, without consideration of the whole thing.

--Elizabeth B.

Anonymous said...

How about not going to movies at all? Hollywood is just a bunch of narcissistic child rape supporters, anyway.

William said...

I'm going to have to side with Matt on this one, Elizabeth.

Presenting a world where you can create a religion by "talking about it" is ultimately too insulting to the Catholic faith for me to endure the attempt of it "entertaining me."

The Truth is the Truth no matter what I believe and creating a world where no Truth exists yet it's still our world and oh look how hillarious people are desperate to believe in something? Pass.

Renee said...

The liberal Boston Globe didn't like it in their review. Just saying, if interested.

MC said...

"Holy" is a word that only has the meaning assigned to it by religious zealots and folks who somehow can follow them without questioning the absurdities. If by "holy" you mean everything that's kind, selfless, generous, etc. - these are properties of humanity, not religion, and especially not only *your* religion whatever it may be.

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