Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Real Da Vinci Conspiracy?

A number of church organisations have been saying they welcome the opportunity to clarify any public confusion about their actual role, to counter the idea they are involved in cover-ups. See for example, this brand new post-premiere church-run site. There has been some suspicion by press commentators the studio was cultivating this kind of controversy in order to get free media coverage in the form of church protests in the press. Now, an in-depth feature in The New Yorker confirms that a writer in this field was approached by the studio to help promote such controversy. The studio, mindful of the PR ‘nightmare’ of Scorsese’s 1988 The Last Temptation of Christ, was reportedly involved in setting up a website in February 2006 with essays by church representatives, The Da Vinci Dialogue, in order to co-opt protests, and get Christians to “engage” with the film (which would mean seeing it rather than boycotting it). In the event, even Opus Dei adopted the idea of engagement, seeing the DVC publicity as a marketing opportunity for themselves, and abandoning plans to sue Dan Brown and Sony Pictures (They have since almost been overwhelmed by enquiries about joining the order, which does practice some "corporal mortification" but has no monks.)