Newsbites: The controversy edition!

Lawsuits and elections and marketing, oh my!

1. Stephen Harper, who may or may not be re-elected Prime Minister when Canadians go to the polls on Tuesday, has pulled the plug on a controversial clause in Bill C-10 that would have allowed the government to deny tax credits to Canadian films for their “morally offensive” content. (Many critics had noted that the clause, which would have denied the credits to those films after the films had already been made, would have made it incredibly difficult to arrange financing for Canadian films before they were made, and thus could have had a radically destabilizing influence on the industry as a whole.) Filmmakers have welcomed the news, of course, and Harper’s decision to abandon this clause has been interpreted by some as “a major blow to the religious right”, because a number of social conservatives, notably Charles McVety, had spoken in favour of the clause and had even taken credit for its inclusion in the bill in the first place. — Globe and Mail, Canadian Press, Hollywood Reporter, Variety

2. Yoko Ono has dropped her lawsuit against the makers of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed — but just to be safe, the DVD version that comes out in two weeks will not feature the John Lennon song that prompted the lawsuit in the first place. — Reuters

3. Religulous is attracting laughter and applause, but some observers think it is merely “preaching to the choir.” In other news, one Christian blogger notes that the studio distributing the film, i.e. Lionsgate, is also the studio that sells Lee Strobel’s The Case for Faith: The Film on DVD, and it is involved with other films that have a faith-based connection, as well. So, yeah, as with many businesses, so here: it’s the money-making potential, and not the philosophy of any given product, that matters to the company in the end. — Reuters, Christians in Cinema

4. Speaking of Lionsgate, the studio is also distributing a horror movie called House — which is not to be confused with the 1986 film of that name. The new film, which comes out November 7, is based on a novel by Christian author Ted Dekker, but it is also rated R — so the studio is reportedly uncertain how to go about marketing the film. Should it go for the Christian base, or should it try to reel in regular horror fans? You might think that The Passion of the Christ (2004) had proved that Christians can be open to seeing R-rated movies with a religious component, but apparently the studio isn’t convinced. — Ted Dekker

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08741378159534413277 Magnus

    Good news about c-10, now if they only decide to pull the plug on those other lame bills they have proposed.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09704192471871576100 Lisa

    I think that House the movie will be a click on November 7. I’m a fan of both authors, read some of their books, unfortunately I haven’t read House yet (too busy right now). There are lots of people waiting for the showing of this film in theaters, the schedule has been changed several times (I think this is the final date but better check their official website, http://housethemovie.net )

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09704192471871576100 Lisa

    I’ve seen the movie ,House and I liked it! The film is awesome with such casts. The scenes are pretty creepy! I also like the performance of Michael Madsen as well as Bill Moseley.

    You’ve got to see this movie guys, I know you’ll love it as much as I do. :)


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