"Constantine" Director Francis Lawrence should pay closer attention.

Listen to Constantine director Francis Lawrence.

Mixing religious themes with a comic book sensibility, were you worried about how it might be received by the hardcore Christian audience in America?

I wasn’t worried. I thought it was going to be more offensive than it has been. What’s been really weird is that once the movie was finished we were showing it to religious press and they’ve actually kind of embraced it, because they see a guy struggling with his faith and the battle between good and evil and the redemption. And what they aren’t seeing are some of the jabs we’ve made at the Christian right, with characters like Gabriel in the movie. It’s been fascinating – I thought they’d be much more offended than they are.

First, he thinks the religious press embraced Constantine? Uh, Mr. Lawrence, you might want to look again at what Christian press critics said about the film. Some are willing to accept certain aspects of it. But overall?

Then he says that we missed the jabs thrown at the Christian right. Uh, no we didn’t. They were painfully obvious. And those who missed them learned about them when a sneering Tilda Swinton bragged about them in The New York Times before the movie even opened.

Once again, someone’s assuming Christians have their heads buried in the sand. Perhaps the reason they don’t see the truth of the matter is that their OWN heads are buried in something or other.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.

  • jeremy

    Jeffrey, while your spring cleaning, you might want to reconsider your google ads. I understand having to recoop some of your costs, but I just saw a google single ad on the blog that said “Sexy guys & sexy girls”.

    Thanks

  • aimee

    I just spotted the post regarding the Haruki Murakami piece by Adam Walter. Wow!! I am really anticipating seeing this. Now if only some clever genius would put “Hardboiled Wonderland” on film.

    http://www.foxfires.com

  • Thom

    Huh. He’s shocked. I thought they toned a lot of the most controversial stuff way down (or took them out of the story completely).

    Gabriel was far more arrogant under Ennis’ pen. Constantine less sympathetic. I was surprised at how much less “antagonistic” the film was to faith than the comic which inspired it.

    If his hope was really to offend, he should have stayed moer true to the comic.

    I’ve found when you go out of your way to offend, you don’t cause near the stir as the folks who stumble into it.


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