Film/TV Dec 9, 2010 at 4:00 am

The Chronicles of Narnia Made Me an Atheist


Sounds annoying, makes me think of Del Toro's "The Orphanage" which I watched recently, which had a similar anti-science feel to it in parts that I was a bit disappointed to see. Also, maybe allegories don't work in film (I'm thinking Avatar).
Lindy... I'm confused.. on your review of that steaming piece of crap Harry Potter movie you were like, look, I know this is shit, but I loved the books so... and this Narnia crap... like if it's sci-fi and you liked the books you don't slam it totally... what is it???
i also loved the books as a kid (and still re-read them once in a while), and despite growing up in a pretty churchy house, the jesus stuff went right over my head. i felt that the first two movies handled the jesus story very like the books: the similarities to the gospel are there, if you want to see them, but the story is perfectly whole without the connection to the bible. the dawn treader was less like gospel story, though, and more like a series of parables (don't be so vain or greedy or mean you are no good to the other people in this world). and isn't that a huge part of children's stories? teaching them lessons about how to be a decent human being? i haven't seen the movie yet, but as long as they're not all like, "jesus died for your sins, so say this magic prayer, and you'll get to live with him in heaven after you die," and the bit about knowing aslan by another name is loose enough that it can be interpreted to mean jesus, or the earth mother, or hard work and family love, or whatever, i think that's just fine.
CS Lewis also wrote a great Science Fiction/Fantasy trilogy "Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength, that had some religious overtones, but worked them in without being annoying. I actually liked the trilogy more than the Narnia books.
i also loved the books when i was a kid, and continued to like them even after the christian symbolism (and dissing islam in his portrayal of calormen) became apparent to me.

many years later i realized that as much as c.s. lewis was trying to be christian, he also had a pagan streak -- magick, tree and river spirits, fauns dancing in the moonlight, intelligent animals.....

Many children's books are allegories for other things and usually that comparison is lost on the young. For example, Alice in Wonderland was an allegory to teach algebraic concepts. The great children's stories (HP, Narnia and Alice included) teach the moral lessons that exist in all cultures, incite imagination and aren't so heavy handed that they break the storybook world illusion. What was wrong with this movie (and what I don't remember from the book) is what Lindy was referring to, the heavy handedness of the message. (Clearly it was intended as Lewis wrote tracts which are for purchase in every Church of England outlet, Cathedrals and the like) I went to the movie with 2 10 year olds and and 8 year old. They liked it. They weren't amazed, but entertained throughout. They didn't catch the overdone message, they mostly liked the magical characters and battles. Adults have a very different experience.
I'll take the BBC adaptation, thank you. Hoaky, eighties-cartoon special effects, ridiculous costumes and excellent, earnest acting without the need for splashy CGI or overt Christiness.
"If C. S. Lewis was aiming for indoctrination, he failed spectacularly. All I learned from Narnia is that the Bible is just another fairy tale."

He was, and you're right. This is the main reason that C.S Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien had a major falling out. Tolkien was against using fantasy as a christian allegory because he was afraid that would happen.

It did.

Long live Lord of the Rings!
As a kid, I only got as far as this book, and quit the series with this one because it was so boring. All I remember is a lot of wistful staring over he ship's rail down at the water, going on for pages and pages and pages...

Also, what's the lady from the Eurythmics doing acting? When did that start?

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