The latest movie in vampire saga Twilight is a ‘deviant moral vacuum’, the Vatican said yesterday.
New Moon, which opens in Britain today, is a ‘mixture of excesses aimed at young people and gives a heavy esoteric element’, a spokesman added.
The blockbuster opened on Wednesday in Italy and took £1.8million at the box office.
Monsignor Franco Perazzolo, of the Pontifical Council of Culture, said: ‘Men and women are transformed with horrible masks and it is once again that age-old trick or ideal formula of using extremes to make an impact at the box office.’
Huh? “Deviant moral vacuum” for a series that gets mocked because of the lack of premarital sex among its youthful characters? And I’m not entirely sure what “heavy esoteric element” means or why it would be a reason to condemn a movie. After all, the Vatican (as far as I can tell) had nothing to say about “2012” which actually depicts the violent death of the Pope and the rest of the Catholic Church leadership, along with hundreds of people being crushed by the collapse of St. Paul’s Basilica. Given all the films that are out there, with plenty of morally objectionable content, why would the Vatican choose to unload on “New Moon” of all things?
Then it hit me: the Volturi.
For those of you who haven’t read the series/seen the films, the Volturi are in effect the global rulers of all vampires and the only ones who can and do enforce (via death) a small set of rules — intended to keep the existence of vampires a secret — upon other vampires.
And, by the way, the Volturi live in Italy, where they rule from a large secret domed chamber. And they sit in throne-like chairs wearing formal antique clothing (see photo above).
Now, I don’t think that Stephenie Meyer had the Catholic Church in mind (at least, not consciously) when she invented the Volturi. The Volturi don’t act like religious leaders, and they don’t live in Rome but rather in Volterra (an actual small ancient town in the Tuscany region of Italy). But I suspect that someone at the Vatican saw the film, drew certain inferences, and was not happy, particularly given Meyer’s well-publicized LDS (Mormon) background. I also strongly suspect that if the Volturi had lived somewhere other than Italy that the Vatican would have had nothing to say about the film. ..bruce..
P.S. The movie itself? Meh. Better done than the first one, but the first 30-45 minutes seemed to drag. On the other hand, the 2nd book was the weakest of the four.