“Deviant Message” of the Twilight Series?

According to this report, Monsignor Franco Perazzolo of the Pontifical Council of Culture has said that the film of Stephanie Meyer’s New Moon “is nothing more than a moral vacuum with a deviant message and as such should be of concern.”

I wonder if Mons. Perazzolo has read the books? Cathy and I haven’t seen the film yet (any offers of baby sitters?), so we can’t comment on the “moral vacuum” of the cinematic adaption, but to desribe the books as “a moral vacuum” would be to overlook the very positive marriage and pro-life message that Ms Meyer has incorporated into her novels – albeit in a very unusual manner. Many critics have in fact commented on the very strict (Mormon?) morals that come through her writing. Is it perhaps just the fact that the film has vampires and werewolves in it that bothers the good Monsignor?

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7 responses to ““Deviant Message” of the Twilight Series?

  1. Kiran

    Well, I don’t know. It has been pointed out that the heroine is hardly a model for women… One could also point to the strictures against suicide… I read a sick-making article on the weekend about twilight moms. So, I think he is entirely right. District 9, I thought, was a very clever pro-life film. I can’t say as much for anything else that has come out this year.

  2. Kyle

    I saw the first film but haven’t seen the second nor read the books. Perhaps the second film is different but I thought the message in the first film was outstanding. It praised the self-restraint of Edward, who had to constantly deny his thirst for blood and sexual desires. His love for Bella was totally romantic but at the same time chaste. Nowadays I think that depiction of love is very important. Secondly, there is a strong pro-life message. Here is a family of vampires who all refuse to kill because the hold dearly to the dignity of each life. No matter how tempting it is to kill, they constantly restrain themselves. Its moral clarity on this point is praiseworthy.

    Maybe it is just the presence of the occult that worries the monsignor. Not only are there vampires and werewolves but these people possess psychic powers. They can read minds and see the future. The first movie did tend to glamorise these powers. But, I think that can be justified in the name of entertainment. Would anyone condemn Shakespeare’s The Tempest just because the heroines use magic?

    • I agree. That’s my take on it, Kyle.

    • Shan

      I respectfully disagree.

      Disregarding their appearances, Edward has several decades on Bella and yet he attends high school after high school for what end? To ogle youngsters who stir up feelings in him that he won’t sate. That’s like an alcoholic working at a brewery; ignoble and stupid.

      He avoids Bella because he fears that he will consume her. And this is expressed in Twilight by his stalking of her – he even enters her house and watches her sleep. This isn’t restraint, its limit setting. Rather than being love, this is an expression of the mentality of “how far is too far?”

      Bella meanwhile doesn’t see the danger that Edward – an undead voyeur with a [blood] drinking problem – poses, but instead becomes besotted by the attention. But the attention lavished upon her is much the same way I view a crayfish in a tank: not love, but an appetite regardless. The crayfish shouldn’t thank me that I’m not donning my bib and making like Matt preston; nor should it implore me to eat – yet this is what Bella does to Edward throughout the books. And eventually, he gives in.

      Bella is a Mary-Sue, hence the books popularity among its audience. It reflects an immature and infantile idea of love and lacks the pulse and pain of true romance; Twilight is “True Lurve” writ in the style of the National Enquirer.

      My concern over the books isn’t that they involve werewolves and vampires, but that they do so and remain steadfastly flaccid. A vampire who won’t bite isn’t scary. A heroine whose only defining characteristic is that she’s clumsy is not a heroine. A hero who abandons a mentally weak woman and leads her to attempt suicide is not a hero. A romance that remains dewy-eyed reciprocated voyeurism isn’t romantic; its creepy.

      The books are bad because they are bad fiction, and the movies are bad because nothing happens.

      Twilight: Pale wooden people stare at each other, one sparkles. Credits roll.

      New Moon: Pale wooden people stare off into space in separate scenes, shirtless werewolves pounce. Credits roll.

      • Kyle

        He actually attends school so that his fellow vampires can keep up the appearance of a normal family. It’s not to ogle young anyone. He has to do to remain integrated in society. The point is that he still has to exercise self-restraint. He believes too much in the dignity of human life. Yes, he is not presented as the perfect Christian. He deliberately indulges his lust. He stalks her and watches her. That is not how we deal with temptation. The point is that the movie recognises that indulging that lust is not the way to deal with temptation.

        • I take the whole blood-lust thing as a not very thinly disguised allegory of sexual desire, and thus see this a as positive. It is not unknown for those in love (in lust?) to say to their beloved “You look so good, I could eat you.”

  3. Shan

    …Or you could make the point that a vampire falling in love with a human is about as romantic as a human falling in love with a sheep. After all, we do eat lamb.

    I find it hard to be charitable towards Twilight, especially since as the series reaches its final end – in Breaking Dawn – the whole turgid mess spins into a bloody frenetic end. Which is why we will not see a movie version of “Breaking Dawn”.

    (Language warning at the link.)

    http://tinyurl.com/yeolus6