I try to follow Bell's Theorem of reviewing, and "only review books and films I've actually seen."
And so many are Tweeting, blogging and Spacebooking to call out alleged heresy in one or both.
I enjoyed both book and film, but I do feel compelled to expose the real and horrific heresy of the film.
It's not the items most bloggers are highlighting.
It's actually a heresy that wasn't in the book, but the film changed two words of a sentence that was pretty much infallible gospel and wasn't to be tampered with. With two words, the filmmakers introduced an unholy heterodoxy.... and as the Holy Heteroclite, it is core to my calling and blogdom to publicly expose such skubala.
Of course, it's always risky to bring a book to film, and it is inevitable that changes will be made.
BUT this one may be almost the unpardonable sin...
In the book, God the Father (Papa) sings a bit of a Bruce Cockburn song while serving breakfast, and confesses: "I love that child's songs! I am especially fond of Bruce." (pp. 122-123).
This was such a huge win for the book, and a great plug for Bruce, who (unlike in his native Canada), is not well-enough known in the US. etc. Of all people, followers of Christ should be aware of this prophetic troubador. Heck, you can even ask (British) N.T. Wright!
If you're reading this blog, you are among the select and elect, and you likely know about him, and have noted he deservedly has his own listing under blog topics (Bruce even sent us ..me...some autographed product).
William Paul Young, author of The Shack, if you'll pardon the inappropriate but accurate reference, is man of wealth and taste. Not only does he insert St Bruce Cockburn ("What can I say… [I am a] huge fan of Bruce Cockburn. As far as I am concerned, one of the greatest lyricists alive..and an incredible guitarist to boot." ... link) into the book (on the lips of God, no less), but in the acknowledgements section gives credit to the following for inspiration: "U2, Dylan, Moby, Paul Colman, Mark Knopfler, James Taylor, Bebo Norman, Matt Wertz (you are something special), Nichole Nordeman, Amos Lee, Kirk Franklin, David Wilcox, Sarah McLachlan, Jackson Browne, Indigo Girls, the Dixie Chicks, Larry Norman and a whole lot of Bruce Cockburn." (link)
But the movie version?
I was wondering if the Cockburn reference would make the cut. I knew I would be thrilled if it did, but assumed it would be fodder for the cutting room floor.
When I recognized the breakfast scene, I held my breath..
...and heard Papa singing a tune by...
wait for it...
She followed up with the familiar line:
"I love that child's songs! I am especially fond of Neil Young."
Boom! The heresy duck should have dropped right then.
Now, I love Neil Young as much as you; and he even has merited several posts on this here blog.
But he doesn't need the Holy Spirited PR that Bruce does.
Somebody made a bottom line decision that was about the film's economic bottom line.
It was bad decision about a good observation : "Hey, not many people will recognize Bruce Cockburn; let's change it to someone already famous." Non-sequitur city; this would've been great reason and vehicle to introduce a lot of people to a little-known singer who could change their lives.
Okay, I'm kidding about this being a real heresy....I think. (:
And when I lamented about this to Michael Bells , he had a point : "At least they are both Canadian. " Kudos and touché, we USAmericans really need to learn about the musical treasures God has embedded in Canada.
But since I trust that this lil ol' blog has at least some influence, please check out the Bruce.
God loves him..
and as He (She) said in The Shack book:
"I have no favorite? Bruce, I mean?"
"I have no favorites." I am just especially fond of him."
"You seem to be especially fond of a lot of people. Are there any you are not especially fond of?"
"Nope, I haven't been able to find anybody." (p. 123).
but one last dig..
Compare the spiritual depth of the Neil Young song Papa sang in the movie to that of the song of Bruce's that she sang in the book version. I could've nominated 50 better Godhanunted numbers from the Young canon/catalog/hymnal. Gee, how about this? .Or these? Or the two (here and here, the second one I filmed here in Fresno) that Bono has taken it upon himself to call our prayer/attention to?
Get back to me..