How Hollywood markets the holy

How do movies with strong religious themes get marketed? Very, very carefully. An article in the show business trade paper Variety provides a good look at the way saints are sold in celluloid.

The report focuses on the film "There Be Dragons," which tells the life story of Opus Dei founder Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer. The movie is drected by Roland Joffe, an A-list talent who helmed "The Killing Fields" and "The Mission" -- but the controversy that sometimes clings to Opus Dei, and the very Catholic nature of the story, present unique marketing challenges.

The Variety article highlights the work of a company called Motive Entertainment -- their job: the ensure that religiously-minded filmgoers know about movies like "Dragons" -- and tell all their friends. The outfit succeeded in helping to make "Passion of the Christ" an enormous hit; Joffe hopes they can work similar magic with his film.

Variety's articles on the internet are posted behind a "pay wall," so this link -- which worked as this blog was posted -- may or may not give you access: Saints and sinners for 'Dragons'.

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