After months of controversy, “Dogma” opens November 12. It was featured at the New York Film Festival on October 4-5; a protest rally greeted the movie outside Lincoln Center. The entertainment media, in particular, continue to seek the Catholic League’s voice on the film.
John Podhoretz of the New York Post branded the movie “virulently, even obsessively anti-Catholic.” Even John Pierson, a friend and collaborator of Smith’s, said the Catholic League’s attacks “are accurate on a surface level.”
More important, Smith hasn’t hidden his true feelings on “Dogma.” When Howard Stern said to him, “…and it’s got some Jesus Christ thing in it so all the religious folks are already hating it,” Smith replied, “Then we must be doing something right.”
When the Catholic League was protesting the Brooklyn Museum of Art exhibit, “Sensation,” Smith joked that “I’m really glad we kept the scene with the elephant-dung Madonna.”
There is little doubt that the Catholic League protest has unnerved Smith. He has used obscenities when speaking of the league and has admitted that since we began our protest, life has been “horrible” for him.
Movies that generate this much controversy usually do well initially. But the true test comes in the weeks following the debut. No matter how the movie does at the box office, the resistance we’ve provided is the most important tally of all.