Fri, May 05, 2006 - Page 17 News List

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Greece's powerful Orthodox Church called on its faithful Thursday to boycott the upcoming movie Da Vinci Code which will be released in Taiwan on May 18, newspaper reports said.

Greece's Holy Synod said it would issue pamphlets ahead of the movie's Greek premiere warning citizens not to go see the movie to "protect the Christian tradition."

The church, which represents about 97 percent of Greece's 11 million population, did not rule out the possibility of calling on Greeks to protest outside of theaters.

Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou star in Ron Howards's movie, taken from Dan Brown's controversial bestseller The Da Vinci Code.

Lost sales from pirated DVD movies and Internet downloads are higher than previously thought, a report in the Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday.

A study showed the industry was losing US$6.1 billion annually in global wholesale revenue, about 75 percent higher than earlier estimates, it said.

Losses came not only from fewer ticket sales, but also from fewer DVD sales, considered one of the industry's biggest profit centers, the report cited unnamed sources as saying.

The newspaper said some in the US movies industry sought to suppress the report.

According to the report, losses in the US alone totaled almost US$1.3 billion.

John Malkovich's new film has him playing an Englishman who pretends he is Stanley Kubrick in what is billed as a "true-ish" story about a conman who duped dozens of people into thinking he was the reclusive director.

Colour me Kubrick, showing at the Tribeca Film Festival this week, has already drawn comparisons to Being John Malkovich because of its cerebral approach to questions of identity and celebrity.

But it is essentially a comedy that gives Malkovich the chance to revel in outlandish accents, behavior and costumes, from stockings and stilettos to oversized pajamas and foppish suits and cravats. The soundtrack echoes Kubrick's own films, including the famous theme from 2001: Space Odyssey.

Alan Conway, an alcoholic and small-time swindler, managed to pass himself off as the famously publicity-shy Kubrick for years until he was unmasked by a newspaper. Even then he convinced psychiatrists he was mentally ill, escaping prosecution for duping dozens of gullible victims into parting with their cash and sometimes their virtue.

"Everybody believed it," said Michael Fitzgerald, who produced the film written by Kubrick's personal assistant Anthony Frewin.

"Stanley Kubrick's wife still gets letters from parents of young men who were, what's the word, `pleasured' by him, regretting his death, but saying he had done unspeakable things to their children," he said.

With his debonair look, eccentric outfits and gift of the gab, Conway takes in everyone from the local pharmacist, to the managers of a heavy metal band, to a comedian played by British star Jim Davidson.

The biologist in Randy Olson cringed at news reports of evangelical Christians challenging the teaching of evolution to schoolchildren in places such as Kansas on the grounds it was just a theory.

But the filmmaker in him feels just as strongly that scientists have done a lousy job explaining their side of the debate.

The result is Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus, a humorous and entertaining documentary that premiered at New York's Tribeca Film Festival this week.

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