So what’s the deal with the extremely low profile apparently being sought by the makers and promoters of The Celestine Prophecy (Celestine Films), which is opening on 4.19 in San Francisco, and then in Seattle, Austin, Boulder, Berkeley and other mid-size cities later in the month? Based on James Redfield‘s famous best-seller, directed by Armand Mastroianni and costarring some good and respectable actors (Matthew Settle, Thomas Kretschmann, Sarah Wayne Callies, Annabeth Gish, Hector Elizondo, Joaquim de Almeida, Jurgen Prochnow), Celestine is a film about spiritual matters, to go by the trailer. It may be a piece of shit, but you’d think it would appeal to the people who liked What The Bleep Do We Know?. It’s not a hardcore born-again or Jesus flick in the Passion of the Christ vein, or even one about conventional faith or religion, but it’s clearly one of the many films coming out this year that are aimed at spiritually-minded moviegoers. And yet it wasn’t even mentioned in Scott Bowles‘ 4.14 USA Today piece about these films, nor was it mentioned in the sidebar that listed all the spiritual-religious films opening this year. Publicist Corinne Bourdeau of 360 Degree Communications says that a specal Celestine Prophecy screening will happen in Los Angeles on May 2nd, and that film will eventually play in New York. She says that “quite a few distributors wanted it but we wanted to go a non-traditional route,” meaning, in part, that “we haven’t reached out to reviewers.” The likely translation is that they know they’ve got a movie that’s going to get creamed by the big guns so they’ve decided to play to all the New Agers out there and, for now, bypass mainstream entertainment journalists and the the usual New York/Los Angeles launch strategy. Bordeau says the film is “going to speak to a broader audience” than the kind who usually read the New York Times or the trades or smarty-pants online columnists like myself. Celestine had a showing not too long ago in Los Angeles, she says, at the Agape International Spiritual Center in Culver City. This smells like a huge problem movie because even if you’re looking to reach people outside of the L.A.-N.Y. axis there’s no downside to opening in those cities unless (a) you’re broke or (b) there’s a likelihood your film is going to get critically butchered. I’m interested in this film because I know Settle, having sat down with him for a long chat once in ’04 at the Farmer’s Market about a short film I’d written.