Theatrical Conversations

Have you seen Facing the Giants?

No.

Why not?

Because I heard the production and acting quality was very poor.

But the message is so good. You need to watch it!

What if I told you that I would like you to see a movie with a really good message, but has extreme violence…like A Clockwork Orange?

I wouldn’t see it based my convictions of viewing such brutal killing, even though the message may be good.

In the same fashion, I am convicted of not exposing myself to such brutal acting, even though the message may be good.

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~ by Dave Smith on November 28, 2008.

10 Responses to “Theatrical Conversations”

  1. I’m in full agreement with you…but I can’t imagine that line of reasoning would go over well in practice. Did your antagonist raise a point that abstaining from viewing bad acting isn’t equivalent from abstaining from viewing violence?

  2. Yea, you are exactly right Jon. They definitely didn’t buy it. They just looked confused and baffled. (partially because I was a pastor “downing” a “Chrisian movie.”)

    I should have left the discussion end with a “Maybe I will sometime.”

    Actually, I knew there was no end in sight…yet I still pursued this line of reasoning moreso to ungracefully and pridefully “catch them,” then actually teach them or be taught by them.

    Oh well.

  3. 🙂

    Still, assuming someone did follow along with you and raised the point that viewing bad acting is not equivalent to viewing violence, how would you respond to them.

  4. Well…probably to show that poor art can be an area of concern for a Christian just like the big three: sex, violence, and language.

    In regards to violence, the Bible is VERY violent. The Bible explores the whole range of human depravity, the stories are always told with a certain perspective. The Bible shows evil and depravity as real, but also at odds with the best of human experience. There are emotional and social consequences for our actions, and people are morally responsible for evil acts they perform.

    Obviously though violence looks rather different in Hollywood. It has a central place in American mythology as a means of justice and retribution…but can be inappropriately glamorized.

    NOTE: A landmark study released from the University of Michigan in the March issue of the journal of Developmental Psychology found that boys and girls who watch a lot of violence on TV are more aggressive and violent when they grow into adults.

    With that said, obviously caution is given to the audience member, ensuring they are developmentally mature for such violent images.

    Overall, I think we as Christians have a responsibility to engage popular arts as producers, critics, and patrons. We also have the responsibility to create healthy media practices that develop and promote quality art in being faithful to reflect the creative heart of our Creator.

  5. I am also reminded of this comment from William Romanowski:

    We read in Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpen iron, so one man sharpens another.” This kind of community can mitigate the influence of the popular arts by helping people learn how to recognize and evaluate the perspectives they encounter. It can also demonstrate that the popular audience is actually structured into different taste groups that represent various worldviews and different strategies for interpreting popular art. The best of criticism can send the receiver back to the artwork with a new understanding or with fresh ways of looking at it.

  6. regarding violence in movies, it reminded me of this quote:

    “Vengeance is God’s most coveted possession and Hollywood’s most reliable motive.”

  7. My (sarcastic) thoughts:

    I’d rather get beat up than watch most Christian media.

  8. Yea, I see what you’re saying Ben…and my sarcastic thoughts say the same.

    At the same time I believe we have to be careful w/ the rationale, as we only continue w/ the “secular-Christian” dichotomy vs. simply sound art…and something that can be sacred, spiritual, and Christ-reflecting no matter who directs it.

  9. this is high art

  10. Thanks for sharing that Anthony. A great clip that I will use again.

    That scene is definitely a nice piece, no arguing about it. As for the rest of the film…I wonder if it holds to such high-drama? (I am speaking from ignorance here) I have seen films where every seen is of such quality…

    but than again, when we are talking art, it can be so subjective at one level.

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