Movies our religion?

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Are movies our true religion? Have the ‘controversies’ we discuss here gone beyond what words can convey? I say this because it seems more than obvious that our stongest opinions are about movies and not about God or the Catholic Faith.

It also seems as if there are two very different approaches to how spirituality and God should be portrayed or conveyed to us in films. I am thinking again of the works of Lynch, and also, in union with him, Lars von Trier, especially in contrast to Gibson and his “Passion”. There seem to be two very different philosophies at work here that cannot and should not be ignored.
 
Are movies our true religion? Have the ‘controversies’ we discuss here gone beyond what words can convey? I say this because it seems more than obvious that our stongest opinions are about movies and not about God or the Catholic Faith.
Movies are not our true religion because we do not worship them. Movies are about stories which uneath human experience. Our experience is not limited to what is written in the Bible nor the Traditions which are passed down to us. The reason people have great opinions about movies is because the stories speak to them and tell them: life is like this! The good, the bad, and the cliche. Film is the most powerful medium today to move people. It includes moving pictures, music and dialogue. Even the Bible used stories. As we look at the lives of the Saints in heaven, we look at their ‘story’ as a source of inspiration which orders chaos and allows us to gain insight into life. We all, too, are saints on Earth and the stories about us are also worthy to experience and understand meaning. I believe we do this without rejecting our ideologies and our ideologies can be enforced by the stories we experience.
It also seems as if there are two very different approaches to how spirituality and God should be portrayed or conveyed to us in films. I am thinking again of the works of Lynch, and also, in union with him, Lars von Trier, especially in contrast to Gibson and his “Passion”. There seem to be two very different philosophies at work here that cannot and should not be ignored.
I embrace film and stories as media to express our faith. Gibson’s Passion is explicitly Christian whereas Tolkein is implicity Christian. Both are just as profound and beautiful, yet completely different.
 
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astralis:
Movies are not our true religion because we do not worship them.
I guess my point is that we do worship them. I agree with the reasons you mention as to why movies cause us to have strong opinions, but I believe that they are the stongest opinions we have, and therefore I believe we are for the most part wasting our time here if we ignore, if not give the prominent place to, discussion of movies. The last two films by the two director’s I mentioned seem to give us a ‘summa theologica’ in a way that the world has never experienced before. This is why I think movies are so important in fact, because they have taught us that it is more important to ‘see’ the truth than to learn it in other ways. This concern of having lost a “habit of seeing” has been raised also by at least one Christian thinker (Peter Kreeft).
I embrace film and stories as media to express our faith. Gibson’s Passion is explicitly Christian whereas Tolkein is implicity Christian. Both are just as profound and beautiful, yet completely different.
Is “The Passion” explicitly Christian? I wonder very strongly about that. Like you said above, the life of a saint is a continuous, ‘whole’, story. It isn’t a series of dogmas, but a real life where each moment is an authentic movement. (I’m sorry. I’m short on time now so can’t explain what I mean here as I would like to.)
 
I will even make a prediction: Everyone who has seen Gibson’s “Passion” will eventually have to bow down, so to speak, to Lynch’s (God’s really) “Mulholland Drive”. And even this great forum here at Catholic Answers will wither up if that movie is ignored. There are very many good, logical, and rational reasons for saying this, reasons, it would seem, that an apologist would love to explore.
 
No, I will not bow down to Mulholland Drive. I did not like it and I am a fan of Lynch.

An esoteric work doesn’t make a brilliant work.
Is “The Passion” explicitly Christian?
Are you trying to be artsy, esoteric, or pretentious. 😛
 
My concern when it comes to movies is the use of the actors and the state of their soul. Many films may have an ultimate goal of shedding light on a particular artist’s search in understanding God. but with many movies that leaves the actors at the disposal of someone being used as the director works out his own soul.
 
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astralis:
No, I will not bow down to Mulholland Drive. I did not like it and I am a fan of Lynch.
Whether you do or not is your own personal life and it’s not for me to intrude, but I would make the case that this very freedom we have is the greatest gift that MD gives to us. In fact, I would say that that is the best evidence we have that MD is (from) God.
An esoteric work doesn’t make a brilliant work.
I agree. But I would say that MD only goes under the disguise of being esoteric. We could almost say that it is esoteric like a hobo is esoteric. That is to say, it is the paradox of an esotericism that is completely out in the open and exposed…it’s just that nobody cares either way.
Are you trying to be artsy, esoteric, or pretentious. 😛
I just have a nagging fear that “The Passion” may be the fulfillment, and most virulent form, of everything ‘Hollywood’ has ever tried to be.
 
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onaquest:
My concern when it comes to movies is the use of the actors and the state of their soul. Many films may have an ultimate goal of shedding light on a particular artist’s search in understanding God. but with many movies that leaves the actors at the disposal of someone being used as the director works out his own soul.
I’ve wondered about this too. This seemed to be Ebert’s concern in his Blue Velvet review way back when (it’s on the BV dvd, by the way). I’m not sure I understand the question, even when I pose it to myself… Perhaps it is the gift of actors; They give of themselves that we might not have to. It also seems as if the conditions in America (and possibly the world) are such today that a rape or molestation must occur ‘inside the story’ to make it possible to see, and hopefully prevent, the rape or molestation that occurs without. Somehow the movie itself (represented by the lead female character, at least by the two director’s I mention) must be raped in order that we, the audience, might be spared being raped by the movie. And yes, it may be an either-or situation in our day. This, I think, is our doing because we have developed a “habit of seeing” that cannot not see rape in everything…
 
Hello all!

Here’s my 2 cents worth= No. Speaking for myself at least, movies seldom even enter my thoughts let alone my “universe.” I am not a big “movie” person. I avoid 99% of movies because I don’t want to support Hollywood. They have an agenda in my opinion. They have gone beyond the scope of entertainment and now “proselytize” for a base moral agenda with which I want nothing to do with. (ok, that was a little more than 2 cents), but that sums my feelings up for the movie industry as a whole pretty well. - Mfaustina1
 
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