As I mentioned a couple of weeks back when I posted on The Hunger Games, I’m going to start talking more about pop culture here, and in particular movies. Toward that end, I wanted to point your attention to three posts on The Gospel Coalition site as conversation starters. These posts are tailored more to Christians who want to enter the film industry, not necessarily those of us who just like watching them. However, I think you’ll find they are helpful for providing a framework for your own personal viewing.
First, Joe Carter with Unsoliticed Advice from a Failed Filmmaker:
- Don’t be ashamed of the Christian label
- Don’t imitate Terrence Malick
- Sometimes it’s ok for a film to just be a movie
- Don’t be knostic
- Don’t be afraid to make distinctly Christian films
- If you want to be a Christian filmmaker make a film
Second, Mike Cosper advocating Create Culture, Not Subculture:
Preachiness in films is always obnoxious, whether it’s from evangelicals or Michael Moore. People go to the theater with the hopes of being told a compelling story, and when the urge to get a message across trumps the need to tell a good story, the film suffers and the audience cries foul. They came for an adventure and they got a sermon. But this is exactly what many Christians think of when they talk about “Christian” filmmaking.
A good story, on the other hand, can carry profound redemptive themes and portray the agonies and ecstasies of everyday life in ways that a sermon can’t (not to say that it’s superior, just different). If Christians who knew how to tell great stories could gain positions of influence in the centers of filmmaking, they could positively influence the culture of film.
- Don’t tell me, show me
- Value the art as equal with the message (in which he quotes Vanhoozer)
- Don’t be afraid of ambiguity
- Honestly entertain opposing worldviews
BONUS: Mike Cosper now has a response to Joe Carter’s post on his own blog. He takes it point by point.