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that remind us that capitalism can still result it surprisingly bad taste.


“Single men end up withering away in rooms that smell of feet and armpits.” Said by “Wilby’s” friend in “Amazing Grace”. Lots of Quotations there, but bear with me. I had some other thoughts on the movie too. Why is only the first verse of the aforementioned hymn ever sung? My own personal belief is that the first verse makes one feel good, and when taken out of context, it can be thought to apply to almost anyone, regardless of the working of the Holy Spirit.

Did the filmmakers know that their portrayal of Wilberforce’s temptation to revolution was so apt in showing a Christian response to governmental idiocy?

I think not, mainly because they portray Wilberforce’s relationship to God as that of a valley girl to a valley boy. Reference the scene with wet grass and spiderwebs.

Kudos to the filmmakers for showing that you can be peaceful and still accomplish great things. Apart from “The Passion”, I can’t think of a movie that has shown the truth of change being accomplished through non warlike sacrifice. In some ways, Wilberforce was a more Christ-like savior for the slaves than William Wallace or Beowulf for their respective peoples.

Interesting point about the most powerful empire of the time being built on slaves. Was it built on slaves, or the slave trade?

Mr. Douglas Jones gave a sharp and thought provoking sermon this last weekend. To hear it, you can call (1.800.488.2034) and purchase it through Canon Press or you can download it here. Oh….and you’d better check your politics at the door.

I always knew I had a purpose.

Haven —

A poltergeist sent back in time to change the course of history forever

I found these interviews with Moby earlier this evening. They are quite interesting to listen to. He seems like quite the existentialist. I really think someone needs to get him a copy of Against Christianity.

So, Woelke and I were talking the other day about the latest Pirates. I told him I did not like it because of the killing. He expressed shock, and wanted to know what I had done with the old Haven, who would always choose blood in a movie. I told him that the disturbing thing was the fun sense that the movie tried to convey, while at the same time many extras were slain, mostly by nasty monster types. The more I think about that, the more I like it. I always would want to watch a movie where there was blood, but would emjoy it when there was a point to it. Pointless violence is boring. Violence for a cause is at least interesting, and at best rewarding. Violence against an evil makes one appreciate good. Just like abundance without thankfulness is empty, violence without a cause should be disturbing. The first violence, God killing animals, is precipitated by evil. After that, history becomes violent, in a pattern of evil, and redress of evil. And it did not stop with Christ. The violence done to Him was in answer to all the evil we can ever do. Christians use violence, should use violence, and should also recognize good violence. If Pirates is like Star Wars, where is Darth Vader? And where is the death? Since the first movie you cannot kill a single character, for more on why that does not work, see X-men 3. By taking out the great evil to fight against, what is the point? In Pirates, I am still looking.

Rich Bledsoe has written an excellent post on the subject here.

For those of you who read my last two posts on Movies & Storytelling, or for that matter, any Christian artists out there, you need to read the entirety of this article by Calvin Serveeld.

Culture always has a global spread; so a minority culture cannot long, purposefully exist as a mini culture, a few loose strands. Christian schooling limps without supportive christian family life; the christian forming of certain abilities can go down the drain if they are ensnared in an utterly unredeemed, mercenary business enterprise; christian artistry remains badgered if there be no gallery outlet or publishing firm or media center that has ended initiation fees, “best seller” strictures and demands of crowd guarantee. There are numerous exasperating problems in building an integrating minority culture within a dominant, monolithic secular culture (Black culture found this out), for the current monolithic culture tries to disintegrate everything that resists its technocratic mould. I would be a false prophet to predict success for a christian minority culture in our age. But the point is this: the most full, cultural obedience by the communion of saints is not the stand-up testimonial of a lone christian artist, to which one may applaud, but rather an international community of christian artists’ showing themselves, in all their dedicated weakness, as one open door in a christian cultural ark not established by human hands, where young and old believers and unbelievers may enter as a relief and workshop, out of the pouring secular rain—an open-door, christian minority culture.

Some times when we entertain the idea of showing Hollywood some worthy competition, it is easy to become overwhelmed and assume that we have a long road ahead of us. Afer all, how many of us have extensive experience working with all the hardware and other technical materials needed to get into the film-making industry? Do we really have the time, money, and knowledge to actively combat Hollywood? It may be hard but I don’t think we should give up so easily. I think we could get off to a good start just by working on the storytelling aspect. Compared to the preparation needed for other film related jobs, the story and screenwriting aspects take much less technical training. Much of the skill can simply be developed by reading and writing a lot. Any artist worth their salt will tell you that to become a good artist (whether a painter, sketch artist, sculptor, musician or writer) often times it simply takes old fashion practice. We can and should try to write short stories for fun in our spare time, whether or not their great, in order to get better. It’s amazing how many abysmal stories Hollywood buys from regular joes Really folks, the competition is not that intense. There are screenwriting conventions where people try to and often do sell their script to studios based on premises like ‘vampire sororities’. I am 100% certain that if this is what were up against, we can do better. We need to begin to practice writing, messing around with a camcorder, analyzing how you see things done in the movies you watch and try to reproduce the ‘low budget’ equivalent.

Ultimately, though, all of this Kong stuff brings up a greater question. What is a Christian story, anyway? If a Christian story is one which must reflect in some way the life of Christ, then there are plenty of stories which Christ Himself told that are not in the least “Christian”. Does a “Christian story” have to be analagous to some biblical story? Does it even have to be analagous to a biblical pattern? God tells stories in history that have no obvious correlation to the Bible, though it could be argued that we cannot tell stories with the wisdom and insight of God. If we can’t look at a story and draw direct lines between a character and Christ, do we have to toss it out the window?

At a conference I attended last year, Jim Jordan said something very interesting about stories. The Bible tells the story of salvation, it is true, but so many Christians focus on that as the only story worthy of retelling. And so every Christian movie involves either a conversion or an obvious conversion allegory (as in To End All Wars). But Jordan pointed out that if we look for types of salvation in every story (even in every biblical story), we’ll fail. The three central stories the Bible is telling (according to Jordan) are 1) Salvation 2) Holy War and 3) Process of Maturation.

The question I’m really asking is this: can/should we tell stories that don’t follow any of these patterns (or their reverse, say a tragedy like Macbeth)? Can they still be said to be Christian stories?

I’m just thinking “out loud.”