What About the Theology of Movies?

31 May

Any other film buffs on here?


Which principles do you use in deciding which movies to watch and which ones to skip?


I actually blog with relative frequency about the theology of movies I view.  Especially when they are made from good literature.  


I adore movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood, which are usually pretty okay (some film noir may be debatable, but even then, most of the controversial stuff takes place “off stage” like it did in Shakespeare). 


Since the Scriptures don’t directly address films, which didn’t exist in the first century . . . where do you go with this?


Disclaimer:  I promised my pastor to not go see movies in theaters, as that is his preference for us and it doesn’t hurt me at all to comply with it.  In fact, since people talking during movies gives me the urge to slap someone, I am much better to stay home and watch movies in my own space!!!


I have just a couple of principles that I apply to newer movies that I may want to see due to their serious message (ruling out movies that are just wanton displays of sex, drugs, and violence).


War movies usually justify realistic violence, in my opinion.  We need to know what war really does to strong young bodies.


Sex scenes are not generally my first choice, unless there is some way they further storytelling.  I realize in this, women can be somewhat different from men.  I can handle the visuals of a brief scene, not being as visually oriented as a man would be.  But it can get salacious for a woman, too.  We risk being pulled in emotionally.


One example is Band of Brothers, the finest war series in existence, in my humble opinion.  There is much violence there.  Even much profanity.  All of that is realistic.  


Where the series has its fifteen weird seconds of lunacy, in my estimation, is at the very beginning of one of the videos where an officer comes to deliver news to a fellow officer and finds him in bed with a local French woman. Stupid scene that has nothing to do with anything.  Fifteen seconds of a topless woman who never shows up again in the film and who has nothing to do with the plot.  If I didn’t know better, I would say that the writers staged that to get an R rating, but they already had one for the violence . . . 


Sheesh!  I just caution my Christian brothers to forward past that first minute on that video.  Many, many of them own the series, so I seem to be pretty mainstream in my evaluation of it as a great series.  


So what criteria do y’all use for movies? 


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