Monday, April 14, 2008

Did I Say That?

While ego-surfing my name on Google Blog Search, I found notes that someone took at a recent talk I gave in Austin, Texas. They are here. I don't know who took and posted these notes, but they are pretty accurate as to what I said. Here's a snip:

Why do movies matter? They matter as:

1. Stories
2. Entertainment
3. Art

Stories - movies have become the preferred medium for the masses for story. Stories matter. Make a list of stories/characters that have made a difference in your life. Battlestar Galactica - one of the best current shows. Brilliant writing. It makes you have to engage social issues that are relevant to us today. It makes us look at these things from different perspectives and challenges our presuppositions. Stories give us heroes - they take us out of the mundane. We are built for story.

Crime and Punishment or Harry Potter? We should be reading stories with heroes of complexity. As the primary storytelling medium of our time, the fact that so many movies don’t matter should matter. Many people have rejected stories and have turned to sports and “reality” television. The problem is that these don’t contain story and therefore cannot change a life.

Entertainment - comes from the French word “for the work between the work.” In your leisure time, you should stretch the parts of your human nature do not get stretched during the work-a-day world. We need empathy, compassion and to be touched by human suffering… we need our entertainment choice to do that for us. Movies are the preferred entertainment choice of the modern culture. Entertainment reminds us that we’re human (at least it should).

Two words thrown about in the industry: product and sausage. Whatever people will purchase or consume. It’s hard to make good stuff and when we make good stuff, you don’t watch it. Many people do not believe their job is a vocation. This is why we need Christians in Hollywood because we would ask the right questions.

Art - art is the every generationals response to the cosmos. Cinema is the art-form of our time. It’s a combination of the four classical art forms:

1. Painting
2. Theater
3. Literary
4. Music

We as believers are not really part of our generation’s response to the cosmos through the arts. Why? We should and must be.

I am grateful that the note-taker here did such a good job of taking notes. I say this because somewhere else on line someone posted notes from another talk I gave that makes me sound at best, kind of trite, and, at worst, kind of wrong. It's unsettling what the Internet can do. You can be "out there" and "pseudo out there" for all eternity. And what if somebody takes up the badly taken notes and then attributes to me some notion that I never meant or even really said?

It feels weird to sincerely wish to be hated for the right reasons, you know?

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