film and theology

I’ve gotten hooked on a podcast by Mars Hill Church in Seatle, WA. I’ve been so intruiged by this that we are looking into it as a church. Might be pretty cool to watch a film and talk about it, eh?


The Chronic of Narnia

Chronic OK, if you don’t watch SNL then you likely missed this. But it is wicked funny. [Watch the video] Basically it is two white guys rapping about picking up 13 cupcakes on their way to see the Chronicles of Narnia.

Warning: If you can’t handle making fun of Narnia and if you don’t want to hear the F work bleeped out… please don’t watch the video.


We saw Narnia

I suppose this post may be considered heresy by some. But, while I didn’t mind Narnia, I didn’t really see the hype.

Today Kristen and I had the pleasure of taking Megan to see “the movie.” In my mind, the best part of the movie was sharing the time with my girls. I like that they liked the story. I liked that I got to sit by my girls and enjoy popcorn. I had a blast explaining to Megan who the lion was and that the witch was a really bad lady. I had fun seeing her joy when Aslan came back to life. I revelled in hiding her eyes from the battle scene. (OK, so my second favorite thing was seeing some LF folks and their families there… that’s wicked cool too.)

But the movie itself? Not to my palatte. I have long been a C.S. Lewis yawner. I think he was a clever guy with a great testimony. But I really struggle to put him in my top 25 “greatest authors” list and I cringe when I hear the Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe mentioned in folks lists of best books. It is a good story, it is a nice allegory, but it is not one of the great fiction books of all time in my life. Lewis is no Dickens, Twain, Dostievski, Hemingway, or any of the other great fiction authors out there.

Nor did the movie live up to the hype. It failed to provide a compelling impact on me or Megan. Before we got out of the parking lot Megan was singing the tune from Madagascar. Hardly a memorable event!

What’s wrong with it? To me, it’s too plainly an allegory. Too obviously an attempt at communicating the gospel to really be compelling or thougt provoking.

Why’s it so popular? Because the allegory is so clear, Christians love it! Afterall, they hardly have to think to see the message of Christ.  It’s wrapped up in a bow!

Here’s my disclaimer. I’ve been a “Lewis-hater” for a long time. It’s not that I don’t care for him… in fact I think he’s a good writer. But I have always done my best to keep him in his place. For what he is, he is fine. I remember back in my Moody days I would love to mess with my fellow students by picking on their favorite books series. My first roommate proudly told his friends that he read the Chronicles of Narnia each semester. I would always tease him that this was the reason for his single status. Does this mean that  I’m some sort of hypocrite for teaching the book? Not at all! I really, really do thing that teaching the series is important. There are a lot of non-Christians who may see the movie… and being prepared for a good spiritual conversation about the series is a good investment. Probably not what I would have wanted… but LF is rarely about what I want anyway.


Capote: Narcism explored

Kristen and I went to see the movie Capote tonight. (Yes, it was better than one of our previous date movies… Hotel Rwanda… but barely as romantic.)

To summarize the movie. It’s the true life story of author Truman Capote as he researches and writes a non-fiction novel about a homicide in the plains of Kansas in 1959. The story in itself is interesting enough, but only made better by the immense moral failure that we see exhibited by Capote.

See, in order for Truman to finish his novel, he needs the 2 murderers story to end. So, on the one hand he is busy using one of the murderers for information about the murder by coercing him for information by exchanging Capote’s ability to motivate connected people to hear his appeal to avoid execution. On the other side is Capote needs the two of them to be executed so he can finish the novel and get famously rich.

Notice I said he was narcisistic and not a sociopath. Truman is terribly effected by his moral decisions. At one point he is literally paralyzed with the reality of his decision to stop the appeals so he can get his book in print.

When it is finally over… when his wish [prayer as he calls it] is finally over and the men are executed… he is equally devastated. The reality is that he knows his actions have led to the execution of his friend. While he becomes famous beyond measure… he never recovers.

Here’s a quote that sticks with me… it’s from the credits. Truman wrote this as an epilogue to the last book he never finished.

"More tears are shed for answered prayer than for unanswered ones."

Nice quote and in his story I can see it as true… but I wonder how true it really is.