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fun, life, religion

Faith and Film

Recently, my husband and I have been having some ‘quality time’ while watching movies.  After long days of work, the last gasp of seminary, track racing, remodeling the house, and taking care of regular life stuff, watching a movie is about all we have energy for.  The problem is, as alan mentioned on our family blog, either all movies released in recent months are terrible, or we need some help separating the wheat from the chaff.  Here at SU’s School of Theology and Ministry, one of the regular course offerings is called ‘The Spirit and the Screen’, designed to find faith expressed through contemporary film.  Past  films included the typical greatest hits of sermon illustrations: The Matrix, Star Wars (something my college Bible Study leader swore was the greatest evangelism tool of all time), Dead Man Walking, Blade Runner, The Life of Brian, and Inherit the Wind.

I enjoy examples of faith, God and redemption expressed in contemporary culture, and have also found films like The Shawshank Redemption and Babette’s Feast helpful along these lines. I think JSA could also fit into the category of longing for redemption and restoration.

I’m also looking for some recommendations.  What have you watched and enjoyed lately, whether having faith implications or not, please share titles that you’ve enjoyed.  Lately, we’ve suffered through a few stinkers, including Semi-Pro, which I attribute to Alan’s love of Will Ferrell’s humor.

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Discussion

7 thoughts on “Faith and Film

  1. ok, so after hopping over to alan’s entry and reading that he didn’t like Juno, I’m a little nervous to make any suggestions, but I figure it CAN’T be any worse than 27 Dresses (really leah??)….so here goes:

    The Kingdom (ok, I have a slight affinity for almost anything Jen Garner, BUT I thought it had some interesting points regardless)
    The Constant Gardner (amazing)
    Bowling for Columbine (older Michael Moore doc–over-opinionated as always, but still good I thought)
    Walk the Line
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    Amazing Grace
    A Mighty Heart
    The Last King of Scotland (great, but incredibly gory at times–heads up)

    And if you like musicals:
    Rent
    The Producers
    Hairspray (just make sure to ignore John Travolta’s ridiculousness)

    OK, hope that helps. ALSO–we’re in the middle of SIFF and they have some pretty amazing-looking documentaries going(Angels in the Dust–go see it!). And lastly, I’ve recently discovered the wonder that is Scarecrow video–they have some incredible stuff as well.

    Posted by kate | June 5, 2008, 1:35 am
  2. i just watched The Namesake and loved it. i think you might like it too.

    Posted by LK | June 5, 2008, 5:31 am
  3. for theological implications: chocolat
    for documentary amusement: sicko
    for the kid in all of us: ratatouille
    for classic denzel: american gangster
    for the indie fans: once
    for geopolitics: charlie wilson’s war
    for creepy cohen brothers: no country for old men
    for will ferrell: stranger than fiction
    for the afflecks: gone baby gone

    i enjoyed each of these- some more than others- but i think they’re all worth a viewing.

    Posted by david | June 5, 2008, 7:46 am
  4. thanks friends! i’ve seen a few of these, american gangster, chocolat, and charlie wilson’s war, the kingdom, the constant gardener, SO GOOD.

    kate, i’ve been wanting to see ‘angels in the dust’, so thanks for the encouragement…they have it for rental at the video store in my neighborhood…

    linda, haven’t seen the namesake, was curious, but feared my judgment less than stellar in light of recent circumstances.

    27 dresses…tell me you haven’t watched any ridiculously bad movies in the middle of finals. i blame the finals, and the ability to make fun of bridesmaid dresses as i continue recovering from the madness that is our culture’s version of a wedding.

    Posted by leahklug | June 5, 2008, 8:26 pm
  5. DAVID! YES. I’m so stoaked to see a Chocolat recommendation (especially from a dude). That is on my top five list. Love it.

    I didn’t mention this on the “other” blog, but I just saw “atonement.” Say what you will about Academy Award Nominees for Best Picture, but actually, I was pleasantly surprised. A plot that keeps you wondering and a message that can be applied to us all.

    Also, “eagle vs shark” was okay. I was so tired, I think I missed some of the subtle humor. But, it’s basically Napolean Dynamite done in New Zealand…and slightly more inappropriate 🙂

    Posted by katie | June 5, 2008, 9:34 pm
  6. I loved Margot at the Wedding, but I think most people might hate it :).

    Posted by Dan Hauge | June 9, 2008, 3:44 pm
  7. i saw your link from eugene’s blog roll. i like this topic. =) i am a dork who reads too many books and watches too many movies, and i am ok with that. i can’t wait to see 27 dresses. i have about 5 bridesmaid dresses so far, and counting. i, however, have yet to meet the man of my dreams while ‘maiding (no offense to my friend’s little brother).

    romantic comedy — the holiday
    brainless but surprisingly moving at certain points — no reservations
    hbo series (its own genre) — band of brothers, or six feet under
    young, vibrant, and HOT paul newman (about pool sharks and including a rare, awesome female role) — the hustler
    race, dignity (sidney poitier), and a famous quoted line — in the heat of the night
    classic film about family and sacrifice (tear-jerker) — stella dallas (original version, with barbara stanwyck … if you like old movies, pretty much anything with barbara stanwyck, any genre)
    brainless will ferrell (you guys must have seen this), shockingly good — elf
    when in doubt, and wanting painfully glorious laughter — dave chapelle, killin’ them softly (way too short)

    see you sunday,
    irene.

    Posted by iy. | June 26, 2008, 4:26 am

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About Me

wife, partner, daughter, and sister. traveler on the journey of faith. rage against the machiner. sometimes pastor.

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