#81: How to watch a movie—Douglas Beaumont
Motion pictures have been called the ultimate form of art because they incorporate all previous forms: dance, music, theater, and mime, all in one. They are powerful drivers of, and reflections of, culture.
Movie lines become iconic and hence memorable:
“We’re going to need a bigger boat.” Jaws
“ET phone home.” E.T. the Extraterrestrial
“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Gone with the Wind
“May the force be with you.” Star Wars
“You had me at hello.” Jerry McGuire
As Christians, we need to watch movies critically, not just for morality reasons, but for artistic ones. Should believers support poorly made movies because they bear a Christian message? Can Christians see rated R films with potty words, sexual content, and violence? Where’s the line?
This week’s guest has thought deeply about these questions and has some practical guidelines. He is Douglas Beaumont, a convert to the Faith and author of a book that’s due for a reboot, titled The Message Behind the Movie: How To Engage With a Film Without Disengaging With Your Faith. If you like movies, you’ll love this conversation in light of the gospel and the principles of effective storytelling.
In this interview you will learn:
- How some G rated films have bad messages and some rated R ones have good ones
- The difference between a Christian movie and a movie that is Christian
- Some tips for determining whether a story is told effectively on screen
- Why some heathen writers write the best “Christian scripts”
- Why the golden age movies still hold up
- How to notice when a film is selling an anti-Christian bias
Resources recommended in this episode:
- The Message Behind the Movie: How To Engage With a Film Without Disengaging With Your Faith by Douglas Beaumont
- Story: Substance, Style, and Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee
- The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler
- Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field
- Douglas website: https://douglasbeaumont.com/
Question of the week
In what way is Hollywood today’s most important missionary territory?
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