Sunday, April 6, 2014

Meant to Preach

NOAH FEATURETTE with Quotes from Cooke Pictures on Vimeo.

Here are some people talking about Noah. I disagree with all of them, but I disagree with Karen Covell, founder of "Hollywood Prayer Network", the most. She says:

Movies aren't meant to preach. Movies aren't sermons.

First, she (implicitly) propagates the tired, old trope that sermons are bad. A bad sermon is bad. A good sermon is spine-tinglingly good. A good sermon may be much rarer than a bad sermon, but it is still a sermon. It is still preaching.

Second, movies are meant to preach! Cinema, for better or worse, has always been a medium that conveys a message. To be sure, the stories are stories, and should not be reduced to a few didactic point. But the stories are ideological all the way down. The question is therefore not whether a film is "preachy" or not. The question is how and what the film preaches.

In the end, Covell's statement actually contradicts the agenda of HPN, which speaks of Hollywood as "the world's most influential mission field." That's a bonkers description, of course, but it does at least acknowledge the reality that films, just like sermons, are intended to influence.

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