Wednesday, April 29, 2009

By Christians for Christians

Dallas Jenkins, a Christian and a filmmaker, on "Why are Christian Movies So Bad?"
.... The problem is that everyone knows good art should always put story and character above message. Message films are rarely exciting. So by their very nature, most Christian films aren’t going to be very good because they have to fall within certain message-based parameters. And because the Christian audience is so glad to get a "safe, redeeming, faith-based message," even at the expense of great art, they don’t demand higher artistic standards. ....

...[Y]oung Christians aren’t encouraged or trained to become great artists. If a young Christian wants to become a filmmaker, they are often either discouraged to do so because Hollywood is so dangerous, or if they do find encouragement, they have a hard time getting proper training. There are two primary things that can foster someone becoming a better artist: one, seeing and being inspired by hundreds of great films, and two, getting a great artistic education. .... This not only impacts potential filmmakers, but actors as well. ....

.... We can complain all we want about how Hollywood doesn’t reflect our values, but we lose that right if we’re not producing great projects and artists of our own. [more]
Those who have created a self-imposed Christian ghetto contribute to the problem:
Even though Christians didn’t want to see evil Hollywood films or listen to evil secular music, they still wanted to see movies and listen to music like everyone else. So what were they to do if the acceptable choices from Hollywood were so few and far between? They created a Christian entertainment subculture, where Christian movies and music were made by Christians, for Christians. Christian bookstores exploded, as families could feel safe shopping in an environment where the only entertainment available was Christian-based. Now Christians had no need to communicate to Hollywood what they wanted because they could get it from Christian media providers, and the relationship between Hollywood and the Christian community became even more distant. Combine the cynicism of Christians towards Hollywood with the annoyance or ignorance of Hollywood towards Christians, and you’ve got the perfect divorce. [more]
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