Skip to comments.Hollywood Searches For God
Posted on 12/06/2012 11:09:47 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Have you noticed how much of Hollywood is preoccupied with thoughts of God?
"Life of Pi" is the latest example of a movie with essentially religious themes.
Artists in a postmodern culture are thinking about the relationship between story and truth. Even the movie "Lincoln" is organized around the idea that false narratives can serve the greater good in politics. When the people are bad, the politician must lie or mislead to serve the good.
It's rather discomfiting to see so many liberal elites embrace this movie, isn't it?
Hollywood's recent search for God began with "The Master," a very odd film about a man who creates his own religion and builds a community around it. Then there is "Cloud Atlas," a movie that makes no sense at all, narratively speaking, but weaves together tales of past lives into a larger truthiness about sacred mysteries."Cloud Atlas" somehow manages to tap into the founding narratives of American freedom and connect them with Eastern religious ideas to build a sense that awe and mystery lie at the heart of existence. "With every act of kindness or every crime, you are building your future." Things that seem unconnected are connected in ways we -- and the film -- cannot explain but emotionally believe.
"Cloud Atlas" is one of an increasing number of films I would call "religious porn."
Think for a moment about the relationship between that little god Eros and standard porn. Our erotic drives are meant to pull us out of ourselves and launch us on the great task of love -- ultimately loving our husband or wife, and the children our bodies make together.
Porn tantalizes and misdirects this impulse, diverts it from reality into a self-contained fantasy. Porn is not nearly as good as sexual love, but it is much cheaper and easier to get. Standard porn diverts the energy needed to create the real. In a similar way, religious porn movies like "Cloud Atlas" shamelessly tap into the deep human religious impulse and attempt to redirect it from truth to fantasy, in order to make money.
"Life of Pi," on the other hand, is something quite different -- a great artist's serious exploration of how to make sense of faith in the postmodern world.
In a culture accustomed to porn, to stories intended to make one feel good without any clear, committed relationship to truth, an artist cannot raise such a question subtly and expect to be understood.
And so Ang Lee, the director, makes it amply clear what this story is about: It is a story that will "make you believe in God," as the narrator says.
SPOILER ALERT: I do not think this movie can be spoiled, but if you worry about such things, stop reading, run out and see the movie.
The first version of the movie that will make you believe in God is a visually gorgeous story of a boy who survives a shipwreck on a boat with a tiger. His faith helps him survive by sustaining hope against fierce and unforgiving, but beautiful, Nature.
But overlaid at the very end is another argument for God's existence, another explanation for the persistence of faith.
In this version, the real story is not a story about surviving on a boat with a tiger, but about coming face to face with the monstrous human capacity for evil. The tiger is an allegory, a metaphor, a story the boy tells himself to survive in the face of that which cannot be faced openly.
In extremis, faced with the undeniable reality of monstrous human evil, including our own, do we believe in a higher power or must we live with evil alone? Which story do we prefer?
The tiger, shouts out nearly every human heart who watches this movie. "And so it goes with God," the now-grown boy says. "Life of Pi" is nothing less than a beautiful dramatization of Pascal's Wager.
Haven’t seen the movie “Lincoln” Don’t intend to.
None of them are ready to embrace the God of the Bible, made manifest exclusively through the person of Jesus Christ.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth
I saw “The Master” over here.....we have a small indie theater here that specializes in international art-house films; I liked it. But to be fair, the films of Paul Thomas Anderson aren’t to everyone’s taste. “There Will Be Blood” was better, and so far, “Boogie Nights” and “Magnolia” are his two best, IMHO.
Never saw “Cloud Atlas”. I’ve heard it’s reminiscent of Terence Malik, and I’m really not his biggest fan. Though I will say that “Badlands” was a very good film.
I was recently approached by a Jehovah Witness trying to foist some of their cult material on me. I usually just politely decline but this time I quoted John 1:1 and John 1:14 in support of the Trinity(which they deny). She literally went crazy...started getting in my face and yelling about “Christians like me” turning people off. I guess God is serious about His Word being an offensive weapon that does not return void.
He's also serious about not casting (your) pearls before swine or giving that which is holy to the dogs. The very nature of a cult has at its core brainwashing.
I preached full-time for around 25 years and never had any luck with any of the four major cults. One study I had with two Mormon "missionaries" had one of them asking some very interested questions. Our time ended and when I showed up for the next study, I learned they had transferred him back to their re-education center.
It is impossible for the Sodom and Gomorrah called Hollywood to find God except by Biblical means. [I wonder what the destruction of S&G was like on the Richter Scale?]
I boycott Hollyweird, period.
Turning who off from what? Becoming one of the 144,000?
Actually, Hollywood is chasing idols in order to run away from God. Such is always the behavior of unregenerate man.
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