Thursday, October 09, 2008

COMING ATTRACTIONS: THE VIDEO DEAD

One of my fine readers, germangreek, poses a question that, quite frankly, I expected to get a lot sooner than now.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Phil 4:8, read at Mass last Sunday. I hate to be a wet blanket, because I really get a kick out of this blog of yours, but I really have to wonder if even one of the movies you've featured would meet St. Paul's rather stringent criteria. Unless, of course, the whole genre of B Movies has its own kind of perfection which these movies flawlessly achieve.

It’s a good question which I think deserves more than a soundbite in response. Of course, given my particular eccentricities, I feel compelled to do so by writing a movie review. While I’m working on my response I’d love to hear some comments from all of you out there on this topic.

5 comments:

Type4You/PaperSmyth said...

The problem with slapping a "B Movie" rating on anything is that some people's "B Movies" are other people's inspiration. That is how movies meet any of Paul's criterion. Example: I happened to enjoy Wing Commander (the movie) while I just learned that a sizable number of RPG fans hate it--because the movie is based on a RPG (which I did not know) and they think the story tie-ins to the RPG are rubbish. I enjoyed the potrayal of the "Pilgrim" counter culture, which I think could have fantastic anti-racist and anti-fanatic overtones. I think Paul would, from my perspective, give it a pass, but if Paul were a RPG fan-boy he would probably see it differently.

germangreek said...

St. Paul would apply his (the Holy Spirit's) criteria to RPG in itself, and then decide whether to be an RPG fanboy. My guess is that most video games, and most movies, would fall far short, whether the B-grade listing gets slapped on them or not. And St. Paul seems to have been such a fan of the resurrection that he didn't have time for anything else.
But that's probably a little unfair; we don't all have St. Paul's charism. But supposing the cinematic arts are themselves worthy of a Christian's protracted attentions - a worthwhile question in itself - are all exemplars of the cinematic arts worthy of a Christian's attentions? Are these? What would make them worthy of such attention?

EegahInc said...

See, lot's of excellent stuff in the comments to steal for my own review. Somebody leave some more!

Anonymous said...

Well, I'd generously read Paul to mean we should seek what is noble OR true OR right, etc. because in an imperfect world, all our efforts will be to some extent imperfect. We can agree that B-movies are, um, really imperfect. But then neither are they entirely devoid of the features PAul says we should look for. I think specifically how we take St. Paul's advice depends a great deal on our spiritual health & temperment. I mean, for myself, watching the occasional B movie is braincandy I hardly internalize, ("think about" as PAul says) and I don't think it poses a threat to my imagination. A really ugly church is quite another matter. But there have been times when the reverse was true--I needed to avoid bad movies but was fine in the doublewide trailer where my mission parish was. I think the particular ways we conform our minds to Christ varies a lot according to our condition, 'though our need to internalize siome kind of perfection is constant--and that seems to me pretty consistent with Paul.

Xena Catolica

EegahInc said...

See, everybody's throwing out this great stuff and I have to save my meager arguments for the review, which work is preventing me from working on. My own blog is frustrating me now.