A good post regarding “thinking critically at the movies”…plus, HARRY POTTER, the final installment

Harry-potter-7-part-2 I ran into this blog post a couple weeks back and saved it for JUST A TIME AS THIS…post Harry Potter.  Yep, Vicky and I joined the millions who dropped some serious dollars for the final installment of Mr. Potter and his pals (and demons and antagonist).  Frankly, I was sad to see the series end.  I have enjoyed the Potter saga…in print and on film.  Yes, some of the early movies were a bit "childish"…more child-like considering the fact that they starred and featured a child's story.  But the movies got increasingly sophisticated and proved that all the critical and negative Potter hype by some within the community of faith was unfounded.  Here was a true struggle between good and evil…conflicted, human characters…imagery that is downright biblical.  Yes, it is NOT a perfect film…the books will continue to be, in my mind, the premium Potter experience (Rowling's writing style is simply delightful) but the movies were fun and acted in a manner that pulled the audience into the character's journey (and ultimate struggles and celebrations).  Without saying more and making this post unbearably long, I ran into a good article that actually encourages some good stuff regarding movies…something unique and novel – being purposefully reflective.  See what you think and check out the original post on his blog:

Thinking Critically at the Movies (http://www.jrbriggs.com/)

I have a confession to make.

One of the things that irks me when I go to the movie theater is when the movie is done, the credits begin to roll and everyone gets up out of their seats and leaves.

 

Why do people do that?

 

No, seriously.

 

We’ve just spent 2 hours investing our lives in this movie. We’ve paid good money (too much, if you ask me) to watch this film. Why are we all rushing to get up and leave so that we can sit in traffic in the parking lot trying to leave like everyone else? We can’t invest another four minutes of our lives to sit quietly and think about the film during the credits?

 

This may sound silly or nit-picky, but this is a big deal to me. I wish it were a bigger deal to other people, too. As followers of Jesus, we’re asked to love God with all of our minds. Why can that not include the movie theater?

 

Some people go to the movies for amusement. “To amuse” literally means to “not think.” [a- not, muse – think]. I go to the movies because I want to learn and be moved by something. And I know its not very popular. My wife strongly dislikes when I do this. After the movie, she leans over, sighs and then whispers, “I’m going to the restroom. I’ll meet you in the lobby.”

 

And I sit there until the very end, until the lights come up again. Why do I do this?

 

Several reasons: I learn things that all the other rushed moviegoers don’t. Who the stars are. Where the movie was filmed. I get to listen to a usually beautiful and thoughtful song or two. And I get a chance to slow down and think.

 

9 times out of 10 I’m the only one left in the theater. On my way out, I usually receive an awkward glance from the teenage employee with broom in hand who’s paid minimum wage to sweep the cinemuck off the floor.

 

But I don’t care.

 

The best mental processing of the film happens while the credits roll.

 

Sometimes the film has moved me deeply. I’ve felt something significant.

 

During the past two hours the film may have made me laugh or cry or think in new ways or I’ve been appalled – or all of the above. Something moved me deeply. Why rush onto the next thing until I’ve paused long enough to ask why? Does the bottlenecked parking lot offer me a better environment to process what I’ve just learned? Hardly.

 

As the credits roll slowly, I try to ask myself these sorts of questions:

 

-Why did the director invest so much time and energy into making this film?

-If he/she were next to me, what would they want me to feel/think? What would I tell them?

-How does this film impact my life or how I think about how life is lived?

-What values run contrary to the gospel story? What values are consistent with the gospel story?

-What does this tell us about life? Is this consistent/inconsistent with my worldview?

-Why did that one scene make me cry? What was it deep within me that moved me so much?

-How am I to respond to this film? Was it just simply ‘entertainment’ or is there a deeper reason behind why this film was created?

-What implications does this film have on how I interact and care about God? How I interact and care about people?

 

Next time you’re at the theater, try it. I dare you.

 

Resist the urge to get up and run to your car like everyone else. Just sit there.

Tell your friends and family members to go the restroom and meet you in the lobby. (It’s an extra four minutes. They can handle it).

 

And, hey, you’ve already paid for it. Why not enjoy the film all the way to the end? Sometimes you may see some outtakes or even find an extra (hidden) portion of the film that others miss (remember the extra ending of Napoleon Dynamite?)

 

Just sit there. Relax. Be still. And think.

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