Saturday, May 28, 2011

Smart People Saying Things.

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Some luminescent golden orb has popped out of the clouds here in Michigan and has inspired a sudden cult of pale sallow people to wander around outside. I hope you all have relaxing, fun-filled plans.I have a wedding tonight--not my own, obvi, though my two high school best friends always said I was most likely to elope. I suppose that's truer now than ever, since they're both on their second year of marriage.

I'm halfway through Bossypants, after a week and a half of anxiously awaiting its arrival and fearing that the infallible US postal system had laxed off just in time to lose my first book purchase since the text book years. It's wonderful and amazing. It also makes me feel wonderfully productive on a Saturday afternoon, when all I've done is relax in bed with my computer and a book. I honestly don't understand how reading feels productive, but I plan on spending more of my free time being lazy that way so I can later brag about the books I've read to my boyfriend, who doesn't understand leisure reading in the way that he doesn't understand why I don't move to LA and start work as a writer immediately or exactly how big my hair can get.

I should probably write something about movies to make this post relevant--

Memorial Day Weekend Box Office Blow Out : If you're interested in movies, you should check Nikki's blog daily for biz news. I don't really get (or read) most of it, except for the posts about writers or that give me more reasons to love-hate Lena Dunham or that have lots of updates with massively large numbers in the titles. Pirates 4, $500 mil worldwide?

But the thing I like most about this weekend box office is that Bridesmaids is projected to rake in another $20 mil. That's three weekends over $20 mil for the underdog comedy of the summer. Take that, studio fatcats! (I'm bringing back old school insults. It's part of my whole retro thing.)

Why do I love Bridesmaids so much? One, it's hilarious. Two, it's a female powerhouse. Three, it's amazingly well written, as Carson demonstrates.

And lastly, my dad forwarded me this article by Timothy Dalrymple on Christianity in the movies. With a script that gets more and more theological every time I rewrite it, I found it very interesting, especially as it talks about the general critical bias against Soul Surfer and its Christian messages. The thing is, I watched Soul Surfer in theatres too, and whenever they started to talk about God or faith, even I started to feel vaguely uncomfortable.

And I believe it's because of Dalrymple's second argument, "Hollywood has excised faith from feature films for so long that when a robust and unapologetic faith is included in a film it seems jarring and unseemly." And it does. Whenever Carrie Underwood started to talk, I thought to myself, "This is the Christian message." The problem is, however, that vagueness about a film's core theology makes for vague movies. I was so excited for The Adjustment Bureau, but I was just as disappointed when I actually saw it. The movie tries to include God without including God, and the result is simply a weak (and somewhat laughable) story. Angels wear hats for teleportation? What?

It makes me think about my own stories, not just the one has the overt theological legs The Chronicles of Narnia was accused of, but of the ones without Christian messages. When characters (especially Bible Belt dwellers) go through physical and emotional pain, of course their theological worldviews are going to crop up, even if it's just to say that their pain is their proof against the divine. Suffering draws us to God, either to defy Him or to defer to Him. It is the point of our lives where we wrestle most with the question--is this all there is?--and we have to decide if our human experience is the greatest force in the world or if our stories are told for the glory of Someone Else.

(And yes, I capitalized that to indicate God, just in case you had doubts.)

And lastly, from Scott Myer's real Saturday hot links and Candy Land screenwriters, "We envision it as Lord of The Rings, but set in a world of candy.”

And since writing this post, the sun's disappeared again. Hope springs eternal, though, that it really does exist.


Sara said...

I hope you've read another book since college, even if you haven't bought any...

Re: Christians and movies - have you seen Of Gods and Men?

wrgarvey said...

The best Christian movie of the 2000s was Gran Torino, hands down. Better than Man on Fire and The Passion of the Christ. And I'm willing to bet that most Christians haven't seen it because it has an R rating.