Monday, January 11, 2010

J-Term: A month with the movies

So during the terribly cold and depressing month of January (besides the 15, of COURSE), I am taking a course at Catholic Theological Union titled "Imaging the Reign of God" which focuses on social justice and theology through the medium of film. Now, I obviously am taking the class because I love movies and thought it would be nice to spend my classtime in a warm classroom watching movies, but really, this class is awesome. First of all, I'm hanging out with Catholics, who despite some pretty crucial issues, I love to death. There are 2 or 3 Franciscan monks who are in the class with me and that in and of itself is a learning experience, especially because one made a joke about the Pope looking like Marilyn Monroe standing on the windy crate that about made me fall out of my chair. Looks can be deceiving.

One thing I've learned so far about film is that I know so little about what I am watching. I go to a movie, grab my soda and sno-caps, and tune out for the next 2 hours. And how selfish! Film is (well, at least it SHOULD be) an artform that engages the audience in a conversation. It's not just mere entertainment. Even the really cheesy films can enter into a dialogue with the audience, and I'm excited to continue this conversation.

What I'm most taken with currently is the power of camera angles and how much meaning can be found in just one shot due to the angle of the camera. These people in the film industry are geniuses. Seriously.

My professor recommended that we all go see Avatar because it is an excellent social justice film.


From all of the advertisements I've seen, that movie looks ridiculous, BUT, to keep in line with this new dialogue, I'm going to go see it in the next couple of days. Have any of you seen that movie? Any feedback? Is it really "anti-American"? Keep checking back for my response to the film. Could be funny.

One last thing, if any of you want to see a film that really pushes the issue of social justice and "The Reign of God", I would recommend watching the Dark Knight. Let me know what you think.


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