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You Are What You See
You Are What You See: Watching Movies Through a Christians Lens is a call for all Christians to reconsider how they view the Arts their approach to culture.
With teen sex comedies, slasher films and porn on-demand all around, many Christians see modern culture as crass, demeaning and destructive. How can we change things? How can we possibly clean up this cultural mess we have made?
If you don't like this crude, dehumanizing culture it falls to you to do something about it. You Are What You See: Watching Movies Through a Christian Lens will help you change your thinking and viewing habits and help you redirect our culture away from this road to hell.
Christians, are the stewards of the culture, and for the past fifty years we have been too comfortable ignoring our responsibilities. Any change in the culture and the Arts has to come not just from the artists but from the audience.
We need a renewed Christian aesthetic in the cinema.
Join us in the quest for a revolution in the Arts and a revitalization of our Western culture. Learn a Biblical approach to watching films and television–to reading and understanding Story so we can impact our culture for Christ.
You Are What You See: Watching Movies Through a Christian Lens pulls off the cultural blinders that prevent Christians from seeing that the Arts are good for our culture and for humanity at large. When we become educated, involved audience members, we can improve our understanding and facilitate open, less conflict-based dialogue between non-Christians and Christians–connecting people looking for answers with the One who is Truth.
Can MOVIES do that?!
They can if you know how to read them and how to use what you see to tell family, friends, neighbors, or the check-out clerk at the store about the messages they see every day. Sounds like someone who used to be thirsty telling someone who needs a drink where to find thirst-quenching water!
Excerpt from Chapter Three: Keeping an Eye on What You Watch
Movies matter. They have meaning in our lives. If you take nothing else from this book, you must understand: Movies matter and they absolutely have a deep impact on all of our lives.
This reality may run counter to all your preconceptions about watching movies, after all, our society considers them innocuous time-wasters—something to do after work or on a weekend. To believe that is to be like a fly who tells itself the spider’s web is no more than a cozy place to hang out.
Life can be an irritating affair and the escape from daily life is a natural desire. Today that escape is often accomplished through the medium of film. We sit before a flickering screen and allow the lights and sounds to fill our heads. Our burdens melt away—at least for two hours.
Each time we participate in this seemingly mundane task, we allow ourselves to be somewhat hypnotized. Have you ever gotten lost in a movie? The characters seem so rich and meaningful, the plot so surprising and original that you lose track of time? Have you been swept away to another land, involved in the on-screen struggles? This harmless escape from reality is actually a form of hypnosis. Merriam-Webster defines hypnosis as “A trance-like state that resembles sleep but is induced by a person whose suggestions are readily accepted by the subject.”
Instead of looking at film as a means of entertainment, consider what it actually is: a mode of communication. Screen images are more than flashing pictures blended together to give the illusion of movement. These pictures are composed and edited to make statements.
The filmmaker intentionally molds sequences of images to manipulate your conscious and subconscious. You are not a passive lump of meat in front of a screen. You are a vibrant, active soul created to experience story, and you react as the filmmaker plays with your emotions. We loathe the villain as he guns down the hero’s friend then cheer as the hero blows away the villain’s bodyguard. Both acts involve killing, but we chose sides because a gifted director or storyteller influenced our thought process.
The medium of film relies on direct manipulation of the audience in order to succeed. Cinema magic is not based on logic, it is based in the heart. We rarely expect or enjoy having our intellects touched directly. No one goes to the cinema to watch abstract mathematical concepts being explained. We need an emotional hook to grab us, to engage us, so we can feel and not think. Explanations of complex mathematical equations require the mathematician to be a debilitated, hallucinating genius (A Beautiful Mind), then people are interested. We want to be manipulated into that slightly hypnotic state and have the director caress our emotions.
Because film speaks to us through our emotions rather than our logical mind, we run the risk of prolonged manipulation that extends well beyond our time in that darkened room. Film is a hypodermic needle through which either a venom or its antidote is injected into the social body. The toxin or cure which is delivered is known as worldview.