Indulging my own inner critic
...And offering one explanation of just why Christians might actually like seeing bad 'Christian' movies...
(against better impulses replying to Darryl Hart at https://oldlife.org/2016/04/08/why-christians-shouldnt-see-christian-movies/ )
• • •
The ancient Chariots of Fire was not just Christian but, yes, I’ll claim it, practically Reformed! [Joseph Fiennes is working on a Part II]. And the original Ten Commandments was manipulative — can't that can be done in a good way — but also great eye candy.
These new films though are actually something quite different — a Tim LayHaye-Kirk Cameron–700 Clubish-ish subset of Christian movies — and in fairness need to be endured as such. If you don’t know that the lead singer of the title cut used to be the black guy in DCTalk, why in the world are you doing dropping $12 on a ticket in the first place?
And then there are these Catholic ‘Christian’ movies… Anyone still hosting re-viewings of the virtual passion play that was The Passion [I wish MG had completed his cinematic Book of Maccabees before he made himself a pariah] and the thoroughly mordant Exorcism of Emily Rose (Although The One True Church crowd also has the 97% unentertaining Dorothy Day biopic Entertaining Angels to contend with since her cause for sainthood looms)?
Still, I can’t take the subtle disdain of Alyssa Wilkerson, Peter Chattway and Co. too seriously when their critical voices convey a too-culturally refined, NPR-like sort of understanding Parent-Knows-Best syndrome. The Coen Bros are fine for the crowd who might buy The Great Courses DVDs, or fondly remember Greek tragedies from high school, yet still like their fun. But for a lot of others, bad Christian movies remain weirdly enjoyable moments of distorted cultural identification, and bashing them is a little like bashing Bash ‘n’ The Code or early Amy Grant inside the youth room, for heaven’s sake. It’s easy to do, but do we have to? These movies aren’t surprising to the unbelief crowd, just conveniently lame stop-over fields where they can find ham-fisted ammo. Which is nothing new or alarming since those locales abound.
And I mean, OK, they kill off the professor. But they DO convert him first. You can’t please everyone, right?
Meanwhile, Hans von Balthasar, here's hoping all might be saved!