Edge of Faith May 2017 - Page 20

Because one of the principles of the book is God speak- lot of his films the answer tends to civil war? Who do you side with and about experiencing “the other” and ing through anyone, anywhere, at any time, I wanted to be revenge; it is sort of a revenge can you get over someone like a a community in crisis. You have a take a democratic approach to the films that I chose. I fantasy. We didn’t like Hitler, here’s Hutu and Tutsi? Can you see that cowboy analogy and at the end you could have looked at Oscar winners, I could have looked a chance to get back at him. We person as your brother even though wrap it up with America being that at critics’ lists of the ten best of any given year. I decided didn’t like how African Americans they may be from a different tribe? cowboy. That is a great analogy. We to turn to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), where film have been treated historically, here’s We see that theme over and over. are rebels. Maybe you could tie all of fans from all over the world can come online, talk about a change for Django to correct those The first theme is Genesis 1 and 2; it in for the readers? the films they love, and actually rank them. The films that injustices during slavery days. They the fall of humanity, that core sinful- I worked on and studied were the top-ranked films of the are revenge fantasies. Tarantino’s ness and Adam’s efforts to hide from The western myth and the myth of 21st century on the International Movie Database. When most recent film, The Hateful Eight, God and be out of touch with himself the cowboy, whose home is on the I began the study, I think there were about 48O in that is interesting because there is no and out of touch with Eve. Then that range and, therefore in a sense, not at list, so those are the films that I looked at. I looked at the one to cheer for within the hateful second question of, “do you take up home anywhere else. I think that car- broad themes of what I saw. If I went and did a new ver- eight. It is a commentary on where arms when you see someone who ries over a lot. Our dogged indepen- sion of the book, I’d go right back to the Internet Movie we are as a nation. Where we are dence, which can be beautiful, this Database. What I like about it is that the box office is one turning on each other. We have sort of entrepreneurial spirit; is way that we vote with feet, but that is a way we vote with no sense of trust for each other. part of who we are. But it is tough our feet before we see the film. The most profitable films We shoot first and ask questions when you are used to being alone. aren’t necessarily the most impactful. With the Internet later like we see online and, of Movie Database you have fans saying: “This movie reso- course, the result in Hateful Eight nated with me in profound ways.” “This movie stuck with is a bloodbath. There are really me” “This movie was a truly moving picture.” That is why I no winners. Just like in America went to that list. right now. We are having a hard time seeing any of us as win- It is called the “lone ranger.” When you are trying to rally communi- ties, faith communities, to say: “Hey, let’s gather around the table, let’s gather around the eucharist.” That is not our tendency. Our tendency is to say: “No, no, I want One of the directors I talk about a lot in the book is ning at this point. That became Christopher Nolan who in his early career made films the second theme that I found. like Momento and The Prestige. Since then he has had Within this darkness, within this huge success with the Dark Knight trilogy and films like challenge, the question of: “Am Inception and Interstellar. What I find is that he is always I my brother’s keeper?” What in comedies. One of the films I dealing with the human condition. He is always dealing do we do when people don’t talk about is Little Miss Sunshine, with our double-mindedness, our tendency towards self- like us? How do we deal with our is not like you or do you lead with which is about a family that looks a t deception. I think what makes the Dark Knight series reso- neighbors? That becomes the second empathy?” There are positive films each other and says: “Gosh, how can nate is that it is a chance to recognize the killer within theme in the book. How do we deal on the Internet Movie Database that we be related? I don’t understand us. The shadow-side or the dark-side of ourselves. One with the c deal with this, that I didn’t address you at all.” There are even moments of the themes that I found throughout the 21st century our communities? in the book, but I think we’ve seen where there is a teenage son who since then. Films like The Help. There leaves the family; walks out on the rises that confront films that I have watched is the willingness to address 20 • The Art of Faith Magazine • www.aofmag.com ... Why could God not maybe communicate through a talking donkey like Jim Carey in a film like Bruce Almighty?.” to go my own way.” I feel like film- makers are challenging us to face that tendency to withdraw; even the reality of sin and the fallenness of humanity. There are This idea of the “Cane and Abel test” is a beautiful French film called The family. Yet, it is Little Miss Sunshine, dark places and the dark spaces that reside even within is a pretty ancient question of, “am I Untouchables about a wheelchair- his little sister, who reaches out to a dark knight, who seeks to do good and yet is not that my brother’s keeper,” and do we rise bound member of French royalty and him and brings him in. This year, far away from someone like the Joker in his ability to slip to the occasion? Do we know what the African nurse who befriends him there is a film called Manchester into vengeance rather than something more high-minded. it looks like to be a Good Samaritan? and gets him out of his plight. We by the Sea; a very heavy film about Some of the most impactful films of see this even this year in the Oscar- grief, and community, and loss and There are several films that have appeared recently the 21st century address this very nominated film Hacksaw Ridge where so it is about how you form and from Quentin Tarantino; films like Django Unchained and directly. You have Oscar-winners like you have a person of faith, Desmond who becomes family in the midst of Inglorious Bastards. Right in the title you’re going to see Crash, all about that. Questions in Doss, literally sacrificing his life by tragedy. Isn’t that a perfect question that this is not a film about good guys. But within it, Mystic River, the Clint Eastwood film going into harm’s way to save others. for us as people of faith? How do he’s dealing with the vexing problems of prejudice. In of, “do you come to people’s aid?” Inglorious Bastards he is dealing with antisemitism. In a Hotel Rwanda; what happens in a we rise up and rally around those in In one of the chapters you talked times of crisis, in times of trouble? The Art of Faith Magazine • www.aofmag.com • 21