Last night, I went and saw “The Monuments Men,” a dramatization of the very real efforts to save Europe’s art and cultural history from Nazi looting and destruction. As a fine art lover this is a historical event (an ongoing one) that has me riveted, so I am right in the target market for this film. However, while I love to see Bill Murray and George Clooney mugging for the camera as much as anyone, I left feeling disappointed and manipulated (and I wasn’t alone). It was so propagandistic that it could have been made in the 1950s, and you wouldn’t have had to change much. Meanwhile, the art itself takes a back seat (often literally, there are many scenes of crated art being pushed onto trucks), so the characters have to airily expound about the importance of art without, you know, showing people why it’s so important.
I just got back from seeing the latest “witch” film, Beautiful Creatures. It is a supernatural love-story adapted from a popular young-adult novel of the same name by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. The story tells of Ethan, a mortal boy, falling in love with Lena, a young witch, or “caster” to use the film’s politically correct term. Tension builds as Lena’s 16th birthday approaches, at which she will be chosen for either the dark or the light.
On my drive home from the theater, the wheels began spinning in my head – age 16, light vs. dark, young love.
Get Religion today is giddy about a panel discussion in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly that deals with faith and film-making. GR’s only quibble is that “The five-member panel is top-heavy with Protestants, with only Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven, present as a token non-Christian. The panel could have been more lively had it included directors such as Richard Dutcher (God’s Army, Brigham City), a Mormon, or Jonathan Kesselman (The Hebrew Hammer).” Indeed, such diversity would make my head swim (sarcasm noted, and lets move on…). What about pagan-friendly films?