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Hollywood Worldviews [Paperback]

By Brian Godawa & Ralph Winter (Foreward By)
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Item Number 577863  
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Item Description...
Overview
You buy your tickets and concessions, and you walk into the theater. Celluloid images flash at twenty-four frames per second, and the hypnotic sequence of moving pictures coaxes you to suspend disbelief and be entertained by the implausible.

Unfortunately, many often suspend their beliefs as well, succumbing to subtle lessons in how to behave, think and even perceive reality. Do you find yourself hoping that a sister will succeed in seducing her sibling's husband, that a thief will get away with his crime, that a serial killer will escape judgment? Do you, too, laugh at the bumbling priest and seethe at the intolerant and abusive evangelist? Do you embrace worldviews that infect your faith and then wonder, after your head is clear, whether your faith can survive the infection

Publishers Description
Do you watch movies with your eyes open? You buy your tickets and concessions, and you walk into the theater. Celluloid images flash at twenty-four frames per second, and the hypnotic sequence of moving pictures coaxes you to suspend disbelief and be entertained by the implausible. Unfortunately, many often suspend their beliefs as well, succumbing to subtle lessons in how to behave, think and even perceive reality. Do you find yourself hoping that a sister will succeed in seducing her sibling's husband, that a thief will get away with his crime, that a serial killer will escape judgment? Do you, too, laugh at the bumbling priest and seethe at the intolerant and abusive evangelist? Do you embrace worldviews that infect your faith and then wonder, after your head is clear, whether your faith can survive the infection? In this thoroughly revised and updated edition of his popular book, Brian Godawa guides you through the place of redemption in film, the tricks screenwriters use to communicate their messages, and the mental and spiritual discipline required for watching movies.Hollywood Worldviews helps you enter a dialogue with Hollywood that leads to a happier ending, one that keeps you aware of your culture and awake to your faith.

Item Specifications...

Pages   261
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.1" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2009
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  0830837132  
EAN  9780830837137  


Availability  0 units.


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1Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Movies > Guides & Reviews   [415  similar products]



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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Even-handed approach to viewing Hollywood  Mar 31, 2010
The author does a wonderful job of explaining the philosophical bases for movie themes without either a prudish or a cavalier approach. He stresses that viewers must strike a balance between seeking empty-headed entertainment and over-examination while pointing out the basic premises of existentialism, post-modernism, and Christian redemption.
 
The Ultimate Guide to Films!  Feb 9, 2010
Brian Godawa has written an excellent guide to watching and understanding film. Godawa approaches the subject from a Christian perspective, but the book is easily accessible to all audiences. The author's approach is to place film watching within the context of storytelling, explaining how the very nature of story is a vehicle for the filmmakers view of the world. The book includes a wide variety of specific examples mostly from recent films illustrating the wide variety of worldviews evident in Hollywood movies. Highly informative and thought provoking reading - and excellent source to prepare for a film discussion!
 
God loves movies  Sep 4, 2009
"God loves movies," Brian Godawa writes in the first sentence of Hollywood Worldviews. He goes on to explain that, "Movies are visually dramatic stories, and in the Bible the dominant means through which God communicates his truth is visually dramatic stories--not systematic theology, or doctrinal catechism or rational argument."

Like it or not, "In some ways, television, music and the movies are the modern arena of ideas." In light of that, Godawa advocates "interacting with the culture" rather than the two extremes of "avoiding it or embracing it." He favors a middle ground that encourages discernment but avoids reducing movies to just a set of ideas that are good or bad. "My goal," he writes, "is to help the viewer discern those ideas that drive the story to its destination and see how they influence us to live our lives--to understand the story behind the story. But we must be careful in our discernment not to reduce a movie merely to its worldview, as if knowing the idea is enough to understand it.... It is `entering into' the story where one comes into true contact with that worldview, not through mere rational analysis. This book is not a call to praise or condemn films simply because of their `message.' Rather, by learning to be more aware of worldviews, we will be more equipped to appreciate the finer elements of what is going on in our movie-watching experience." A good story is something you experience.

With that end in mind, Godawa educates the reader about the various elements of story, including the worldviews that shape them. Fundamental principles are reinforced with examples from different films, which makes this an excellent resource. There is a wealth of scholarly analysis covering several hundred films that can easily be found by using the index in the back. Practical exercises follow each section.

This book is written for the general public, but it also serves as a mini-course in philosophy covering the predominant worldviews of our time--existentialism, postmodernism, romanticism, monism, evolution, humanism and neo-paganism. The author is an expert at not only highlighting these ideas in films, but also in his knowledge of the many movies that he examines.

Seeing how pervasive and sometimes subtle these worldviews are made me wonder if I want to keep watching. After all, many of these ideas are antagonistic to a Biblical perspective, which can be a rarity in film. Sex, violence and profanity are frequent reasons cited for avoiding movies. However, early on the author addresses this issue showing that context is all-important.

Though some may fail to appreciate the distinction, offensive items may be a little more palatable if they are necessary to the story versus being an excess of the filmmaker. "The key," as Godawa writes, "is to ask some questions: Is this an educational approach to exposing evil? What are the context and consequences of the vice portrayed? Is it dehumanizing or humanizing? Does the movie celebrate evil, or does it ultimately condemn it? Is the sin displayed as an end in itself, or is it a part of the bigger picture that leads to redemption? Does the movie go overboard in detail, or is some detail necessary to emphasize the seriousness of our behavior?" We must also remember that no work of art, no sermon or anything in this life is perfect. Everyone and everything suffers from our fallen state. We are continually exposed to a mixture of truth and error.

Thankfully, this author is one that believes that growing in discernment does not have to take away from the benefits of watching a movie. We are better served when we understand what is being communicated through a film, but Godawa wants us to hear what is being said through movies. "Let them challenge us, allow them to help us see the world through different eyes, let them help us experience human existence in ways that we haven't before. By entering into the story, we can experience a part of human existence and truth that we cannot reduce to abstract ideas or philosophy." Movies are an artform and to the degree that they reflect truth, they transcend their format and enrich our lives. Godawa wants Christians to embrace the truth found in movies while being informed by a Biblical worldview.
 

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