Film and Theology

I’m going to (try) to start a new “feature” on my site. Film and Theology or The Gospel Message in Secular Movies (not sure which fits better). The goal is to give a summary review of a film and show how the Gospel message is expressed within the film. Now right off your’re probably thinking “Oh great” and rolling your eyes but I think this may be different than other simmilar projects you may have seen. First, I’m not trying to convince anybody of anything – I’m doing this for my own benefit. And second, I’m not that good at reviewing movies. What I am good at (at least in my own mind) is seeing how some movies reflect the gospel message without even trying. Some may even seem to be anti-christian but in reality, exhibit the message more accurately than some christian themed movies (or shows). Take Dogma, for example. Few christians would praise that as a gospel preaching movie – most would say it is anti christian but I see an underlining truth that we reject because it doesn’t fit our pre-conveived idea of what the gospel means. Of course Dogma isn’t dead on right, theologically, but there is a truth that hides under all that language, violence, and fantasy. And I just want to point it out and test our understanding of the gospel.

This is just the introduction to the idea but my first movie review will be on the movie Sliding Doors. This movie is best enjoyed without any spoilers so go watch the movie before you read the review. And since I haven’t written the review, you won’t be tempted to cheat – ha ha! Here is a brief desription of the movie in case you haven’t heard of it before.

This amazing excerpt was analyzed extensively by some people at who use it to help people going through this kind of stuff: Arriving at work one morning, Helen (Gwyneth Paltrow) discovers that she had been unjustifiably sacked from her PR job. She is returning home when an amazing thing happens, time reverses itself for a few seconds and a second version of herself is created. In one reality Helen catches the tube train, meets James (John Hannah) and arrives home to find her loathsome lothario lover Gerry (John Lynch) cheating on her with his ex-girlfriend Lydia (Jeanne Tripplehorn). In the other reality, Helen misses the tube train, gets mugged, goes to hospital and eventually arrives home to find Gerry alone in the shower. The two realities move forward in tandem; in one Helen leaves Gerry and forms a happy, new, loving relationship with James; in the other Helen’s live becomes more and more wretched as she takes on two jobs to support her worthless, cheating boyfriend as he supposedly writes his novel but in fact carries on a torrid affair with Lydia.

And just so you don’t leave feeling empty, go check out the Film reviews over at Kaleo Church, where I got my inspiration.

2 thoughts on “Film and Theology

  1. This is something I have been “trying” to attempt to, but so far I am at a slow start. The problem is I just don’t know how to process what I want to say into writing. Also, I want to avoid overly “Christianising” things, to the point where it almost becomes ‘evangelical cheesiness’.

    I don’t know, does that make sense?

    Anyway here is what I have so far.

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