The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

13 July 2009

Words, wit, and wisdom

I've lamented...moaned even...about the dearth of reading on my bedside table, about how it seems too challenging to concentrate on a book these days. I've realized that I do most of my reading online - nice bite-sized blogs. Bite-sized blogs are like two-bite brownies: not enough to be too much, and just enough to make you think you really could handle just a little bit more.

Today I stumbled across two new blogs, and while I've just begun to explore them, the initial sampling struck me as being worth sharing. This first one because it made me laugh. It is so very British, so very 'bloke'ish, wonderfully could be Dave Barry with a British accent. I've often joked that I'd love to be Dave Barry... I think having the ability to universally make people laugh (that sounds rather bullying and manipulative. Should I say 'inspire people to laugh'?) is the most wonderful gift. As well as very difficult.

The second one I've included because for years now, since first learning about Act One, I've been wanting to learn more about Christians (specifically Catholics) in Hollywood. While I can be rather scathing of "the emptiness of Hollywood", the power of film to tell a story, evoke emotions, share experiences, ensure the remembrance of history, and to simply entertain, is not to be maligned or overlooked.

I have aspirations to write, and think I'd like to try my hand at screenplays. I didn't believe it would be possible to write good, broad-appeal scripts without also having to compromise the thing which is most fundamental to who I am: Catholicism. Until I learned about the group at Act One, that is. And today I somehow found my way to Barbara Nicolosi's blog, and I feel inspired to take this idea of writing more seriously.

Think about movies that you've seen. Think about the ones that have really left an impression, have almost become a part of you. The best stories always do. What do they have in common? I'm sure that for the most part, those lingering movies tell the Truth, even if only in a small way. The characters may be flawed, there may be struggle and sadness - maybe not even a happy ending. There is probably an element of heroism, redemption, forgiveness, and they often include the concept of blessing, from parent to child. The secular world does not understand these themes as being necessarily Christian, but a Christian certainly recognizes them as Truth.

The trick, I think, for contemporary storytellers who choose film as their medium, is to share Truth in such a way so as to not alienate their audience. There is a place for evangelism, and those who are called to (and gifted for) overt prophecy - telling the Word straight out. But there is also a place for those who speak the language of 'the world' and bring light into its darkness in a less overt fashion. Perhaps like a mom who sneaks spinach into the scrambled eggs, or vitamins into the orange juice. Harmless but effective. I see it as reclaiming popular culture: it is taking back the storytelling art form, and restoring substance to its content. The challenge is to spin a tale with mass appeal, and deliver an important message without hitting the audience over the head with it.

No comments:

Post a Comment