Thursday, February 01, 2007

Why I so seldom go to the movies

Barb Nicolosi, who knows the movie industry from the inside, expresses the reason that I just don't go to the movies much anymore: because they too often take me where I don't need or want to go.

So, if you look at the culture today, there are many infections out there that I would rather not contract. Radical cynicism, sexual degradation, horrific cruelty -- these are kinds of disturbing evils that most people would never encounter, except that they are shoveled at them on the screen. Maybe they aren’t ready to have these images imprinted on their spirits. Maybe their life would never have taken them to the kinds of hells that filmmakers routinely put into their movies – just to get the kudos of the industry which mistakes outrageousness too often for courage. My question to the filmmakers who want to sneer at and debunk everything beautiful is, just because you have lost your hope and faith, does that mean you have to be busy about trashing mine? Just because you have lost your own innocence, does that mean it is a socially responsible thing to destroy mine?

Many films today offer some small goods of insight to the audience. But, the insights are cloaked in so much depraved barbarity that the teeny good of the content is not worth the sliming journey of its method. I am someone who actually believes that there is a place for decorum and graciousness in human society. Many of the movies out there today are just way to full of things that fall into the realm of what St. Paul meant when he said, “There are some things that should never be mentioned among you.” In my mind, there are some shameful things which should be the fodder for prayer and sacrifice, but should never be served up with popcorn as entertainment. Beyond just perversions like bestiality, which is getting a few screenings at Sundance this year, this means things that are just crass and purely voyeuristic and degrading.

Movies like this are “Little Children” and “Little Miss Sunshine.” They have something good to say, but they violate your innocence and defile you so much on the way that it just isn’t worth it. It is like if you told me you have a headache, and I said, “Oh, well I know where there is an aspirin for you! You just have to walk through a putrid sewer for a few miles to get it.” So, on the way to curing your headache, you pick up diptheria and typhoid. Peachy. Thanks for that.