Saturday, May 16, 2009

What Movies Do Christians Want? Part V - Not "Christian Movies"

* In Part I I began a response to the Entertainment Weekly article about movie studios looking for ways to market to the Christian audience
* In Part II I looked at the last 10 years and see how this sub genre is developing.
* In
Part III we looked at two Christian motivations for this film genre: insulation and influence.
* In Part IV we discussed the sub-genre of Prairie-Christian film/tv, and the established tradition of this "encouraging" and "family friendly" genre, and it's lack of transferability to the theatrical screen.

Quick - find the closest Christian you can find. Grab them, call them, facebook message them, twitter them and ask..."What was the last film that you saw?"

My guess it was just some regular movie. They might have seen Star Trek, Fast and Furious, 17 Again, Paul Blart: Mall Cop or any other random "regular/secular movie."

The first point of this post is simple, but when it comes to movies, there's no such thing as a "Christian Movie."

If you are a Christian, I encourage you to stop using the word Christian as an adjective to describe inanimate objects.

Can a movie be Christian? I don't know has it accepted Christ as it's personal savior?

Can you have a Christian Book? (and if you do have a Christian book do you baptize it before or after the words are printed on it?)

Can you have a Christian school or a Christian coffee shop or Christian University?

Using this type of terminology to describe T-Shirts, music, businesses, TV stations, really just muddles up the terminology.

And I think that with out definiting terms, a Christian movie can be a lot of things, but usually it's just an under funded film with an inspriational story that is destined to the shelves of a "Christian bookstore."

I say there's no such thing as a Christian Movie, but as I say this, I realize the concept and term is becoming more accepted. In fact, while there are many, many, many, many, many, many, many websites and companies that focus and market the industry there's even a website called (screenshot pictured, right), so I'm sure some people would disagree with my claim that "There is no such thing as a Christian Movie."

Second point, I think most Christian's favorite films are not "Christian films."

Alas, I think while a high proportion of people worldwide would call themselves Christian, I imagine most of these Christians favorite films do not include a film from the "Christian Film Sub-genre"

Honestly, ask your closest Christian what there favorite movie is (or the last film they saw) and I betcha, it's not a "Christian Film."


meg said...

People may not be commenting, but just so you know, we're spreading the content of your posts all over the internet. And it's spurring real world discussions, so thanks.

Karen said...

Good points! My favorite movie is Where the Heart Is.

Kacie said...

I absolutely agree with you. What makes something Christian? I believe that what makes someone christian is their beliefs and standing before God, which is not something that can be taken on by objects or created things. Perhaps there are movies that portray Christian values to a greater or lesser extent, but even then I have a bone to pick with the Christian world. Too often we act as though the only GOOD media is that which is "clean", in other words, doesn't have swearing or sex or violence or divorce. I think this is ridiculous, because by those standards, the Bible isn't clean.

Surely we are able to face the world with all of its brokenness rather than hiding from it. Our task is to identify truth amidst the darkness and to speak hope and love and truth back into it.