Monday, December 7, 2009

The Biz Monday Starter: Film Industry Heroes

Art as a reflection of society. I've been thinking a lot about that lately. How is the American film industry a reflection of me? Is it an accurate one? If so, do I like the portrayal? If not, what do I feel is lacking? I don't believe, of course, that one film or one character or one script can fully define me as individual, but I do believe that it at least attempts to reflect certain aspects of my culture, my values, and my life. Which brings me to the subject of film industry heroes. I read this NYTimes article by A.O. Scott and could not stop thinking about it. It is well written and brings up some good points about film, the American hero, and American values. Anyone have any ideas, critiques, or comments?


  1. You know that I have serious doubts about the idea that 'decency, wealth, love, and fame should exist as congruent expressions of happiness. I'm not saying they absolutely can't coexist in that way . . . though maybe that's what I should be saying.

    It does make a good story though. And we don't even have to be confronted with difficult, challenging, possibly ethically ambiguous choices. Hooray!!! But what if those choices are the primary things that create meaning in our life . . . But hey, who needs meaning when you have netflix, or romance novels, or even youtube.

    One of my favorite new movements in evangelicism is called Prosperity Theology. It posits that the god of christianity wants you to be wealthy. A lot of groups have implicitly (sometimes explicitly) posited this in the past, but now we have a whole movement complete with books, sermons, and videos. While we note that many evangelicals are embarrased by the new trend, the task of reconciling Prosperity Theology (or even the American middle class) with the whole thing about Jesus telling the rich man to sell everything but his shoes and give the money to the poor is troubling to say the least. But maybe if we just keep not thinking about it, it will all just go away. That's what I'm banking on.

    Anyway I gotta run. Gotta get my civic's oil changed, go out to lunch and make sure my newest netflix arrived . . .

  2. Interesting. I had never heard of Prosperity Theology. I have also been thinking about duality when it comes to the wealthy. For instance how so much good can come from money that came from bad things. I am actually, believe it or not staying at the Reynolds house in Critz, Va. Home of R.J. Reynolds, the Winston Salem tobacco king. From the money created by cigarettes came individual wealth, but also a community center, schools (i.e. Virginia Tech), and donations to charitable funds. I can't say that the family first had any clues as to the negative effects of tobacco in the 1800s to early 1900s, but I am sure that at some point they became hard to ignore. Especially as the ingredients put in cigarettes became less "natural" tobacco and more processed chemicals. But again no denying the good that came from the wealth. Even churches who have vast amounts of wealth are an example of this.

    As far as netflix...a thing like Christmas morning when it arrives.