When God created man, he made us as more than spirit and thought. We, as well as the world around us, has material form. There is design, there is order, and there is beauty.
This is also the way God speaks to us. He not only speaks to us through story, but he also paints a picture. From the beginning, the faithful were told to make memorials, build a temple, and take a physical action (such as marching around Jericho) to represent the war in the heavenlies that was in process.
Images have impact. Regardless of their message, they communicate meaning. In our culture full of positioned images, it is important to identify the message that is being communicated, whether that be through visual art or film.
This was the focus of one of my very first classes in my apologetics program and it was a very fun way to begin. In addition to the required text, there was a list of required films to view ranging from The Birds by Hitchcock, to The Last Temptation of Christ by Scorsese, to The Decalogue by Kieślowski. Two of my reflections from this class were published in the third edition of An Unexpected Journal, one on the deeper meaning in the Pixar short, Lava, and a second on the symbolism of hope found in the Fountain of Trevi.
Apologetic Books on Visual Arts
|Beholding the Glory: on Amazon|
Part of apologetics is knowing the conversation that are going on in our culture. In today’s culture, morals and values are not transmitted by religious institutions, but by the shows we watch and the movies we go see. This class covered not only the technical details of how stories are told, but examined what the underlying message of the storyteller was. Some of these movies, such as Obvious Child, have no value in and of themselves other than highlighting how our postmodern culture views a certain topic (actually, Obvious Child is the only one on this list that has absolutely no redeeming qualities), others, such as Christopher Nolan’s films that explore the problem of evil from a nihilist perspective, are really discussing the same issues that philosophers have pondered for centuries.
|The Birds: On Amazon||Rear Window: On Amazon||Sullivan’s Travels: On Amazon|
|Dogma On Amazon||Moonrise Kingdom: On Amazon||Palm Beach: On Amazon|
|Psycho: On Amazon||The Royal Tenenbaums: On Amazon||Rushmore: On Amazon|
|The Life Aquatic: On Amazon||The Fantastic Mr. Fox: On Amazon||Crimes & Misdemeanors: On Amazon|
|Dogma: On Amazon||Shadow & Fog: On Amazon||Lars & the Real Girl: On Amazon|
|Obvious Child: On Amazon||The Prestige: On Amazon||The Dark Knight: On Amazon|
|Close Encounters: On Amazon||Fight Club: On Amazon||Children of Men: On Amazon|
|The Decalogue: On Amazon||Inception: On Amazon||Stardust Memories: On Amazon|
|Tree of Life: On Amazon|