Generous Orthodoxy  

Monday, October 03, 2005

What's wrong with blockbuster movies?

A February New Yorker contained an article by Louis Menand about Hollywood movies. He traces the implosion of movie attendance since 1947 (who knew that average weekly movie attendance in 1947 was 90 million and is now 15 million?) His principal target is the blockbuster movie which dominates the screens today. What he has to say is relevant for preachers and congregation. This is the concluding paragraph:

"Blockbuster dependence is a disease. It sucks the talent and the resources out of every other part of the industry. A contemporary blockbuster could almost be defined as a movie in which production value [special effects, giant battle scenes, chase sequences, etc.] is in inverse proportion to content...why doesn't anyone put more than two seconds' thought into the story? The attention to detail in movies today is fantastic. There is nothing cheap or tacky about Hollywood's product, but there is something empty. Or maybe the emptiness is in us."

--Louis Menand, "Gross Points: Is the Blockbuster the End of Cinema?" The New Yorker, 2/7/05. (emphasis added)

Point: let not the preacher be intimidated by the supposed supremacy of the visual. We still have the greatest story ever told.