"The study of film is important for Christians because it is the modern-day equivalent of philosophy."
Imagine you are in high school.
And the principals (and chaplain) of your high school decide to take the entirety of middle and high school students on a field trip to the cinema.
During school hours. To see a movie.
The most popular movie playing right now, actually.
In fact, that particular movie happens to be opening in Tanzania tonight, which means that all the students got to be the first people in Tanzania to watch it.
Haven of Peace Academy.
The Hunger Games.
10:00 this morning at a special showing just for us, at the cinema.
Oh yeah. Total awesomeness.
I'm not sure who was more excited--the students or the teachers.
And why would we take up valuable class time to do such a thing?
"Movies are perhaps the most perfect mirror that we have so far constructed to show ourselves what we are."
"Simply put, film is the ultimate form of cultural expression in the modern world. Film is where culture is at. Film is the most powerful image of itself that humanity has ever produced. No one would deny that books, art, music, politics...and so forth are significant, but film is the one 'cultural location' where all of these other categories may meet and have a discussion."
And we couldn't think of a better (recent) movie that does all of the above.
Of course, the books have spread like wildfire through the students this year, and Gil and I devoured them all over Christmas break.
They are not our favorite books. Not really something to read when you want to think happy thoughts. But as a mirror of society? A type of modern-day philosophy?
The theme that Gil and I chose for chapels this year is "Plugged In." We have been focusing on encouraging the students to unplug from media and plug into God, but at the same time, helping them to evaluate what they see and listen to and read through a biblical perspective. It's very, very important to us.
So the fact that the administration also thought that it was important enough to cancel class and cart the whole lot of them over to the movie theatre made us very happy indeed.
And of course, the catch was that they had to participate in an hour of discussion afterwards. And the discussions (and assignments) will continue next week. But still! We definitely have the coolest school ever.
(All quotes taken from Meaning at the Movies by Grant Horner.)