The movie theater has a lot in common with the cathedral/church gathering space. Sunday morning and nights at the movies are some of the only places left in modern culture where we can get people to show up, sit down, be quiet, and listen to exposition for long periods of time without interrupting. Just imagine if you got the same annoying people that can be at a movie theater to show up on a Sunday morning. Not sure if it is more socially acceptable to slap someone at church or at the movie theater…
Last week we looked at an article from Alissa Wilkinson that talked about the word “entertainment” and how movies and watching movies use the old definition of the word “to entertain”. It is inviting ideas and contrary opinions into our home, and, by proxy, into our hearts and minds. This week, Betsy Brown writes an article for Christianity Today comparing the cathedral and the movie theater and invites us to compare the liturgy of a church gathering and a movie.
“’Liturgy,” says Anglican writer Urban T. Holmes III, ‘is an expression of the experience of God at various levels. It is like a parfait, constructed of a series of layered images. Those at the top reflect the current times, while those at the bottom contain the primordial memory of humankind.’ How similar this statement is to McKee’s about films as universal human conflicts so true to humankind that they journey from culture to culture.'”
The Robert McKee quote she is referring to is the famous movie story guru’s assertion that, “stories in film help us discover what it means to be human by wrapping a universal experience in a culture-specific expression.”
Let us know what you think of Betsy’s great article and how you feel about the similarities between the movie theater and the church gathering. You probably know how we feel, but I’m interested to hear your take.