Skip to comments.Understanding The Message Behind The Movies
Posted on 08/20/2011 9:16:20 PM PDT by Tom Hawks
When I first read the title of the book, "The Message Behind The Movie", my initial response to the title was, the message behind all the movies made today is bad! Now I don't claim to be a movie critic, but I do admit to being very critical of the product put out by Hollywood these days. It's not an opinion I've had all my life however.
Truth is, until I gave my life to Christ I was more of an agnostic when it came to my opinion of movies. Like many Americans, I was oblivious to the influence movies and television had on the way I looked at the world. Whenever I heard others complaining about the bad influence movies had upon society I would shrug my shoulders and consider them a bit too critical for life. I mean, after all, it was just entertainment as far as I was concerned.
After I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, something changed. All of a sudden those rose colored glasses I saw the world through cracked, and the truth began to seep into my consciousness. Eventually I began to see the world differently, and I started to realize how much of my life had been influenced by the movies I watched through the years. Eventually I became so enraged by the way Hollywood movies had become propaganda films for leftist political agendas and immoral lifestyles that I not only stopped going the theater, but I also gave up on television.
So when a friend asked me to read a book about the movies my first instinct caused me to reject the idea. Then I read the title, "The Message Behind The Movie". I'll admit that while the title may have grabbed
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I read this book last year and I was very impressed with the way the author opened my eyes up to understanding movies.
It really did improve my ability to reach out to some of my friends who are not Christians, but seem to be all caught up in the culture of today's movies. I can better use the movies they like to explain the moral teachings of Christ without offending them.
I'm sticking with that plan.
Heard about the last 5 mins of Rango today. Gdaughter was watching it.
I heard “For the good of the collective” and “Thank you, comrades” and started hollering to get that crap off my TV.
Discernment starts at a young age.
I hope you explained to her why it was worthless to watch.
Then when she becomes of age, she too will understand how to see propaganda being weaved into the plots of movies and TV shows.
The old Passion of Joan of Ark can also resonate with those who are agnostics. Maybe it is because of her acting or the circumstance. But it is a powerful portrayal of one’s courage and commitment towards Christ. (not the recent Joan of ark film but the old one entitled The Passion of Joan of Ark—black and white fil you can find on You Tube.)
Thanks, I’ll look for it. I am a huge fan of the older b&w movies. They could actually act. What a concept, people who can act staring in films sold to the public on the strength of that actors ability to convince you they are who they are playing.
Today’s actors could learn a few things from the classics that has casts of thousands instead of computers of gigabyte digitalized people and scenery added after the fact.
It was wife’s time to pick the movie this past weekend and she picked The Help. It actually was pretty decent. A few weekends ago it was my turn and I chose Horrible Bosses which was pretty funny too. I think there are many good movies out there but you have to be choosey.
I love classic movies as well and Turner Classic Movies is one of the few channels I frequently watch. Hopefully Robert Osborne gets well soon. This channel has made older films more available and accessible to everyone. This is one of the great ideas that Ted Turner had. However, I detest the idea of colorizing black and white film.
I am very impressed with the design of the movie sets and what they were able to do with the technology available a long time ago. They were very creative.
A lot of the old motion pictures are just as bad as some made today.
The studio system was great in some respects, but it did have some negatives. Also, there was the Hays Code that was in effect for a long time. These were some of the factors in motion picture production that are different than today.
There are some very good films today. Several examples are The Debt, Senna, and Captain America: First Avenger.
One thing I don't really care for in recent films is the overuse of 3D. It isn't needed and adds nothing to some motion pictures.
Hollywood is mostly governed by folks who hate the messaage of behavior found in Christianity...they loathe it...with their every fiber.
It’s providence...I was raised being told the world would not always be religious like in my southern youth and be prepared to deal with it
Well the folks (95%) running Hollywood today have contempt for traditional America and by default Christendom...180 degrees opposite from their predecessors who ran Hollywood 50-75 years ago and loved this land of opportunity and freedom....HUAC notwithstanding
Have you read a book called “Hollywood Party?”
Very informative, I thought.
Crap like that never made it to my TV. I pre-watched all movies and shows before they played in my house.
no, I have not....but will look it up
I shudder to think about how Obama loving ..now totally northernized Kathryn Stockett ..the darling of the Atlantic crowd actually treats where I grew up.
My grandfather was a contemporary of her grandfather's and I duck hunted at the Caldwell place in Sidon Miss for over a decade as a teen with her dad Robert.
I can tell you having being surrounded by black help too as a boy that we did not treat our help that way at all and I doubt Robert Sr or Jr did either.
She makes a big deal about separate staff bathrooms and dishes...anyone here every been in a Manhattan mansion...I have...same thing...The Biltmore..same thing...Newport...same thing. Same thing about it's so awful to call them maids or help...geezuss how silly...I guess housekeeper is so much sweeter and all..like stewardess versus flight attendant..same job.
We have folks who come clean out house every two weeks...we have nothing for staff like that but were it a huge house it might come with it.
Kathryn Stockett moved to New York with serious issues with mom and dad who divorced and her brother who finds her a cultural traitor and wrote a book she thought would endear her to her new world and it worked.
I have read enough of the book to know it's just another "bad South" piece of tripe meant to make folks feel morally superior.
Not sure how the movie is but I can only imagine...I have heard black political groups feel it's not damning of whites enough and makes black men look bad.
Whatever..I'm over it...you the think the Old South was bad...come to Jackson proper now and enjoy...check out how all is now so much better since evil white folks have been driven from power there. It's a veritable paradise over on Lynch street. or Delta Drive
Sorry...not your fault...I just take this one personally...an honest movie about the transition of the South the past 50 years would be refreshing but will never happen...you are either gonna get this crap or Black Snake Moan or some other tripe...Steel Magnolias..though a chick flick was non offensive except for casting Olympia Dukakis
I read an interview with Robert Jr (lawyer and retired real estate guy who was very gutsy visionary sort) about his daughter Kathryn and her book...he wondered how could she write with such knowledge about something she based 10 years before her birth and that after she spent almost 20 years in Manhattan that she was a New Yorker now and "not one of us anymore". When asked if he had her phone number, he said "no". Kathryn now lives in Atlanta with her maiden name married with one kid to some computer guy from up north..ironic the name thing..estranged but keeps the name. Her family was never Klan...that woulda been so stupid...no way...they were many social rungs above that..her grandfather may have joined the Citizen's Council...not sure..many rich men did.
One of the maids is suing Kathryn for using her as an inspiration with no credit and her brother..a lawyer..is supposedly behind it...bad blood there...in that family. I don't know her..she was child when I was a mid teen and up..but her dad was nice enough and I participated in their wagon rides they had in the fall and everyone knew who they were because they had owned all the bottomland in downtown Jackson and the Interstate and fairgrounds and state bldgs and hotels came in and made them rich...folks knew her parents were estranged and her mom was beautiful but spirited and ..hmmm..hard to keep home at night...it's not easy to say really..anyhow...The Help comes from that..it's complicated but it's just comes across to me as another denunciation of a way of life I grew up with written for a purpose and feeds right into folks who believe these myths...myths designed to make them feel superior in their homogeneous enclaves outside the south and relieve whatever misplaced guilt those in the South harbor..obviously not me.
Where I grew up...folks who were nasty to their help were frowned upon...and I never once heard of sexual harassment of a black maid...lord they were usually rotund and excellent cooks...ridiculous but hardly sex objects to anyone this side of Tallulah Bankhead
This is a post I have meant to write over this book...not directed at you as a flame naps. I though about doing a thread on it to rant.
>>Whatever..I’m over it...you the think the Old South was bad...come to Jackson proper now and enjoy...check out how all is now so much better since evil white folks have been driven from power there. It’s a veritable paradise over on Lynch street. or Delta Drive
I taught 3 years at Wingfield High School in Jackson, you know, the hellhole on Raymond Road, and I can say that the hard-working blacks are FEVERISHLY TRYING TO GET OUT OF JACKSON. Jackson politics is a joke.
I lived in a neighborhood in Byram that was half black and white. No crime, no loud music, and no loud parties, because the black community on that street would deal with any section 8/renters that end up there.
What is immensely sad is the kids that I taught in Wingfield and the total abdication of responsibility by the black leadership of Jackson. The black leadership of JPS (Jackson Public Schools) gets a $150 million dollar bond issue passed to rebuild schools, and guess what happens? $30 million of it disappears by the end of the year. The superintendent resigns after spending hundreds upon thousands defending himself legally from a principal that he sexually harassed. Peeples Middle gets left in its decrepit state (with cracks down the middle of concrete ceilings, reflecting the moral cracks that caused 9th grade girls to walk into my classroom with cute pictures of their 3 year old children).
You want to help and push these kids into a life of happiness and self-responsibility, and some of the kids get it, BUT THEY DON’T see this in the black leaders around them. The kids know that the mayor and city council are a bunch of money grubbers that get millions a year and leave Raymond road still looking like a hellhole.
And the hard-working blacks run off to Rankin, Madison, and southern Hinds county as fast as they can. God bless the ones that get out of Jackson and God save the ones that are still in Jackson.
> Not sure how the movie is but I can only imagine <
A guy that graduated from Murrah a couple of years ahead of Kathryn’s dad told me the other day that he’d seen the movie and that it was “not as bad” as the book.
I guess that’s what you’d call damning with faint praise!
I didn't get that, at all, from the book. I'm certain there were some folks who DID treat their 'help' in a very snooty manner. And it's no stretch to believe that there were separate bathrooms for the 'help', considering there were separate public bathroom facilities for 'coloreds', in the South at the time.
I have no illusions about the South of my youth. I'm sure that there were many who looked down on their 'help', treating them badly, just as I'm sure there were many who treated them well. I was only 10 when the three civil rights workers were murdered, so I wasn't that aware, politically, of what was going on, since my family was not of the socioeconomic class that employed regular 'help'. I do remember my Mama hiring a young black woman to do some ironing for us, but that was only for a few weeks, after the birth of my youngest sister. I don't remember the young lady at all, since I was always in school, when she came, but I don't remember Mama ever saying anything about her not using our bathrooms. I can't imagine that Mama would have done that, since neither she, nor my Daddy, ever had that attitude about black people.
My wife’s sister graduated form Prep with her (Stockett).
My grandfather had money...self made contractor from Smith.. county ...Pineville..originally..his home is now the Reformed Seminary on Clinton Blvd..got lucky building military bases in buildup to WWII..all from a card game in Artesia NM...died young at 52 left big business with assets but no cash and loads of debt but enough of the material trappings left over for us to know we had it a bit different...I grew up about a mile from yudan behind Mynelle Gardens in what is now serious hood. His daddy was my LL coach. We moved north in 72 when the White Rock road projects were announced knowing that would kill us off...Northeast Jackson was a different world but my dad did not make real money till the 80s and after merging with an outfit in Nashville area and they moved up here while I was at Ole Miss...but I was around serious rich folks at Prep and Ole Miss. I don't get the take they were all snobs but some were...no question and I got a bit of that moving from Hardy Jr High to Prep....names anyone in Mississippi would know...but some of the very rich were actually less snotty. Snobbiness here in Nashville is less common...maybe a bit in Belle Meade...Nashville has more an elitism problem...ie libs. I prefer snobs actually to that anyhow.
My mom's folks were poor...Crackerneck...Smith County halfway tween Raleigh and Pulaski...near Burns on what is now called 481....one became a lawyer at night school and ended up pretty successful...most were blue collar.
My mom met dad at Clinton HS and it was all Disney from then on...her Miss Mississippi...him All American and etc etc
I am sorely disappointed in how Jackson has collapsed....it was sure not what anyone hoped and my dad's family were moderates...my grandfather had a paternal relationship with blacks and took many in...orphans even...gave them jobs and a place to stay and all that and promoted them as did my dad and endured the wrath of the klan and refused to join the WCC...
But they both were alarmed at how things went...from King to Civil Rights acts and then federal troops and then entitlement programs and so forth....views I now share....I was idealistic in my youth too. First time I witnessed unprovoked black hostility was in Manhattan in 1980...only to be surpassed by Yankee snottiness and indignation...which was worse...hard to say.
My beef with the Help is from the book and it sounds like the movie softened Stockett’s tongue a bit. All my cousins in Jackson area read it and were livid about how poorly it reflected on folks (like us) who grew up with old black women cooking and ironing or had black gardeners etc...my grandfather...not us though my mom did have “help”...just one lady...Violet Davis..and her husband Moses. I recall all their names...benevolent folks very kind to me...I can look back now and realize I was living in a fleeting time but unlike MS Stockett I have no guilt over it...though she actually is just writing about what she heard about.
So anyway...my rant.
For what it is worth...Metro Nashville at it's lower white strata is in piss poor shape culture wise...it is Godawful.
When I go home it seems like in Mississppi, it's not as bad. White thug kulture or "wiggers" ...there really is no better word..boys and girls are what folks once derisively called rednecks...they might have been 50 years ago from that same opportunity level but they have nothing in common ...no dignity whatsoever...like they have become feral and Nashville is eat up with it. I saw a wee bit in Pearl a few months ago but when we see it in Mississippi...we notice it...here it's the norm. Am I just paying attention in Jackson or my nostalgia getting the best of me?
It's just a separation especially if they are live ins and works better really...gives them their private quarters.
We did not have that but my grandfather did...but no one would refuse them food or water on the fine china.
I don't have illusions either...especially now. I know this...however bad it was then...black culture was intact...black illegitimacy was only 20%...black crime and corruption was negligible except on Farish streets on Saturday nites..and I could have my car break down any where and all the city was safe.
Today it has all fallen apart.
It's difficult to judge really how much better is progress. We were never truly segregated and now we are not fully integrated...Jackson has resegregated with richer blacks joining whites on the perimeter or in pockets of the Northeast holdouts.
Every year exponentially more whites murdered or raped etc by blacks than the total of all blacks killed during everything from Reconstruction thru Jim Crow
so what did we really gain?
a clearer conscience..mine was fine already after New York
or a larger black middle class that votes for entitlements after decades of pundits assuring us that once opportunity and education gave them this they would adopt out values
hell they shared our values more when they were oppressed.
I never thought it would turn out like this...it's a very mixed bag and the future is grim.
Right now my kinfolks who stayed in Clinton are trying to get out because they see where it's headed...down...they don't know whether to go to Raymond or Madison...maybe down below Terry...
helluva way to live....it's like South Africa..staying ahead of the blight
and no cure in sight
struggle mentioned black middle class flight...that reminded me of the first nice black neighborhood when I was a boy...out Delta Drive ...Presidential Hills...past Northside dr
now when I'm in town for family or family business...I often stay at Cabot on County Line and drive across county line to NE Hinds to see my cousin who lives out near that tort lawyer's big horse farm on former Irby land...Carson road I think...anyhow...looks like a lot of nice black homes out Hanging Moss and Watkins...former white areas in my day but they look like they held up
My maternal grandma lived on Lexington..tween St Charles and First...near Whitfield elementary...decent in the 60s and 70s then nice blacks moved in but later the riff raff ...same pattern and everyone leaves and you get zip for your home
How do you stop that cycle?
Drive thru there now and it is bad....like really really bad.
You got me thinking though ...did I ever see anyone mistreat their domestics?
I cannot say I did though what do I really know...I was kid. I know my dad spent many a sunday morning bailing his black men outta the tank...brawling...got “staubed” or domestic fighting...I got to ride along since he had built the new jail...we'd walk right in and fetch everyone to take them to their homes where wives were waiting...yes they all married back then more so...they'd be all humble and contrite...I loved it...I could miss church and we'd slip by Primos for a box of brownies..
yep..great place to grow up for me....I'm able to replicate that for my kids here in Williamson county TN but in Jackson proper today it would be a tall order..
it sucks...I'll never shake it...it's in your blood...anyone from Mississippi gets it...the moss, the decay smell, the faded gentility..I miss it in some ways though I know life for my kids here is safer and I don't have a private school bill
When listening to the book on CD, I got the impression that the white women being described were the 'society' women, not a typical middle class white family who could afford 'help' on a regular basis, but were not at all in the "Junior League" class of family, which was always conscious of what others might say about them.
Hubby's Mama employed a black woman who truly helped raise her kids, when she had to return to work to help the family's finances. All of the kids still speak fondly of Ida Mae, for whom hubby's Mama set up a Social Security account, and paid into it, while she was working for them. We have a family picture in which Ida Mae is holding my hubby, when he was just a toddler. They also had a gardener, Mr. Fred, and when he became too ill to work for them anymore, hubby's parents still gave him money, and she took food to his house on a regular basis. I remember going to his house, when hubby and I were first dating. He was a very nice man, and had a lovely garden at his own house, which he was just barely able to keep up, at that point.
Hubby's Mama once told me that she thought the South was able to 'get over' the racial changes more quickly than the North ever did because many white people in the South had known, and loved, black people all their lives. Nothing changed for them, except the public trappings; their private behavior simply went on as before.
I never really knew much about Jackson, growing up. I was born and raised in Hattiesburg, and know more about the Coast, where we have a family Fish Camp, and spent most of our summers. My s-i-l has lived in Pearl, and worked in Jackson, for almost 30 years, and she hates what has happened to the city.
Watched Green Lantern. Learned that you can overcome fear by bringing about courage, because you truly love something. Maybe that wasn’t the message, but that’s what came across to me. Meanwhile, I got an entertaining movie, while my comic geek acquaintances were busy analyzing what wasn’t right about it.
I loved the movie. It is fiction, and I viewed it as such even though there are many similarities to the way things were in Jackson. I’m the same age as Kathryn though I don’t think I ever met her. My best friend went to Prep, but she is a year older. I also went to Bama as Kathryn did. I feel somewhat of a kinship with her since I left Jackson, went to college, and married “a Yankee” even though he was born in Atlanta. lol I’m probably more generous with writers and their artistic license because hubby writes fiction, and it often seems very real.
I visited family outside of Jackson last week. I had not been back for at least 15 years. I had my oldest two daughters with me and drove them around my old neighborhood in South Jackson, and it was so sad to see how run down the whole area is. My old neighborhood, which was upper middle class in the late 60s, 70s, and 80s, is very much run down. I could see it as being an inspiration for the book.
I don’t want to get into my opinion of the 60s or even beyond that as far as Jackson goes. I didn’t live through the 60s. I was oblivious in the 70s and most of the 80s. Then I left. When I left, the first black family moved into my old neighborhood. The white folks could not sell their houses fast enough.
Someone above mentioned the condition of Peeples. They have built a new building on the property, but the old building remains. It is quite an eyesore. Not that the people who live around the school seem to take pride in their own houses. I can’t believe how fast things went downhill, but historically speaking, the same thing happened when the white folks started moving out of the big homes near downtown. (I can’t remember the streets—maybe Robinson Rd?)
We had a maid when I was a wee one. We had two bathrooms in our house. And I think we were considered rich BECAUSE we had two bathrooms. lol I’m guessing our maid used our bathroom.
Meanwhile, I got an entertaining movie, while my comic geek acquaintances were busy analyzing what wasnt right about it.
I read quite a bit of the book, but had a hard time with it. Since you are from Jackson, I’m glad to read your perspective.
I didn’t recognize many things that Stockett wrote about.
We bought a very old home in NC to remodel. It had a bathroom for “the help” and a butler’s bell in the dining room floor. So, I guess she wasn’t totally making up stuff. However, this home was so old that she wasn’t even a gleem in her grandmother’s eye at the time.
I’m going to be out of town for a while...just so you know. It’s good to see you. ;o)
I remember watching The Princess Bride before reading the book. It took a second reading about ten years later, before I truly appreciated the quality of the book more than the movie. Even though I still enjoy both.
I have to correct something from my earlier post. My BFF says that Kathryn is two years older than she is, and that would make her three years older than I am.
You are a mere child then dear...
As a person in my sixties, I was around at the time that the big change happened in American society and it happened through music and the mass media. Young people are basically lemmings, they will follow each other off a cliff if you let them. Sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll worked to seduce young people away from traditional values into a feel good, thoughtless, narcisistic, hedonist society.
The reason why I looked up the topic of movies is because I was thinking about the influence of popular culture on people especially young people. I wanted to ask you and others if they have ever heard of a Christian website that critiques movies, television and books according to OUR values—not theirs. There is a real need for this now more than ever.
If anyone knows of such a website please let us know and let’s spread the word.
Hi, I have often wondered why it seems that blacks in the south are all moving into the cities. Since, I do no live in the south, I am not sure if this is true but I do get that impression.