Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Two Sides of Hollywood

In a recent blog entry, I complained about the lack of virtue within Hollywood. To be fair, I offer the balanced perspective.

Hollywood is an incredibly powerful force that shapes and creates perceptions and social trends. I have no direct data, but I'm guessing the gradual decline in basic morality can be linked with the acceptance of more sexualized films. Shows like Dragnet or Perry Mason encouraged college attendees towards the field of criminal justice. MacGuyver sparked an interest in engineering majors. And modern shows like CSI have caused a surge of students enrolling in forensic science programs.

Special effects are better than they've ever been, but even before then, TV could make anything look "cool." Cigarettes for example. It's often startling to see older shows such as The Andy Griffith Show or Perry Mason where everyone smokes.

But this was supposed to be a balanced perspective.

There is a silver lining in the clouds of Hollywood, and it seems to have gotten wider the past few years. The recent and semi-recent Christian movies Hollywood has given us is an ever-mounting list, and includes

    The Chronicles of Narnia
    End of the Spear
    Passion of the Christ
    Facing the Giants
    One Night with the King
    Amazing Grace
    Bridge to Terabithia
    Lord of the Rings

Thanks to the recent success of such films, more are on the way. Ted Dekker's book Thr3e was recently made into a movie. (I can wait to see the film; the book was stupid.) The Ultimate Gift opens this Friday, and I'm looking forward to it. I have yet to see Bridge to Terabitha, but I did meet the author at a C.S. Lewis conference in Wheaton, Illinois two years ago. Amazing Grace is a fantastic movie about the life of Christian activist William Wilberforce.

Regardless of the politics or personal philosophy of the morally-bankrupt Hollywood elite, the films have been spectacular achievements, a cut above the bland "Christian films" like the Left Behind films and their kind. ("WE MADE A DVD," screams the ecstatic, poor Christian producer. "LOOK! IT'S GOT ACTORS AND EVERYTHING!")

Hollywood may think it is serving the almighty (d)allah, but it is achieving some good in the long run.


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