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Idol Chatter

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It’s interesting to observe what pop culture topics have “legs” in the media and which ones don’t. I wouldn’t have thought the hand-wringing over the religious overtones of the popular movie “Secretariat” would have gone the distance ( racing pun intended). But indeed it has, as now the story is being covered across the pond. In a recent article The Independent that poses the question “Can the Movies Do God?”
Movie Mom mentioned the controversy over on her blog which started with an article in Salon magazine criticizing director Randall Wallace – a Christian -that then lead to film critic Rober Ebert to respond in defense of the movie. This then elicited a response for the author of the Salon piece and off to the pop culture wars we go.


I think all three of the articles have some valid points and are worth reading in their entireity. O’Hehir’s piece in the Salon does bring up some of the flaws and traps that are common to Christians who make want to make films with a broad appeal while still bringing their faith to the film in some way. On the other hand, Ebert points out some of the more ridiculous aspects of O’Hehir’s arguments in regards to “Secretariat” being pure propaganda.
The only article with a fresh spin on the dialogue about Christian impact on Hollywood films is the piece in the The Independent which wonders if we are missing the point completely. According to the article in The Independent, there is so much fuss being made over reaching or attracting evangelicals to the American cineplex that no one is paing much heed to the fact that Christian films aren’t necessarily playing well overseas.
It’s a valid point. Why are evangelicals in film so worried about how to encourage the converted in America – and I don’t necessarliy put Randall Wallace in this category at all – or preach to the American lost while not worrying how that Americanized gospel plays elsewhere?

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