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Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom and Discernment

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In this thoroughly revised and updated edition of his popular book, Brian Godawa guides you through the place of redemption in film, the tricks screenwriters use to communicate their messages, and the mental and spiritual discipline required for watching movies.
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Overview

In this thoroughly revised and updated edition of his popular book, Brian Godawa guides you through the place of redemption in film, the tricks screenwriters use to communicate their messages, and the mental and spiritual discipline required for watching movies.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
An award-winning Christian Hollywood scriptwriter offers this rather uneven book on how to watch movies discerningly as a faithful Christian. Godawa's purpose is not to help readers decide which films are worth seeing (for that he refers them to Christian Web sites), but rather how to "read" a film for its messages as opposed to absorbing it only as entertainment. One of his main arguments is that Christians should engage the world of popular culture in order to reform it. Unfortunately, it is not always clear who he expects his audience to be. Sometimes he writes very simplistically; he ends his definition of "worldview" with the phrase "it is our view of the world" and details elements of stories and myths that many high school graduates would be familiar with. But other sections use very academic prose about complex philosophies like existentialism and postmodernism. He reveals a clearly defined, even narrow, view of Christianity by asserting the "correct" way one should live or interpret the Bible. "Rare is the movie that paints an accurate portrait of heaven and hell," he tells us. (Just what, exactly, would an "accurate" portrayal look like?) The fact that each chapter ends with assignments and discussion questions gives it a strong pedantic twist. Despite these flaws, in the hands of the right audience conservative Christians willing to approach it as a textbook and who don't mind having a few movie plots betrayed this guide will encourage more thoughtful film consumption without killing the fun of moviegoing. (July) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Jack Hafer
"Any Christian wanting to understand modern film from the viewpoint of its message, its moral premise, will find Godawa's Hollywood Worldviews a must-read. A film must be approached from more than one direction to do justice to it, but an understanding of its worldview is a requirement. There is no better book available on the subject."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830823215
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2002
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.18 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Godawa is an award-winning screenwriter. He has also taught and written on film and philosophy, screenwriting, and the art of watching movies. Four of his screenplays have won multiple awards in such competitions as the Nicholl Fellowship, Austin Heart of Film, Fade-In, Worldfest, Writer's Network, Chesterfield Writer's Film Project, Columbus Discovery Award and Reader's Digest Screenplay Competition.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Ralph Winter
Preface: God Loves Movies
Introduction
Act 1: Storytelling in the Movies
1 Sex, Violence & Profanity
2 Stories & Mythology
3 Redemption
Act 2: Worldviews in the Movies
4 Existentialism
5 Postmodernism
6 Other Worldviews
Act 3: Spirituality in the Movies
7 Jesus
8 Christianity
9 Faith
10 Spiritual Warfare
Dénouement: Watching Movies with Eyes Wide Open
Index
Appendix: Sex, Violence & Profanity in the Bible

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2005

    Good framework to explore film

    Godawa provides a broad overview of film sympathy and antipathy toward the Christian worldview by citing myriad examples of each across film styles. By no means a slash and burn attack on Hollywood's products, Hollywood Worldviews is well though out, gracious and generous in its assessment of film content...perhaps too generous at points. Nonetheless, a good place to begin a study of film worldviews.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2004

    Interesting...

    **** Movies have a deep impact on our society, from fashion to catch phrases, and most importantly attitudes. Even the most trivial movie is shaped by some underlying theme or message that is subtly delivered to millions of minds on a subconscious level at least. By utilizing the steps outlined in this book and on the corresponding website, readers are encouraged to view their entertainment choices seriously to avoid being molded into someone they don't want to be. Some of the films that the author suggests as good choices are startling; and lest anyone think a book on Christian films will only contain fluffy, feel good movies put out by white bread companies, let me assure you that there are quite a few R rated movies, gross out comedies, and even a Christian themed vampire movie described as worthwhile films. This book would make an excellent adult Sunday school curriculum, or serve well as a simple guide for how to use one's free time viewing purposefully. ****

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2002

    Who is shaping your worldview?

    Most of us watch movies to be entertained, not necessarily to "learn". Or at least we don't think we are learning. Do you realize that when you watch a movie your worldview is being shaped by the writer / director / producer? This book challenges us as readers and movie watchers to open our eyes to the bigger picture. It unveils the worldview being taught to us in several movies. I watch movies differently than before I read this book! Brian Godawa's clear, thought-provoking writing reveals the importance of looking beyond what we see on the screen to analyzing what worldview is being programmed into our subconscious minds. Being aware is critical. You will want to watch the movies again and see what he means!

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