Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Catholic in Hollywood

Another interview with Catholic screenwriter Barb Nicolosi (I always find these fascinating and informative). Her thoughts on aesthetics are particularly worth thinking about:

My father is a military historian, and he raised us with the adage, “It is never good strategy to underestimate your adversary.” So, Hollywood needs to stop looking down on the people who want the transcendent side of human nature to be reflected in their stories. Hollywood needs to stop thinking they can throw cheap platitudes at the people who are, you know, brooding over Leviticus and Dorothy Sayers and Chesterton and C.S. Lewis and John Paul II in their free time. How did Aretha Franklin put it? R-E-S-P-E-C-T! But it’s very hard to respect people if you loathe and fear what they believe.

The word now is that FOX is going to greenlight ten movies for the Christian audience at a cost of about $40 million. Well, in a day in which the average studio movie costs close to $50 million, that means that FOX has decided that the Christians can be had on the cheap. Ask a woman how she feels about a guy who thinks he can win her on the cheap…

But I don’t really blame the industry. People tend to make the movies they want to see. I blame Christians for losing the love of the arts and for not being a serious presence creatively in Hollywood. The Church used to be the Patron of the Arts. Now, our Sunday Masses can mostly be reckoned aesthetic horror shows – terrible music badly performed, lame homilies with no point or oratorical style, environments which are a celebration of the sterile and talentless. It isn’t fair for Christians to critique Hollywood serverely until we get our own aesthetic act together.

I also like her thoughts on what the Catholic Church can bring to the entertainment industry...
I think the Church brings a refreshing voice to the entertainment industry which is floundering around trying to decide if it should have an ethics. The Church says, “Wherever there is power there must be ethics.” Ethics is helping people ask, “Just because I can do something, does that mean I should?”
Read the entire interview here

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