Saturday, May 11, 2013

Delighting in Film

Image Credit: gailf548
Earlier this week I posted about the launch event for T.C. Christensen's new movie, Eprhaim's Rescue (in theaters May 31). The first person who spoke to us was Authur Van Wagenen, the product director for Excel Entertainment and Deseret Book. He said something I found really interesting. He talked about movies and movie theater, and the way we connect with other people in a movie theater. He also said something about the movie theater being the most sacred place for his family, after the temple and the chapel.

While the thought of wasting two hours of my life watching a movie usually makes me create a laundry list in my head of all the things I go do in two hours, I do love a good movie. I'm very picky about the movies I watch - if I am going to spend two hours of my precious time watching a movie it has to be a lot of things. First of all, it must be meaningful. I have to come away from the moving wanting to be a better person, wanting to change something in myself and the world in a very real way. But a movie can't just be meaningful for me - ideally it will also be a well made movie, with good acting, a great script (that should usually have at least a little bit of comic relief, if it is a more serious film), enjoyable cinematography, and hopefully poignant music that helps the viewer connect with the images on the screen.

Some movies and documentaries that fit this bill for me are Fireproof, Courageous, Slumdog Millionaire, Waiting for Superman, Admission, and Rise of the Guardians, just to name a few I have seen recently.

At the Ephraim's Rescue launch event, I was given a copy of 17 Miracles (which I hadn't seen). The movie was definitely inspiring - in fact, it made me want to tell pioneer stories to my children. My mother used to tell us stories of our pioneer ancestors all the time. One of the stories in 17 Miracles is actually of my husband's great-great grandmother, Ann Jewel Rowley. The story of the hard sea biscuits that she prayer over and turned into enough food to feed their family that night. The experiences of the Saints who traveled the plains were truly miracles.

In complete honesty, 17 Miracles was not the best movie I had seen. The story line seemed a little fragmented and sometimes I had a hard time following who were were talking about, but because T.C. was trying to tell all 17 stories as accurately as possible. Rather than creating a fictional family to whom all the miracles happen (which would be a pretty unbelievable story) we had to jump around to the different families who were experiencing these things. But the music was excellent, and the script was pretty well written, and the acting was really superb. So in all, the movie was great.

Which gives me high expectations for Ephraim's Rescue.

What films have you found meaningful, or have inspired you?

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