My sister Gabrielle, my brother Josh and I recently visited the Christian Worldview Film Festival in San Antonio, TX. It is awkward to go to a festival so completely out of your field of expertise where you know practically nobody. The lack of knowing people is soon remedied, however, for the connections your siblings have made, or even the connections of the connections your siblings have made, are quickly introduced to you completely out of the blue.
Now aside from being a bit out of my element, surrounded by film makers, I grew to observe the art of film as something more than just an expression of feelings. Film is a form of art that is used to promote an opinion or worldview. Again, I use the word worldview as litterally as I can; it simply means how you view the world. In this case, it is how the film maker views the world, and that determines how he makes his film.
Being that film now has two purposes, we need another way to analyze film. The first way we would analyze it, would be the way we do every other demographic of art: as a simple outlet to express emotion. If all of our ideas then matrix from this concept of art, we will be able to comprehend the emotions portrayed in any particular art form.
The second way we now have to analyze film, is as a tool to communicate a point or moral. In order to analyze the message of the film maker, you need to first examine his worldview. This can be done by observing the content of the film; what a person does or does not allow into their film speaks volumes about their character and ultimately, their worldview. You can also get a feel of to whom the message is intended, who is targeted and in what ways. Also, watch how the characters treat each other and what the roles of each mean. Do the parents of a kid have authority or is the kid “his own man”? Are religious characters portrayed as fools? Things like this can quickly establish where the creator of the film stands, and what message he is trying to tell you can be easily identified.
One final observation I would like to make. I heard it said that the WWJD principal applies to film making as well as film viewing. The truth of that statement is profound. But, the application of it stretches far beyond just film, it touches all of art. We are to ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?”, before we devote our time to any type of art in which we may engage. Be it creating some manner of art, or partaking in the enjoyment of it, we should ask ourselves, what would Jesus do?
Humans express themselves in their art, and not just their emotions, but also their worldview. We need to always look for the deeper meaning, the hidden message, so that we are never taken unawares by the cunning of the enemy.
–the anonymous novelist