Friday, May 14, 2010

GOOD Deeds Film Club

As miserable poke as I can be about national politics (and it can be pretty danged miserable - cf, here, here, here, or here), I'm having a lot of fun talking to diverse friends from diverse backgrounds and political identities thinking about real solutions to real problems (such as food, housing, immigration).*

I also love art. Or, Art. Whoever, whichever. My Christian theology allows that I find hope in creation, and that when people - who are themselves created in God's image - engage in creation, we are engaging with God in his work. Just as when we engage in finding truth, or in loving acts, we engage and work with God in these redemptive acts.

In an effort to combine these ideas of community, collaboration, idea-sharing, earnest communication, breaking of bread, creativity and art, I thought to start up a film club to look for beauty and inspiration from movies (some popular, as this month's Wall*E. Others not as well-known, even by me), to gather together and converse about the themes, the beauty, the good, the lovely, the worthwhile-ness of the film in question together and to bring about different perspectives in the problems that the films address, but also possible ways to contact and wrestle with those same problems in post-partisan ways.

This would require a bit of learning how to listen. And formulating and expressing complete thoughts. And involving complete participation. So, hopefully I can get the ball rolling (some trial and error and patience from wonderful friends might be needed. But hopefully not much, right?) and then others can spread these wings.

From the information page:

You'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. - Phil 4:8-9

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. - Hebrews 10:24-25

This is a film club that explores how we may spur one another on to love and good deeds.

For that purpose, we plan on meeting once a month to host a conversation on good films. These films will be selected to be both of high quality and able to involve us in thinking of how to create a better world - how to bring the Kingdom of God crashing to earth, so to speak.

Screenings of the movies to discuss will be held the week before - locations to be disclosed.

Since the focus of this film club is to spur one another on to see, dwell on, and engage with and in good works, the film club itself will be non-partisan. We will keep politicians and pundits out of the fray and discussion as much as humanly possible. We have in mind more fundamental things than the bickering, talking points, and endless debate of our local and national capitols.

Topics we *will* discuss, however, include (but are not limited to):
Conspicuous consumption
Modern slavery
Women's rights
Immigrant voices
The dispossessed and marginalized
Creation care

If you want more info (and *who* wouldn't), ask me in the comments or just shoot an email. Tonight's the first night, btw, and these are some of the topics we may cover on, from Wall*E:

Objective (as distraction?)

Love and transformation


Consumerist thought

The representation of Auto-Pilot

Music and dance.
hope with purpose and creation/nature as signifier of hope
*I should add that I am becoming more and more convinced that the real problem doesn't lie at the feet of the Glenn Beck fearmonger types. They may exacerbate the problem with a small but vocal minority, but the problem is lack of activity by the vast majority of the population. That's where they need to no longer just be entertained but engaged to do Good Deeds.

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