In this updated edition of Hollywood Worldviews Brian Godawa maintains that there are two extreme positions to avoid in viewing movies: the cultural anorexic, who avoids all movies; and the cultural glutton, who almost always watches movies with little or no discernment. For all who are concerned about American culture in the 21st century, this book offers a wonderful antidote to both extremes--become a discerning viewer, who understands both what kind of worldview is being presented and in what manner it is being presented. Ultimately, Godawa hopes to enable us to see just how movies can affect us, for good or for ill.
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Customer Reviews for Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom and Discernment
Review 1 for Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom and Discernment
I highly enjoyed reading this book.
Date:August 19, 2011
Brian Godawa does an excellent job of briefly describing the main points of major worldviews. And then goes on to illustrate how these worldviews manifest themselves in our movies.
I think he may go a little far in saying that "God loves movies", but I don’t fault him for that. I agree with Mr. Godawa when he says that everything has an underlying worldview; however, I do not think that every scene in a movie is intended to emphasis that. Making movies is a business and just like in any other business some decisions are made out of necessity due to budget and time constraints and not philosophic or artistic motives.
I also think that Mr. Godawa misses a very important point because he fails to properly address the interaction and implications of competing worldviews during the act of watching a movie. It is certainly true that the worldview of a movie director may directly or indirectly impact his decisions during filming. And it is equally true that the worldview of a viewer will impact how he interprets that view. Our minds are not blank canvases. We bring a worldview to the theater with us and we view a movie through that lens. What is going on during the interaction of worldviews? I failed to see where Mr. Godawa properly addressed that issue.
An example of how our worldview affects our movie watching is found on pages 186 and 187 of Mr. Godawa’s book. He writes, “Hannibal has a gruesome ‘last supper’ with Clarice (his nemesis and love interest) that is quite literally the eating of a body. … Hannibal ultimately “ascends to heaven” in a jumbo jet.” Here I think Godawa is seeing faces in the clouds. Hannibal is simply living up to his name; they call him Hannibal the Cannibal for a reason. And my interpretation of the jumbo jet scene is that of a great escape not ascension; the jet implies long distances.
Mr. Godawa is certainly an educated and well-read man, so I am sure that I have not mentioned anything that he doesn’t know. He may simply have chosen not to address these things do to certainly time, space, or budget constraints.
And I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in watching movies with wisdom and discernment.