Friday, November 28, 2008

Sermons in the Movies

I like to use illustrations from the movies in my sermons. On the other hand, I stopped reading "good" literature and seeing "good" movies. That is, heavy with themes of depression, dysfunction, etc. I have too much of that in my own life right now, thank you very much. I don't need Marianne Robinson writing about an alcoholic son returning home with the sins of the father visited upon the sons even until the second and third (or was it third and fourth ?) generations. Sorry have that in my congregation, in my life. So, there have been a paucity of movie illustrations in my sermons. (Sunday will have to do with Krispy Kreme doughnuts)

I'm not sure that this movie will make it into my sermon, but there was food for thought in an unimaginable place. At least for me it was surprising. Quantum of Solace (does anyone else think Daniel Craig resembles Steve McQueen, especially in those tight chinos he seems to favor which I think are out of style, but if it gets women into the movie theater, why question wardrobe choices?)

In an early scene, the villain is talking with a potential client in Haiti. He mentions how Aristide was planning to raise the minimum wage from 30 cents a day to a dollar a day and how the villain's associates took him out. The people who elected Aristide were punished because the companies making tee shirts and running shoes went elsewhere.

Then, of course, a very real villain is the CIA (not Felix, he remains a good guy, maybe). The CIA is being pragmatic, working with people whether they are good or bad. This is old news. The CIA has managed to take out democratically elected officials (usually by assassination or sometimes just a coup) when the people's choice didn't suit the US (Iran, Chile, to name only two). It's well documented. Of course, the Brits don't come off much better, either. One Secretary (I think or perhaps just an assistant to the PM) tells M that if the Brits didn't work with villains, there'd not be a lot of people to work with.

And I love Judi Densch as M. It is so great to see an old, powerful woman.

Food for thought behind the boom-booms.

Got home and watched Wall-E. With Isaiah coming up in the lectionary, I thought this movie might be relevant to the Jews returning home from exile. Earth has been ruined and people have escaped on space ships. Plant life is found to have returned and so people who have been away 700 years return. The earth is a mess, full of trash, utterly destroyed. I thought about how the Jewish people must have felt returning to Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple. Unfortunately, Wall-E is a kids movie with a happy ending and people return and the earth blooms. I would have liked to have seen some disappointment about what the world was like, but there was none.

Also in my quest to watch trashy movies as I read trashy novel, watched Tropic Thunder. Funny movie. Yes, I know it's not PC.