Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Nativity Nap

Bill Murchinson's latest article is about the poor performance of "The Nativity Story" compared to "Casino Royale" or "Happy Feet." It's actually quite good in that it does not chastise America too much for it's failure to jump on this movie (like they did on "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" or "The Passion of the Christ"). Rather it calmly suggests that box office receipts might not be the best way to gauge the righteousness of a nation.
Truth is Truth, projected on a screen or not. I think Christians may hope for, as well as toil and labor for, the success of any commercial endeavor that throws unexpected light on doings at the Red Sea or the Sea of Galilee. And yet, in some measure the thing is out of their hands. "God doth not need man's works or his own gifts," interposed Milton. No bad realization, this. Takes the pressure off to some degree. Man is not -- repeat, not -- the measure of all things. A somewhat higher authority has claimed that prerogative, and doubtless means to keep it.
I will note that most reviews of the movie I've seen contain the words Dull and Dutiful. I like Dull and Dutiful in a way - certainly when it comes to people I'm in favor of it. But not when I go to the movies. Than I prefer words like "Exciting" and "Tour De Force" or at least (like "Deja Vu") "Interestingly Incompetent." Frankly it's hard to imagine anybody making anything that wasn't "Dull" and "Dutiful" out of the Bible store, unless they went for it and created something that they knew would anger a lot of people like, well, Bill Murchinson.

"The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" is a great story with interesting characters, and Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ" both upped the violence and gore level, and stoked controversy with accusations of Anti-Semitism. Those movies succeeded because they offered something different (or drew a line in the sand teling Christians they had to come if they loved Jesus). The Nativity Story fails (in so far as it has failed) because it doesn't.

No comments: