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The Purpose of Film Discussions

Updated: Aug 6, 2022

The purpose of the film discussions at CityGate is to look at visual art and the media of cinema in a Christian context. Christians have shied away from film until recently. Even now, though, while Catholics find visual piety congenial, our Protestant commitment to the word and our suspicion of images has made it hard for us to understand or appreciate the language of cinema.

I have chosen a number of films that either directly or metaphorically explore the nature of visual narrative. Rear Window explores what we do when we try to find narrative meaning in what we see. Vertigo questions the creation of the image of the female by the male viewer or the male movie maker. Andrei Rublev suggests, through an account of the life of a great Russian painter of icons, that the visual can be a pathway to an understanding of the divine--it dramatizes one possible way of seeing the role of the Christian artist as the one who truly sees the glory of the troubling world we live in.

I believe that God is calling Christians in our day to understand and participate in this area of His creation, to be active in the world of cinema, commenting, critiquing and creating. I hope that these discussions will help to foster that.

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