The Good, the True and the Beautiful on Film: Why Catholics Need Good Movies
Family Matters: Catholic Culture
BY ANNA ABBOTT, REGISTER CORRESPONDENT Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 9:18 AM
The release of Darren Aronofsky’sNoah was a fascinating moment — not for art or film history, but because it spurred Christians, once again, to debate what constitutes a good religious movie.
But with new religious movies ranging from an upcoming retelling of the Exodus with Christian Bale to a St. Catherine of Alexandria biopic, Decline of an Empire, which was released straight to DVD/Blu-ray/streaming this month, it is timely to consider how Catholics can inform the culture through movies that have both aesthetic quality and religious integrity.
The newly canonized St. John Paul II, himself an actor, meditated on what makes a good — in the philosophical sense — work of art. Filmmakers and filmgoers should take his words to heart.
Pope St. John Paul II said in his 1999 “Letter to Artists”: “Every genuine art form in its own way is a path to the inmost reality of man and of the world. It is therefore a wholly valid approach to the realm of faith, which gives human experience its ultimate meaning. That is why the Gospel fullness of truth was bound from the beginning to stir the interest of artists, who by their very nature are alert to every epiphany of the inner beauty of things.”
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