Friday, March 14, 2008


I LOVE movies. Going to the theater (on the rare occasion that it happens) makes me feel like a 6 year old kid going to the "big picture show" (ok, it's never been called that in my lifetime, but you get the idea). I have seen 2 movies recently (in the last few months) that have grabbed me. The kind of movie that when the credits roll at the end, I'm left going "YES YES YES, that's what movies are all about." My choices might seem random as they are not Braveheart-esque by any means. They are very almost painfully simple...but passionate...and that, more than anything else, makes a movie for me. Make me feel like the character is my friend. Make me invest in their life, and BOOM, you got me hooked.

I CANNOT, I repeat, CANNOT, bear to watch a predictable movie, no matter how cutesy it is. I do not like action-adventure too much, just on occasion, and it must have crazy twists that I never saw coming. I like to think hard to figure it out, or I like to be moved to heart explosion because of my investment in the character. High stakes for my positive review of your flick, Mr. Director.

That leaves me in a bit of a quandry when it comes to rental time. I don't have a "genre". And I LOVE to be pleasantly surprised by a flick I know nothing about. On to the 2 I haven't stopped thinking of...

Movie #1: Amazing Grace. I heard nothing about this, just a random rental. True story about a guy named William Wilberforce from the House of Commons back in the 1700-1800's who set out to abolish slavery in Britain. His mentor was John Newton (author of the song Amazing Grace, thus the movie title) and their relationship plays a big part in Wilberforce's life mission. Passionate people all over this flick. I invested from the beginning and was pleasantly surprised. So much so that it's been a few months since I've seen it, and parts of it keep coming up in my head often. Got to love a movie like that.

Movie #2: Once. This is the simple one...painfully so. About a singer/songwriter who puts everything he has into writing songs and sharing that with street people mostly...and a girl. She walks in, becomes his bff, shares his passion for music and that's about it. Something in it grabbed me, the core (and it wasn't the frequency of the f bomb which thankfully was hard to understand b/c of their Irish accents). They were passionate people.

I guess that's the theme of both movies and why I love them so much. Passionate people have something to say and in these 2 instances, I wanted to hear it. Makes me want to live my life with the same amount of passion...abolishing slavery to writing a song...opposite ends of the "importance in the grand scheme of life" spectrum...both done with uncertainity as to where it would lead, yet with total surrender.

What would my life look like if lived with unstobbable passion? Would it point people to Jesus? Would it make them mad? Would it make them want to listen? Am I a "character" worth investing in?

Since I'm convinced my life is being recorded (I totally had the idea of The Truman Show first!), I guess I'll find out later if I make anybody's favorite movies list.


Anonymous said...

I heard that Once had a good soundtrack. Thanks for letting us borrow Hotel Rwanda - it was intense.

Jana & Jason Harwell said...

You need to read the book about William Wilberforce...I think it's called "Hero for Humanity." I've got it. Amazing story...amazing grace, I suppose.