27 December 2005


Boxing Day, that's the day after Christmas, was very quiet for us. We sat around. I emptied out my sewing area and set up my new sewing table. Whoo hoo. I've never had a "for real" sewing table. You know, the kind that's made to fit an actual sewing machine. I've been sewing since I was 8 years old and I've always had a sewing machine on a regular table. So now I feel as if I've "arrived." Now I'm for real myself. I've been sewing for 33 years and quilting for 9 and now I'm real. Hmmm ...

In the evening we discovered that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was on Pay Per View. Since the LightHusband had not seen it with us in the theatre, we decided to "rent" it and watch it together as a family. So we did. We ate popcorn for dinner. And juice (to make it healthy). I ate some of the chocolate that was in my stocking from Christmas morning. It's hard to watch this movie and not lust after chocolate.

I realized some things that I hadn't particularly noticed the first time around. First, it seems to be trendy to slap moviegoers upside the head with psychodrama these days. This was the case with Narnia, and I noticed it here too. In Narnia we were given all sorts of psychological reasons why Edmund was angry, resentful and bitter and thus betrayed his siblings. In, Charlie, we're given all sorts of psychological reasons why Willy Wonka is a disturbed chocolatier. Roald Dahl never wrote those into the story. C.S. Lewis never wrote any reasons into his story. Both preferred to let the reader use their imaginations to come to their own conclusions. However, moviemakers do not. They obligingly fill in ALL the blanks for us. I find this trend disturbing. I do not want all the blanks filled in for me. I like to be able to think, to imagine, to be encouraged to use my brain. I recognize that this movie is primarily aimed at children, but I want my children to be encouraged to think, to imagine and to use their brains as well. I do not want all of their blanks filled in either. I want them to struggle with the story a little bit, to have some questions unanswered that they must think about and wonder about. It's what helps them to grow.

The second thing I noticed about the movie was how redemptive the storyline is. And it started me thinking about stories in general. All of the really great stories are about redemption on some level. About taking evil and making something good out of it. Or about good defeating evil. We always want the white hats to win. So the classics, the stories that have stood the test of time, have something of redemption in them (I think). I think it has to do with that bit by Blaise Pascal about the God-shaped hole in us. Or maybe it's just the part of us that longs for our Creator whether or not we know Him or Her. I'm not sure what exactly it is, but I think it's that piece of the author or the artist that is calling out to the song of creation, that song we no longer hear, but can only imagine.


Blogger Ryan said...

I was just mentioning this thought to Becky after watching The Muppets Christmas Carol with Sophie. (It is a "Muppetized" version of the Dickens classic). Stories such as these stand the test of time because of their redemptive quality. The idea that we can all change and make ourselves better because of love and forgiveness is the greatest message of hope the world has ever known.

12/28/2005 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

So why is it mostly only American movies that have these types of endings? Some of my favorite non-american classic movies don't end this way at all.
Also, I love Muppet Christmas Carol.

12/29/2005 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Amen, Bringer of Light, on your insights about imagination.

I've watched films and/or portions of films in group settings somewhat frequently over the past few months. And I hear a lot of questions: "Who is this?", "Why did he do that?", "What is she doing?", "Is that his grandfather?", "Is that the same guy as before?", and on and on. The answer to all of which is "we don't know yet, let's watch it together and find out!".

People are conditioned to have every little thing made so plainly obvious (at least three times) that it is impossible to miss. It makes me sad.

12/31/2005 07:04:00 AM  

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