A Response to “Mormonism– Can it be a Third World?”

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Original Blog Posting

Trevor,

I agree with this posting on Third World Cinema as a model for LDS Cinema. The term “Third World Cinema” I think comes from film history texts. In such contexts, it seems appropriate.

There are some very compelling stories and modes of storytelling that resonate with my personal convictions. Italian Neo-Realism, Iranian Cinema, and Fifth Generation Chinese Cinema are a few of the movements that seem to come closer to depicting who we are as Latter-day Saints than most of our Western works.

There is something to be said in the embracing of idealism in storytelling, as was so heavily dwelt upon by Elder Jeffery R. Holland in our recent Worldwide Leadership Training, which you have recapped. I am aware of one filmmaker, Zhang Yimou, who approaches his films from this vantage point and is able to craft powerful stories because he is depicting ideals in his films.

Then my attention was recently brought to an Iranian filmmaker, whose name I’m not familiar with yet, who strongly embraces the notion of being restricted by moral standards as a strength in the creative process.

On a different note, though the Hollywood model is chiefly concerned with profitability, if we look at it from an audience perspective, ought we not to be concerned with how well something is received? What good is it to make a film that no one sees? I’m not being superficial in this comment either as I have had a recent shift in perspective on this point.

Cinema began as a means of mass entertainment. At the end of the day that is still its primary function — to entertain. But increasingly it has become a sounding board to declare the moral order of the filmmakers, especially in the mainstream “family films” venue. I think if anyone can bring it back to a true venue of entertainment, it will be us as Latter-day Saints adhering to our values.

Here’s a few additional thoughts that I’ve blogged about along the lines of the Third World Cinema discussion: http://www.sunswing.org/weblog/?p=4

Then on a personal note, Trevor, what’s in the production pipeline? Will we get to see anything at next year’s LDS Film Festival from your neck of the woods in Poland, is it?

Thanks for blogging,
Brent

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Brent is married to a very supportive woman, is father of a large family, and went into business for himself in 2006.

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