Wednesday, May 04, 2005

An article from Breakpoint...

This came from Breakpoint (Chuck Colson) today:

BREAKPOINT with Charles Colson------------------------------
Lighting a Hollywood Candle
The Films of Philip AnschutzMay 5, 2005
If you happened to stumble across a devout Christian in Hollywood, you'd likely assume he was one of two things: He must be Mel Gibson, or he must be lost. But, in fact, you just might have run into a Christian businessman named Philip Anschutz. Philip has just spent $150 million to film THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, the first of the Narnia books by C. S. Lewis. Anschutz is showing us what we'd find at the box office if Hollywood gave Americans the kind of films we really want to see. When he first considered bankrolling films, Anschutz -- a billionaire fromColorado -- asked the first question any smart businessman asks: What do the people want? After all, with filmmaking, as with all business ventures, the idea is -- or should be -- to make money. The answer was not difficult to find. Of the twenty top-grossing films of all time, not a single one is rated R. Of the top fifty films, only five are rated R. Clearly, Americans want family fare they can take the kids to. And yet, as Anschutz noted in a recent speech, since the year 2000, Hollywood has "turned out more than five times as many R-rated films as it has films rated G or PG or soft PG-13. . . . Don't these figures make you wonder what's wrong with Hollywood just from a business point of view?" -- good question Anschutz asked. The films were not just bad business; they were polluting the culture --the culture in which Anschutz's grandchildren live, a fact that made him mad. So a few years ago, he decided to stop cursing the darkness and light a cinematic candle: He went into the film business himself, forming the Anschutz Film Group and a children's division, called Walden Media. Then he got busy making movies that were not only entertaining, but also carried strong moral messages. He visited groups of parents, teachers, and children and asked them: "What kind of movies would you like to see made? How can we affirm the good, and de-emphasize the bad and the negative?" Among his films is one I enjoyed immensely, the recent Oscar-winner about the life of the late Ray Charles, called RAY. He made the popular family films BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE and HOLES. Still in production are treatments of children's classics: CHARLOTTE'S WEB and BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA. And Anschutz is sparing no expense in making THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, which hits the box office in the fall. If it's a hit, Anschutz may film the rest of the Narnia books. This is exciting news, because films have such a tremendous impact on our culture. And that is why Anschutz, as a Christian, feels that he has a responsibility to fund uplifting, life-affirming movies. Good for him -- a great example of a Christian living his faith. And make no mistake, secular movie-makers understand the cultural impact, because they are willing to lose money making R-rated films few people want to see: It's more important for them to promote their philosophies and impress their edgy friends and film critics than to produce hits. Imagine what kind of place Hollywood would be if every filmmaker wanted to please the audience, make money, and honor God. Around every Tinsel Town corner,we'd find someone like Philip Anschutz -- or Mel Gibson. And we Christians -- to our great delight -- would have to find something else to protest.

7 comments:

Saija said...

thanx for posting that Claire, i didn't realize Chuck Colson had a site ... i copied this and will pass along to my e-mail buds ... have a blessed Thursday!

tonia/sparrow said...

I didn't realize a Narnia movie was in the works! I hope it's good...the books deserve a good movie. Thanks for the info!

blakeyblog said...

Hi Claire-
Intersting article from Colson, thanks for posting it. Film is such a big focus in society, it is neat that some people want to make some that have a moral and family-oriented theme or message. "Imagine if every filmaker wanted to honor God"---what a society it would be if all of us lived with this always at the forefront of our hearts and minds!
Blessings-
Christa

Kim said...

I hope the movie of Narnia turns out well. I would imagine that making a movie out of Narnia would be a dream to a film director with the money.

Bob & Claire said...

I am so hoping the Narnia movie is true to the book. I have such vivid pictures in my mind of that book, and I don't want a movie to ruin them if it isn't that good! I hadn't realized the guy behind the movie was a Christian until I read Colson this morning. That gives me hope!

Maurice said...

Great post Claire! I can't wait to see the Narnia movie! I loved reading those books as a child!

Christie said...

Interesting post Claire. Some of the statistics you mentioned surprised me ( only a few R rated movies in the top 50). Thanks for sharing Anschutz's work with us. Exciting stuff!