Monday, June 21, 2010

What is the Reel Cathedral?

Movies, television shows, webseries, music videos... these are all forms of video art.

The invention of the first motion-picture cameras and the establishment of the first film production companies happened in the 1890s. These films were under a minute long. Until 1927 films grew in length and production value, but still were made without sound. After World War II, televisions became a fixture in homes across the world, and ever since then using video has been one of the most compelling and widely reaching ways to tell a story and share a message.

Regardless of the common misconception, these methods of storytelling are not merely "mindless entertainment," but deeply intentional vessels of understanding and interpreting the human life, experience, and soul. Whether or not they are always quality or intelligent vessels is another debate altogether, but they all have something to say. From Gone with the Wind to Terminator to The Lion King all forms of moving picture art are conveying a message hoping to reach somewhere inside of each of us. Whether trying to make us laugh, cry, sway us politically, remind us of historical events, empathize with our victories and losses, moving pictures have the power to inspire human beings for better or worse.

The goal of Reel Cathedral is to explore and understand these stories and messages on a deeper, spiritual level. When Christ taught masses of people He more often than not told stories in parable form. This method of metaphorical teaching led directly to the root of what he was trying to say. This was not only a product of His Middle Eastern culture, but also a specific means of teaching His Word to the people in ways that would enable them to use their brain and the hearts to obtain wisdom and absorb truth.

It is my hope that you will open the eyes of your heart to view all forms of art on a deeper level. Don't just eat what  you're given, make sure you know where your food is coming from and what's in it. Reel Cathedral is about viewing video art intentionally and meditatively to experience the heart of the stories and distinguish between those that enrich our lives and those that do not.

I am certainly not the first to attempt this and greatly hope I will not be the last. I encourage you to check out sites like Cinemagogue and Reel World Theology as well. The more we can fellowship on this together, the stronger and more unified we will be. 

Many blessings,

Alexis P. Johnson

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