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(read before Part 2)

 

Saturday night I went with some friends to see Prince Caspian, the sequel to CS Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Of the seven Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian is my favorite.  I try not to think of allegory unless it occurs to me when I read CS Lewis.  So my appreciation for the story is quite apart from any meaning of the novel.  The story moves quickly, and there are fascinating characters and a glorious victory. 

 

The movie, as Hollywood is wont to do with my favorite things, greatly altered the book.  The basic plot was there, and some of the same events.  I dare say the duel was taken call by call from the book.  A major battle was added, and important events were out of place, which puts a very different spin on the themes of the book. 

 

One point is the same in the book and the movie.  Narnia has been invaded by a tribe of humans called the Telmarines.  They killed or exiled every talking animal and mythological thing when they conquered, and have for some generations denied the existence of dwarves, fauns, centaurs, and talking mice along with anything supernatural.  King Miraz rules a world he understands and controls.  And in the story all of a sudden everything they never believed existed came marching up in front of their face.  

 

What a picture of our country!  So content in our insistent denial of the supernatural, we wander along in a world we think we can control.  If there is a God, he doesn’t interfere with the natural course.  If God does redeem the soul, He does not give any power to the Christian.  If a Christian has power, it is just excellence in normal gifts and talents.  There are no demons and no miracles.  Waters do not part.  Men do not come back to life.  Angels are legends for Christmas trees and graveyards.  Dreams are not prophetic.  Judgment is never more than consequences or human vengeance. 

So we seem to believe. 

 

If God sent undeniably fantastic events and figures upon the world, what would we do? 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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In the vein of Debate about Fantasy Literature, I’ve been continuing my thoughts recently.

1. I’m part of a small group for high school girls at my church that is just starting. No, I’m not in high school. We’re working on planning the format and lessons (along with getting people to come, finding a place to meet, etc.). I had the idea that we could watch an episode of Joan of Arcadia each week and then talk about it. Not only does Joan bring up theological questions and experiences; she is popular media’s version of a modern teenager. She and her friends and family have strengths, weaknesses, triumphs and struggles that I can relate to, let alone other high school girls.

Thing is, Joan of Arcadia’s theology is very off. And there is some content that is lacking virtue. There’s that verse in Philippians 4. Yet the show could be iron against which to sharpen our own worldviews. We could take their theology (similar to that offered by peers, neighbors, clerks, teachers, and obviously TV) and look at the Bible’s take on it. The benefits would be preparation for apologetics; and critical thinking whenever we’re consuming media.

2. Yesterday I saw August Rush for the second time. I like the music. And Keri Russell is beautiful. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers has a wonderful accent. Freddie Highmore is an excellent young actor. The ending is satisfying. The entire movie is poetic and like a fairy tale. But there is some bad language, and the whole story revolves around the fact that a single woman lost contact with her child as an infant and is now looking for him. Clearly we can object to that, and refuse to emulate it. On the other hand, the consequences of giving yourself away without commitment are pretty well laid out. I thought the movie was a pretty good argument for abstinence until marriage.

3. Tylerray at Elect Exiles posted an analysis of the movie (which I have not and will not see), There Will be Blood. I want to just encourage you, if you are going to consume media, to be interactive. Ask questions about it. Hold it to the light of God’s Word. To quote Tyler: If we passively consume media, we actively assume it.

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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A series of events led to this post. 

  1. My favorite radio station changed its schedule in a most unpleasant way. 
  2. The cassette player in my car got tired of my Steve Green tape, so I’m giving it a break. 
  3. Life is calm enough that I can pray and listen to music at the same time – sometimes. 
  4. I have been listening to the soundtrack for Beauty and the Beast, which I picked up for less than a dollar at a thrift store or garage sale. 

I don’t think the composers knew what they were doing when they made this soundtrack.  They made beautiful music, with skill that I probably don’t comprehend.  But they orchestrated a story, and characters, emotions, and virtues into this music.  My heart is more touched simply hearing the haunting instrumental tracks than by watching the movie.  Maybe because I’m not distracted by images with the sound, I can consider the thoughts of each character, the intensity of the moments.  Because the music is less bound in a setting, I think this can become my theme, too. 

Disney hit virtue, by some miracle, in Beauty and the Beast.  One of my favorite parts is the prologue.  Belle practices sacrifice.  Beast learns to love her selflessly and unconditionally.  Even when she risks his life by disobeying his instructions, entering the West Wing; when he is so angry that he frightens her out of her vow with a roar, he goes after her and risks his life for her to ward off wolves.  Each character is so fragile, yet confident.  And the song, Beauty and the Beast (tale as old as time) describes a sweet love story: both scared, neither prepared, both change, somebody bends…  As the trailer for the latest Pride and Prejudice said, “We are all fools in love.” 

Belle is smart.  She doesn’t settle.  Her father means a lot to her, even though he’s a little odd.  Even in a simple, everyday world, she dreams.  She is confident enough to carry herself well even in a grand palace.  Her heart is naturally grateful. 

Sixteen years ago this Thanksgiving, Beauty and the Beast had its theatrical release.  It was the first movie I purchased with my own money.  In fact I believe I went into the store on my own to buy it, as maybe a second-grader.  At that point I’m not even sure I’d seen the movie.  There was one Christmas when I spent an hour in Walmart trying to decide which version of the Belle Barbie doll to buy: normal Belle or wedding Belle.  I settled on normal and some ugly ballgown that was meant to double as the wedding dress I left behind. 

So many years and this is still a favorite, ranking right up there with the very long Pride and Prejudice.  I’m not ready to stop loving this movie, and I don’t like writing conclusions.  “The magic never ends.” 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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