Thinking in the Theatre
Last Wednesday was the first free movie event offered to the student body of Greenville University. It was held at the Globe Theatre, located on the Greenville town square. About 40 students attended the event, but what most of them didn’t know was the reason for this free movie. The event was actually because of an honors class taught by Dr. Matt Bernico called Cinematic Conversations. The students who are in the class plan the events by picking out the movies and handing all the promotion for the events. Dr. Bernico says, “The point of the class is to build film culture on campus. It’s really to get students thinking about movies in a deeper, more academic way.”
Many people tend to consume movies, books, and stories published in other forms of media without delving into the bigger picture. Some of the best movies are the ones that can cause a person to think in a different way than they normally would and can go as far as changing that person’s life. The discussions that take place after each movie really go a long way in opening someone’s eyes to the real meaning or the possible meanings behind even the simplest films.
I remember my first time attending the Cinematic Conversations event as a freshman at Greenville. It was a showing of “My Neighbor Totoro” (an amazing movie, by the way.) I also remember being confused about why there was a conversation following the movie. It was so interesting to engage in conversation with everyone in the theater and I felt as though it was something completely different from just watching a movie with some friends. It was thought-provoking and it was the first time I really started to think about anything for myself.
The following summer, I read a book called “The Fault in Our Stars.” This book changed my entire thought process because I had begun to be more open-minded. The book helped me to see from a different point of view. Both the style of writing and the things discussed by the characters about life and death were intelligently done; however, they were almost contradictory to a Christian’s viewpoint. Though the book’s author, John Green, is a proclaimed Christian, his characters come to many conclusions that are absent of religion and are purely ideas of someone who knows no God.
I was raised as a Christian by parents who taught me only about Christianity, and while that’s all good and fine, I had never been introduced to any other concepts. Before I started reading the book I challenged myself not just to consume the story and move on but to really try to understand the concepts introduced to me. I struggled with the conclusions that the characters came to at first, but slowly I learned to accept that these characters wanted to find the truth as much as I did. Though it’s all fictional, it still introduces concepts and ideas that are entirely real.