A thought-provoking cartoon of two missionaries (Mish and Meedja – geddit?) shows them walking through a street, one saying, “I give up! I just can’t find a way to reach these people.” Around them are shops and stalls selling comics, and everyone is reading them.
Most people in most cultures spend a considerable part of their leisure time in the world of story – films (cinema and TV) and books. Using culture as a way in to the Gospel therefore seems almost essential. In this vital book, culture-watch guru Tony Watkins, of Damaris.org, writes about cinema with great insight and clarity. He divides his writing into three ‘reels’. The first explains how worldview inevitably shapes films and their obvious or implied messages. His second explains how films communicate – the methods that film-makers use to tell a story. And the third reel helps us understand and interpret what films are actually saying. Although other books (e.g. Hollywood Worldviews) cover some of this material, no one else seems to have drawn it all into one volume.
Should you read it? If you are a web writer or blogger, yes. If you are a preacher, yes. If you ever talk to work-mates or friends about TV or film, yes. That really means everyone, right?