2017 Summer Movie Series

What is a movie? According to the technical definition, a movie is a story or event recorded by a camera and shown in a theater or on television. Stated otherwise: movies are works of art. Movies are expressions of the human soul. Movies are dreams. Movies are worship. Movies are prayers. Movies are not merely products for our mindless consumption, but cries of the heart spanning every possible human experience and emotion.

Someone once said that prayer is exhaling the human spirit and inhaling the Spirit of God. Movies exhale and inhale, enabling us to do the same. According to Josh Larsen in his book Movies are Prayers, these movie-prayers often take the form of praise, yearning, lament, anger, confession, reconciliation, obedience, meditation, and joy. Whether conscious or unconscious, God-honoring or profane, movies are expressions of our deepest longing, biggest questions, and wildest dreams.

For this summer movies series, we’ll be exploring four different movies as four different kinds of prayers. La La Land is a prayer of yearning for vocational satisfaction to be paired with relational satisfaction. I Am Not Your Negro is a prayer of lament over willful ignorance toward racial injustice. Sully is a prayer of obedience to do the right thing day after day until it becomes second nature. Hail, Caesar! Is a prayer of confession regarding the divide between our inner and outer lives, between reality and the spectacle.