Posts tagged ‘Proverbs’

July 9, 2012

Brave Review

***SPOILER ALERT***: My reviews are intended to get art-observers to engage with what they have already seen and heard and may include some spoilers.  So if you haven’t seen Brave yet, and don’t want to know what happens, you probably don’t want to read this post.

***

“My son, keep your father’s commands
    and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
Bind them upon your heart forever;
    fasten them around your neck. 
 When you walk, they will guide you;
    when you sleep, they will watch over you;
    when you awake, they will speak to you.
For these commands are a lamp,
    this teaching is a light,
and the corrections of discipline
    are the way to life.”

~Proverbs 6:20-23

Brave is a moral tale. It is a call to abandon pride and self-sustenance for selflessness and community, as with Pixar’s Wall-E except Brave is set in Scotland’s dark ages instead of the future and is presented through a mother-daughter relationship instead of a lonely robot.

I found the following particularly commendable:

– Legends (stories, movies, and in our case, art) teach lessons. This is what I love about Pixar: they are always trying to get something across. (Mind you, I don’t always agree with it, but at least they are trying). This story in particular teaches about how destructive and divisive pride can be and how humility can heal and unite.

– Merida is not ready to get married. Not in a “she wouldn’t be a good wife because she’s not a lady” kind of way, she’s just not emotionally ready to be in that kind of relationship. She’s no less strong, beautiful, or interesting, and the movie gets that across. Her not being ready to get married isn’t portrayed as a slight against her, like it is in a lot of movies today. (Thank you, Pixar).

-Merida is flawed. She doesn’t do her chores singing sweetly like Cinderella and Snow White – in fact, she’s not thrilled about her duties as a lady at all. She actually has to go through a learning process to be more willing to give up what she wants for what is best for everybody.

-Merida and Elinor both have to learn to understand each other. (Yeah, I know. Someday if I have a daughter this is going to come back to haunt me). Merida is certainly self-centered, and it falls to Elinor to try to get her to see beyond herself. Merida is stubborn, doesn’t listen, and gets herself and Elinor into a situation where she has to yield and give up some of the things she wants. Elinor helps Merida get out of the predicament, and in the process, learns the value of being a fighter. Mostly though, Elinor is right. (And so are my parents).

The animation was good, but I thought the character development could have been deeper and the storyline could have been far less predictable. I know it’s intended to be a children’s movie on some level, but I felt that development-wise, Brave reminded me more of Dreamworks than Pixar. 

Overall, I liked Brave. It reminded me of my own relationship with my mom. I would have liked the male characters to have been stronger – not dominating by any means, but more than narcissistic showboaters. Ah well. I guess you can’t have it all. (Until I start making movies, and then we will have it all, haha).

***

Lydia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Radio, Television and Film. She is passionate about reaching artists for Jesus Christ. She is also a lot like Merida.

June 15, 2012

In Honor of Dad: Famous Dads in Art

The Counsel of a Father

My children, listen when your father corrects you.
    Pay attention and learn good judgment,
for I am giving you good guidance.
    Don’t turn away from my instructions.
For I, too, was once my father’s son,
    tenderly loved as my mother’s only child.

My father taught me,
“Take my words to heart.
    Follow my commands, and you will live.
 Get wisdom; develop good judgment.
    Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.
 Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you.
    Love her, and she will guard you.
 Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do!
    And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.
 If you prize wisdom, she will make you great.
    Embrace her, and she will honor you.
 She will place a lovely wreath on your head;
    she will present you with a beautiful crown.”

~Proverbs 4:1-9 (New Living Translation)

The Prodigal Son Returns byRembrandt van Rijn (c. 1662)

Based on Jesus’ parable in Luke 15, this painting expresses a father’s joy at the return of his son. 

George Banks, Father of the Bride

When his daughter returns from Italy engaged, George learns the hard way that he isn’t the only man in her life anymore while coping with putting on a wedding. He is a slightly milder version of my Dad. 🙂

Tevye, Fiddler on the Roof

Father to five girls, Tevye tries to balance his faith in a changing world.  In some aspects he changes over time, while in others he remains staunch.

Mr. Porter, College Roadtrip

Safety regulations and protective spirit aside, Mr. Porter is nothing like my Dad. He is good dad as far as movies go, though, and he always cracks me up.

There aren’t many good examples of movie/literary dads. We have some decent examples of manhood, but not really fatherhood. When I began the thought process for this article I was watching The Lord of the Rings. When it came to the Faramir-Denethor relationship, I thought, “Wow! Denethor is a really bad father.” And then I got thinking of all of the Grimm and Disney fairy tales where the father figure was completely absent.  It’s not a great comment on fatherhood in our society.

I know not everyone has had a good father. Many fathers are emotionally and physically absent and that is being reflected in our art. A lot of that gets blamed on the women’s lib movement of the sixties, where women allegedly emasculated men. I think, however, that just as women’s sin issue has been one of dissatisfaction since the beginning, men’s sin issue has been that of stepping up in leadership. Our society doesn’t just need better art examples of  fatherhood, but real life examples of good fatherhood.

I had to point that out because it’s clearly an issue, but it’s not to say that I don’t have a good dad. My Dad is the very best dad.  🙂

My Dad prays and is a prayer warrior. My Dad teaches and leads by example. He invested countless hours with my siblings and I, making sure we hid God’s Word in our hearts. Unlike a lot of people, my Dad doesn’t assume I have everything all figured out (not even the common sense stuff). My Dad speaks the truth boldly, even to me. My Dad is a disciplinarian (in the very best sense).

I am so thankful that my Dad is present. I am thankful that my Dad is protective. I am thankful that I know my Dad wouldn’t do anything to harm our family or me. I am thankful from where God has brought my Dad from and where He’s bringing him to.

Thank you to all dads who are there for your families physically and emotionally, who are a Christ-like example of fatherhood.

We love you and appreciate you. It is our prayer that God raises up more men like you.