Sunday, December 22, 2002

Sabbath Day 23

I saw Two Towers for the second time today. It rocks. There are these uncanny moments when Peter Jackson shows me exactly what I pictured in my head. My favorite part of Fellowship was left out of the movie (the part where Sam, Merry and Pippen lecture Frodo on what friendship is all about. "We are going with you whether you like it or not...") My favorite part of Two Towers (and of the entire trilogy) is the discussion about the power and truth of story that Tolkien puts into the mouths of Frodo and Sam on the path to Mordor, just before the Gollum's betrayal. It was in a subtly different place in the movie, but still very moving. I personally think that it reveals Tolkien's key desire for writing the epic tale: story is more powerful (read: more real, more true) than facts. Modern people have a huge void in their hearts. We are the world's first anti-mythical, a-narrative society. We are addicted to facts and figures that choke out all creativity and paradox. In our pursuit of truth we have overdosed on data and suffocated in our own trivialities. We are the self-proclaimed sages of history and the first people foolish enough to believe that the most essential questions can be aswered in any other way but with a story.

Whle I'm ranting about story as truth...shame on us Christians for deflating the true story of the Gospel for a series of facts leading to some formula for eternal life. If there is a lack of respect for the power of the story in this culture it is the Church's fault for mishandling the most magical and true story ever told. If our theology and ecclesiology has moved past story to something "deeper", then we have been duped. It would be the equivalent of me leaving my family and friends for ten years to write an encyclopedia on true love. It's just modern Enlightenment crap to think that information matters more than narrative, but it's crap that all but fuels many of our lives and churches. I thank God everyday that I live in a novel and not a dictionary!

This concludes my movie review of The Two Towers.

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