Item description for Finding Faith at the Movies by Barbara Mraz...
Overview Covering many genres from science-fiction (Contact) to classics (To Kill A Mockingbird), Mraz, who has done extensive graduate work in film and taught theology and movie courses in a variety of settings, draws out spiritual applications for 12 films. While many criticize Hollywood for its obvious excesses and indulgences, the author takes a different tack, zeroing in on sometimes elusive themes associated with faith and allowing the films to tell their stories in context. Also, she does not attempt to dissect the movies any further, such as for historical accuracy (in Shadowlands and Amadeus for example), and lets them stand - or fall - on their own merits.
Using movies to explore faith and spirituality issues is in vogue today, but it's difficult to find the time to show and discuss a full-length film in most adult or youth classes or groups. Barbara Mraz, a deacon in the Episcopal Church and a high school teacher, found a solution.
This practical, hands-on book will help Christian educators, youth leaders, and anyone wishing to use films as teaching tools to explore and discuss a film within the usual 40-50 minutes available. Mraz provides an introduction, related Scripture passages, carefully selected film segments (with VCR counter numbers and DVD settings), and thought-provoking discussion questions for twelve movies that explore topics such as temptation, duty, forgiveness, redemption, gratitude, and other important Christian values. This proven technique one Mraz has been using for years requires a minimum of preparation and generates the maximum in participation. Industry film ratings are provided so leaders can pick appropriate films. "
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Studio: Morehouse Publishing
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.16" Width: 6.4" Height: 0.24" Weight: 0.34 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 2004
Publisher Morehouse Publishing
ISBN 081921955X ISBN13 9780819219558
Reviews - What do customers think about Finding Faith at the Movies?
Engaging Jun 16, 2005
Barbara Mraz's book, 'Finding Faith at the Movies', is a practical guide for ministry with an important and influential aspect of the media. Movies have strong impact on the psyche of people in today's society - some films have enough influence to change public policy, change popular perception, or even create cultural change on a significant scale. How can this medium be used in service of the faith concerns of the community?
Mraz has written this book for both group leaders and those looking for individual insight and guidance. She addresses the concerns of many groups, which is that it is often too much of a time (and stamina) commitment to watch a 2-hour film and then have substantial discussion about it. She proposes concentrating on selected pieces or storylines, which can be shown in brief, and members of the group can (individually or severally) watch the film before or after the discussions.
Mraz provides guiding questions for conversation, suggested themes for consideration, background material on the films, relevant scriptural passages, as well as suggestions for further reflection. She includes DVD and VCR counter numbers to facilitate the scene-sequence process (and discusses the legal issues involved in showing films to groups and/or copying sequences of scenes onto other tapes).
Mraz has selected twelve films (for those who might want a monthly movie group, this would provide a year's worth of material). This centre around themes such as sacrifice, envy, forgiveness, repentance, temptation, disappointment, gratitude, and more. The films included in this series are the following:
Saving Private Ryan (1998) Contact (1997) A River Runs Through It (1992) Quiz Show (1994) The Music Box (1990) Amadeus (1984) Shadowlands (1993) Smoke Signals (1998) American Beauty (1999) Dead Man Walking (1995) The Prince of Tides (1991) To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Many of these films are known well enough by many people that a good discussion can be held by people remembering the films and having refreshed insights based on the suggested film clips. Mraz' synopses and background information pieces are well written (not done as film reviews as much as essays written toward the spiritual focus of the book's purpose).
This is a very useful book. For those who like movies, this can give insight in a new way of viewing. For those who seek meaningful activities for youth and adults, this book gives good suggestions and practical guidelines.