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A.O. Scott, the chief film critic for The New York Times, had a problem. He had written a negative review of the famous Avengers movie of several years ago, a movie which proceeded to make $1.5B at the box office worldwide. Shortly after the review came out, Samuel L. Jackson, one of the stars of the film tweeted, “AO Scott needs a new job! Let’s help him find one! One he can ACTUALLY do!”
Now, neither the box office bonanza—which Scott predicted by the way in his review—nor a tweet by Samuel L. Jackson, one of the most powerful actors in Hollywood, was going to threaten the job of arguably the most respected film critic in America.
In this brief essay, Bill McClay, current occupant of the G.T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma, takes on just one of the many issues of the permanence and accessibility of information published on the internet today. He raises three concerns.
Art is political. Period. Anyone who says it is not, does not know what they are talking about.
Gee, Drew, how do you really feel about it…
Of course, some art is more political than other art, though all good art is strongly political because the clearer, the more complex and important the themes and ideas promoted in that art are, the more political the piece of art is. Take film for instance. Frozen carries messages far more powerful and life-changing than does Kung-Fu Panda (1, 2, or 3), and it is greater art because of it.
Each year, Drew Trotter gives a talk on the Academy Award nominees for Best Picture, what those nominees reflect about our culture, and how Christians can think about and respond to those films. He presents this talk at Study Centers, churches, and other venues throughout the year. This version of the talk was delivered on February 24, 2017 at the Center for Christian Study in Charlottesville, Virginia.