2016 Executive Director Interview


Drew Trotter is the Executive Director of the Consortium of Christian Studies Centers. Trained at Cambridge University as a theologian, his academic interests have laid the foundation for broader explorations of popular culture. For over fifteen years Trotter has been presenting a lecture called “The Movies and America” on how the Academy Award nominees for best picture function as both a barometer of, and an influence on, current American moral and intellectual standards. He recently presented at Upper|House, after which he spoke with Robert L. Kehoe III.

Click on the link to read the entire interview: 2016 Executive Director Interview




Everybody Loves at Least One Critic
Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth (New York: Penguin Press, 2016)
by A.O. Scott
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.
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Once Upon a Time …in Hollywood is Quentin Tarantino’s most recent movie and is set in Los Angeles at the time of the Manson murders. One of the most difficult tasks for a Christian when writing about film—far too large a discussion to do justice to in this space, but I need to mention it—is to balance the discussion of the quality of a film over against the view of the world that it espouses. This assignment is especially problematic, when it comes to the genius of Quentin Tarantino. Suffice it to say that in Hollywood, Tarantino’s superb abilities and his frighteningly corrupt moral sensibilities are both hugely on display.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?
“On the Need for Erasure”, The Hedgehog Review, Vol. 17, No. 1 (Spring, 2015)
by Wilfrid M. McClay
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.
Loving Your Neighbor by Watching the Oscar Best Picture Nominees
Christians go to the movies for a number of different reasons. Most, if not all, of us go, like everybody else, to be entertained. We want to escape the drudgery or the sameness (or both) of our lives into worlds we don’t normally inhabit, worlds of superheroes or space travel, of cowboys or battlefields, of pageantry or plainness, but worlds that are filled with characters and stories we don’t know or experience in our own daily lives. Sometimes we go to be surprised. We don’t know anything about a film, and a friend invites us, and we go. Sometimes we go, expecting to be challenged by the sadness of a story, or by its hilarity, or by its social or political message.