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.
Directed by: James Mangold
Ford v Ferrari is not a “racing picture,” though Formula 1 racing, especially the grand-daddy race of them all, Le Mans, is at the heart of the plot. In this context, Mangold has given us a fine buddy picture utilizing two of the best actors on Hollywood’s A list: Matt Damon and Christian Bale. In the hands of these two performers Ferrari has that wonderful blend of being a sports movie with much deeper heart than the plot could ever realize on its own, looking into a variety of themes— perseverance, family vs. work, winning at all costs, corporate greed, the quest for excellence, the nature of friendship, and even the usefulness of words, when the world collapses. Though all these topics are treated in the movie with enough seriousness to make them worth discussing, we will concentrate on a few things the movie teaches us about friendship, perhaps the central theme of the film.
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.
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 lecture was delivered on March 1, 2019 […]