For the Strength of Youth

December 7, 2007

For the Strength of Youth

I was looking through different church publications to see what kind of information was out there regarding movie ratings. The following passage is from the For Strength of Youth pamphlet:

  • Our Heavenly Father has counseled us as Latter-day Saints to seek after “anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy” (Articles of Faith 1:13). Whatever you read, listen to, or watch makes an impression on you. Public entertainment and the media can provide you with much positive experience. They can uplift and inspire you, teach you good and moral principles, and bring you closer to the beauty this world offers. But they can also make what is wrong and evil look normal, exciting, and acceptable… Don’t attend or participate in any form of entertainment, including concerts, movies, and videocassettes, that is vulgar, immoral, inappropriate, suggestive, or pornographic in any way. Movie ratings do not always accurately reflect offensive content. Don’t be afraid to walk out of a movie, turn off a television set, or change a radio station if what’s being presented does not meet your Heavenly Father’s standards

 This particular edition of the For Strength of Youth does not say “do not watch rated R” movies specifically. Instead, it says that movie ratings “…do not always accurately reflect offensive content.” I think this pretty much supports the point that we cannot just think that because something is rated PG-13 it is okay to watch it.

Do you think this applies to rated R movies as well? Could some rated R movies be “okay” to watch?

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My Kid Could Paint That

December 7, 2007

My Kid Could Paint That 

This is an incredible film.  It’s a documentary about a little girl who paints beatiful abstract paintings that have been selling for tens of thousands of dollars in galleries.  But there’s controversy…

The question is: is the girl really painting by herself, or is someone helping her?

Anyway, this is why you go to the movies.  This was very well done, interesting, entertaining, and thought provoking.  It’s the kind of film you can’t stop thinking about when it’s over.  As soon as it ends you’ll want to discuss it at length with whoever saw it with you.  Seriously, it should come up in Oscar discussions. 

So, now that I’ve plugged this thing (I had to go to a theater in downtown SLC to see it, but it’s worth it),  let’s talk about the rating: pg-13.  Unlike some of the other posts I’ve written, where I’ve sort of been pointing out the flaws of the rating system, I think they got it just right with this movie.  After it was over (and I think this is the mark of a tastefully done film) I couldn’t remember anythng offensive whatsoever about it.  No language, no nudity, no violence.  But then I looked on IMDB and remembered that they did show some scenes in art galleries that included a few nude paintings and a flashing neon sign of the f-word that was supposed to be modern art. 

I guess they could have slapped this thing with an R rating if they wanted, but the context of the art gallery scenes didn’t warrant it.  REally, it was kind of just pointing out how absurd some “art” is and exploring the idea of how to define what’s art and what isn’t. 

In this case, pg-13 was perfect becuse the movie probably wasn’t right for small children (those few art gallery scenes, and the overall them would probably be over their heads anyway) but I think any 14 year old would benefit from seeing this movie.  It really raises some interesting questions about art, honesty, genius, and life.  I’m very glad they didn’t arbitrarily exclude people for incidental things.