Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wall.e's director is a Christian

Roger read my review (I finally wrote it!) of Wall.e last night, in which I mention parallels between the movie and the Noah's ark story. He searched around the web for other mentions of this parallel and found the following interview with Wall.e's director in Christianity Today:

Wall.e's director is a Christian, it turns out. (He also directed Finding Nemo). Like many Christians in the arts today, he doesn't want to preach or be heavy-handed but he said that the Adam and Eve story informed the movie. Wall.e, like Adam, longs for an end to his loneliness and dreams of a mate, who comes in the form of the robot "Eve." The Noah's ark theme was unplanned, Stanton said, but as it emerged, he went with it.

One of my exciting finds as a religion reporter was encountering a number of people doing art from a Christian world view and faith perspective (because they are Christians) but deliberately avoiding the world of schlocky, sentimental or heavy-handed Christian genre art. Joey Tomassini, for example, who has an MFA in art from, I believe George Washington, goes to Latin American countries and creates collaborative murals with children from orphanages, using art to help empower them. For his master's thesis, he collaborated with a homeless man on paintings, even letting the man sleep in his studio. When he presented his project, he said half the class loved it and half the class condemned him for engaging in risky behavior.

Do you know of other examples of people expressing their faith through art, but in a way that is not heavy-handed?

1 comment:

Diane said...

Hmmm...your question is a bit loaded. What do you mean by "heavy-handed" and what is the alternative?

Maybe this is just another way of making a distiction between theory and practice, or showing and telling. In the case of Wall-e, Stanton's faith is expressed through the story; to be heavy handed, I guess, would be to have it the other way around, making the story subordinate to expressing a point of view.

As with Tomassini, George Fox, St. Francis, Jesus -- it's not what you say, but what you do, that counts.