Skip to content

Christians in Hollywood

Interview With Armando Fumagalli

MILAN, Italy, APRIL 26, 2007 (Zenit) - Good will is not enough for Christians working in Hollywood -- they also need to achieve a level of excellence that makes them competitive in the industry, says an Italian editor.

Armando Fumagalli is the editor of the Italian edition of "Behind the Screen: Hollywood Insiders on Faith, Film and Culture," a collection of essays by Spencer Lewerenz and Barbara Nicolosi.

First published in English and now in Italian, the essays aim to illustrate how to live the faith in the hard and competitive world of cinema.

In this interview with us, Fumagalli explains how Christians have to be ready and willing to "learn from the best."

Q: What are Christians doing in Hollywood? Are they helping to raise standards?

Fumagalli: I would say that before we ask ourselves if they are helping to raise standards, we must observe that there are very few practicing Christians in the world.

We are speaking about Hollywood because the products made there are sent throughout the world. But the presence of Christians in European cinema is -- if possible -- even less than in Hollywood.

As usual, among Christians there are those who are more or less good, more or less prepared, etc. But the interesting question is, on one part, to ask ourselves: Why have there been so few in the last 10 years or so?

Even more interesting is what Barbara Nicolosi is trying to do, trying to make it so that people of faith are well prepared, with high professional standards, to be able to work in this competitive market, to bring another voice to the dialogue among cultures and various visions of the world that we see in cinema and television.

It is not enough to have good intentions, we must also be professionals. For me, as for Barbara Nicolosi, it happens that we read some script of a movie, written with the best of intentions, but with a very low professional quality.

Christians, as with other professionals, must have humility and patience to learn from the best.

Q: What are the differences between Catholics in the industry and Christians of other denominations?

Fumagalli: One thing that struck me when I read the book in English was the spontaneous unity between Christians of various denominations that work in the movie industry.

In a world that is so far from God and that is in need of the spiritual dimension the differences among the Christians naturally disappear. The book seemed, right away, to be a beautiful example of "lived" ecumenism.

But I must also say -- in the writings of Protestant authors -- you can notice a lack of sure doctrinal references on certain important ethical questions: They do not have a magisterium, or at least they don't have the clarity that we Catholics have.

I felt compassion for these people who wanted to do good for others. And, once again, I realized the great treasure we Catholics have in the magisterium.

Q: Why does America, which is "profoundly religious" as it says in the book, offer us so many films with so much blood and violence?

Fumagalli: In part, it depends on their culture. They have only been a country for a few centuries and for many decades of their history it was a sort of "no man's land" in which the law of survival of the fittest often won out.

We must not let ourselves be duped by the idyllic images we see in the movies. In the 1960s in some of the states in America they were still lynching blacks, just to make an example of them.

The Christian faith -- but also in the movies, I am convinced -- was and will be an element of education and transformation toward a less violent society.

This "rude" culture is reflected in part in American movies, which is more tolerant of violence than European movies.

We must not forget that European cinema has its roots in nihilism and atheism. In American cinema there are still significant traces of spirituality and very often -- from a human point of view -- the solutions that are given to the characters' problems are rooted in a balanced anthropology that has its roots in Judeo-Christian values.

I am thinking of films that are not outwardly religious such as "The Lord of the Rings" or "The Chronicles of Narnia," but also a film such as "The Truman Show," "You've Got Mail," "The Family Man," "Master and Commander," "Hitch," "Cinderella Man," "The Interpreter" and more.

Q: Why do we blame Hollywood for the evils of today?

Fumagalli: On one hand because it is true that movies and television series, which are the most widespread audiovisual products in the world, are important for presenting models for living.

On the other hand though, we must not forget that it is the responsibility of everyone to make the workplace the object of prayer but also a place of hard work, of men and women who have at heart the human person and his eternal destiny.

So therefore it is not enough to blame Hollywood for the evils of today: Each one of us must ask himself if he or she can do something to make things better.

Contact

Catholic Online
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000

Email

info@yourcatholicvoice.org

Keywords

Hollywood, Christians, Fumagalli, Film, Faith, Culture

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.