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.
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Hollywood, Christians, Fumagalli, Film, Faith, Culture
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 HD Video
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, June 27, 2017
- St. Cyril of Alexandria: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, June 27, 2017
- Central bankers warn of looming global recession HD Video
- Vatican asks for the release of bishop forcibly removed from diocese
- Supreme Court sides with church in playground case
- Is Atheism a religion?
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, June 26th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, June 25th, 2017 HD
- Pope Francis prepares an incredible gift of love and solidarity for South Sudan HD