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Interpreting the movies

Leslie Hand draws out spiritual parallels from mainstream movies at Movie Glimpse, which she calls ‘interpreting the movies’.

Writer Leslie Hand comments: “MovieGlimpse was the suggestion of several different people who were always asking me to ‘interpret’ the movies. Several years ago the Lord began giving me interpretations of different movies. I believe that He is using the ‘common language’ of today which is the language of film, as a vehicle for His message. Just as He gave the dreams to Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar, I think He is using men such as Steven Spielberg in a similar way. I believe the church is missing it by not being an interpreter such as a Daniel or a Joseph. I have just finished writing about Chocolat. I must stress that I don’t sit and try and think these up. I can tell if the Lord is showing me something in a movie and I believe the insights come from Him. I have lots of fun stories about talking with total strangers and interpreting the movies for them! I just took a flight to the west and I interpreted movies all the way there to the man next to me!”

Embedded meanings

It seems that these echoes of eternity have so often been written into the storyline quite unintentionally. Indeed, almost by their nature, stories seem to need these elements. We can learn to search film and literature storylines for these meanings, and then we can hold up a mirror to these parts of popular culture, and reflect them back with added value by illuminating the meanings and parallels.

Writes a Christian professor, “Some years ago... I took a literature course in which the professor went to great lengths to explain the host of symbols and allegoires that he saw in his reading of Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick. After several lectures in which the professor went on in a seemingly endless proclamation of the Gospel according to Melville, a friend in the class whispdered, ‘I think he’s getting more out of Moby Dick than Melville ever put into it.’ ...it can also be added that this is what we are all entitled to do with art. When we engage with art, whether it be a piece of literature, a painting or a movie, we have every right, and even an obligation, to read into it truths and insights that go far beyond anything that the artist intended.”

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