Randy Astle on film criticism and Mormon film

2.21.11 | | 3 comments

I’m late in saying this, but it still should be said: if you haven’t already, I’d recommend reading Randy Astle’s presentation from the November 2010 Mormon Media Studies symposium. What Randy does is take a look at the major schools of film criticism and then propose the method he thinks is most amenable to a Mormon worldview *and* that a Mormon worldview can enrich as a theory of how film operates. I don’t want to discourage readers from clicking through to his presentation so I won’t reveal what that is, but I will quote what he has to say about the importance of criticism.

He writes:

Spencer W. Kimball’s “The Gospel Vision of the Arts” is admittedly ubiquitous in discussions of Mormon art and media, and it is usually cited for his predictions of remarkable future accomplishments, for instance that Mormon-themed “masterpieces should run for months in every movie theater, cover every part of the globe in the tongue of the people, written by great artists, purified by the best critics.” But while LDS filmmakers, in this case, have reason to rejoice in this prophetic benediction, it is my firm belief that the most important point is the final one, that the best critics must purify our films and, by extension, other media.

Mine too.

3 comments: “Randy Astle on film criticism and Mormon film

  1. Randy

    Thanks for the mention, Wm. This is a rough draft of the final chapter in my book on Mormon film, so hopefully I’ll have a chance to refine it, expand it a little bit, and publish it by the end of the year. Thus any feedback is welcome!

  2. Sarah Dunster

    I hadn’t heard of this Kimball prophecy before. I admit it makes me feel a bit hopeful. Being purified by criticism should be every artists’s aspiration. I feel like finding people whose criticism I trust is like finding friends who respect me enough to call me on my crap. Well, in a way it’s exactly the same thing:)

  3. Th.

    .

    Criticism’s been the subject on a couple other blogs lately and I’ve mostly just been disappointed they didn’t include this Astle quote.

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