Wednesday, September 26, 2007

follow up

I decided that instead of putting all this in a comment, I would just comment on your comments to the movie post in another post. Got it? :-) And this way I can save it and write when I get a minute.

I really want to thank everyone again for reading my lengthy post and for your comments. I enjoy these types of discussions, especially when everyone is respectful of each other. I feel that was the case here, and I greatly appreciate that. I knew I would probably be in the minority with my views on this, and I'm grateful for how open-minded you all were while still expressing your differing opinions. In case anyone was worried, I was not in the least offended by any of the comments.

Now for some specific responses:

Kayli: I appreciate what you said about keeping things in perspective. That at the end of the day what does it matter if we miss a movie or two? I think remembering that can help us make better movie choices. I also do really appreciate the artistry in film and it's ability to inform, so I will probably continue to walk the line here.

Rachael: On obedience, I hear what you are saying and I think one will definitely be blessed for obedience with or without questioning. But on the other hand, I think it's also good to understand why we do things. And to understand the Spirit of the law. I also think that the Gospel is bigger than "the rules" and it's important for some to think about things more. I think one can be blessed either way. There are many types of people in the Church.

Suzy: I really appreciate that you brought up your "sensitivity" to certain material. I think that it is really important to be self-aware in this area. Movies are a powerful form of media and can certainly get things stuck in our heads, so to say, both good and bad. I think it's important to have respect for its influential power.

'Mom': Thank you for commenting. It's fun to know different people are reading my blog! I appreciate the insight of one who has lived more life than me and raised children. And yes, I do agree that part of sustaining our leaders is heeding their counsel.

Anonymous: Thanks for that quote! I actually was trying to find it and couldn't. One could certainly argue with me on this, but I do think that we have to take into account that this was 20 years ago. The way movies are rated has changed. (Also remember that foreign movies don't have American ratings.) So I still feel good about my decision to choose movies by more than just ratings. If you notice, the counsel today rarely specifies a rating but more general principles. Although yes, I do think that most R-rated movies fall in the category of movies we should avoid.

Emily: I'm glad you took your time to think about this. I have certainly spent a lot of time thinking about all this the past few days. And I, too, have been really disappointed when a movie looks so good and ends up being R. There are so many stories that can be told without all the smut.

e.g.: I'm so glad that you commented again and clarified what you meant! I apologize for reading more into your comment than you intended. Again, when I said I was watching that movie, I honestly didn't think about how it would appear. (Although my husband says he did when he saw it.) But I don't want to be hypocritical either, so I don't regret putting it there and launching this whole discussion. Your comment obviously did make me think, so thank you for that. I can't help but still feel the sting of judgment a little. But again, my blog is public and therefore I am willing to take the comments people leave.

Autumn: Wow, that is so crazy and sad that you have seen so much heartache firsthand. I agree that pornography is absolutely one of Satan's GREATEST tools. It has sunk into our culture and infiltrated everything. I am also not a fan of graphic sex scenes. I think that filmmakers should practice subtlety! We all have imaginations and can understand what's going on without being shown every detail. What I'm thinking about right now is, what effect does immoral behavior portrayed in movies (i.e. premarital sex) have on us even if it isn't explicitly shown? This is usually the case in movies. I can think of only a few instances where the "sex scene" in the movie was between married partners. But that is a commentary on our society. There just plain aren't that many people anymore who wait until marriage.

Several of you recommended screen Jared also recommends You don't have to be a member for it. These are good to find out what exactly is in the movie. Although, does anyone else ever feel that reading everything is almost as bad as seeing it? I've just noticed that on a couple movies I've seen they explicitly describe things I barely remember because I either didn't notice them or they were so brief I didn't realize what was going on. Anyway, I do think these sites are very useful tools for the most part.

Thanks again for all those who participated in my little discussion. I'd love to hear any more thoughts you all have. I do have a couple really good movie recommendations I am going to write about soon. Great stories and rated PG!!! So stay tuned for those!


  1. sorry i'm a little late on this, but i wanted to share my thoughts.

    some friends and i went through a phase where we watched a lot of movies. a. lot. of. movies. like one or two every day. we were not very discriminating in our selections. there are far too many words and images in my head now that i wish weren't there. i made my choice, though, and i am stuck with the consequences. i've since learned to be more careful about what i allow into my life. i refuse to see quite a few movies that too many people find perfectly acceptable simply on the basis that "they are not rated r."

    i'm trying to clear my life of anything that might be against the prophet's counsel, including questionable film, literature, and music. it's been hard. as with most goals, it takes constant effort and practice, frustratingly frequent moments of weakness followed by periods of renewed zeal. it will be a life-long struggle, i'm sure.

    that said, i still watch some r-rated movies. i could list several that have changed my perspective, dazzled me with their artistry, and even made me a better person. i may someday discontinue this practice, but at the moment i am satisfied with my decision.

    thanks for risking the controversy and making me think a little this morning, katrina. i appreciate it.

  2. I would love you to "list several" of your movie recommendations!

  3. "One could certainly argue with me on this, but I do think that we have to take into account that this was 20 years ago. The way movies are rated has changed."

    I'd choose to argue :) that the way movies are rated has changed to allow even more violence/nudity/swearing into lower ratings. At the time of that quote, most R-rated movies that he was saying NOT to see would now probably be PG-13. That said, I'm not saying we should avoid all PG-13 movies now, but I'm not sure I agree with your argument that the quote is outdated and ratings have changed.

    Interesting discussion/blog post to stumble upon though. I tend to agree more with those who have said it's not worth it and you're really not missing out on much. The only R rated movies I choose to watch (and I could probably count them on one hand) are ones that educate you in some way and really do leave out all the filth (there are a FEW like that), like United 93. For me, personally, it's just too much of a "hit and miss" to watch a lot of R-rated movies. You may hit some great ones that are really artistic and whatnot, but at what cost with all the ones that were more of a miss?

    -an anonymous reader :)

  4. To anonymous reader:

    Thanks for reading and commenting! Believe me, I see all your points. And I do think that in general movies have gotten worse not better. My main argument is that ratings are an imperfect system and for those of us who enjoy film, it helps to find other ways to help make movie choices. I'm also not saying I watch a lot of R-rated movies. More than most Mormons probably, but not indiscriminately.

    Thanks again for stopping by!