catapult magazine

catapult magazine




Jun 20 2003
09:07 pm

I can now chime in on this movie. I was very disappointed. It’s way too self-indulgent. I don’t care if the screenwriter knows he’s being self-indulgent, it’s still “shame on him” for being so.

The message of Adaptation is very similar to that of Signs, in my opinion. It seems like Hollywood people are so hung-up these days on finding personal meaning in life, as if that is the great end for mankind. What matters for Charlie Kaufman is that he has discovered himself in what he loves and it doesn’t matter who loves or doesn’t love him. And this is the great conclusion to his two hour struggle?

I also have a problem with the film’s perspective concerning what films are good for. Blah, I need to get the taste of this one out of my mouth!


Jan 14 2004
07:35 am

Again, I agree with you, B.C., that the way you are watching Adaptation is the way we are supposed to participate in art work as Christians, finding the good—the evidence of God’s grace and the beauty of His Creation. Like I said about Michelangelo and DaVinci, we may be able to redeem such works, no matter what they’re intention, just by viewing them properly. A piece of art or in this case—a movie—does not belong to the author alone, but to everyone who participates in it. It is a gift that must be received or rejected by people. Though the people do have a say, I do not like the democratic-capitalistic (American) way of validating art work, which is based on the popular vote, especially since the popular vote is founded on an education system that teaches “You are your own judge of truth”, “You are a self-determined individual”. If the popular vote was founded on conforming to the Word of God, if our values and aesthetic were guided by the Spirit of God, which allows for the diversity of many tribes, tongues and languages, I would trust the people’s vote, but it will take years of Kingdom growth before we will be able to trust the judgment of the people like that (just as it took a few hundred years for mankind to become a reasoning populace and just like it took a while for people to believe that they were born with natural inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.)


Jan 21 2004
12:56 am

i feel as if my positive reacton to adaptation as one of my favorite films of the year was somewhat of a catalyst to this discussion and have, to no avail, been reading post after post hoping that something said would address my feelings toward film and art in general.

as i believe someone mentioned earlier, i agree that art is a kind of God-created beauty. He created us in his image and part of that image includes the act of creating and the joy of appreciating these creations. we are made this way that we might praise Him in these things.

now i don’t know about anyone else out there, but i’m a little thick when it comes to praising God for his amazing natural creation. a particularly moving landscape or geographical wonder may evoke a response of praise in my heart, but for the most part i’m somewhat oblivious. however, this is not the case when i am a witness to the creation He has worked through the creatures He himself creates and inspires. it’s just the way i’m built and i thank God that he has ordered this world in such a manner as to accomodate a person such as myself.

a great piece of music or film never ceases to build within me a joy, pride, and wonder at my omnipotent God who i know has has given me these things to strengthen my faith and lighten my spirit. it can be a complex song by progressive rock greats emerson, lake, and palmer or a simple folk tune by donovan. the response is the same. it makes no difference the theological framework or inspiration behind the piece, if it is aesthetically pleasing to my ears and meets the artistic standards i endorse then the glory will go to the right place.

the same is true for film. on one hand, adaptation is a perverted, self-indulgent, morally debunkt piece of crap, but on the other hand it is super original, fall-down-funny, and filled with questions and analyzations of humanity that i could relate to on a certain level. in the end i was left smiling and satisfied in wonder of what a depraved yet wholly fascinating world this is.

this is where it gets tricky because i’m not advocating that this is an edifying film for anyone and everyone. i would be horrified to find that a parent had shown this film to a young child and i wouldn’t blame an adult for walking out on the film either. this begins to sound like relativism and it is. it’s relative to who we are and what we are able to enjoy, but as christians i believe this must be gauged by what we have been exposed to and where exactly we are on our walk with Christ.

personally i find it hard to sit through a formulaic, big budget, action movie, but another may find righteouss joy in the well-choreographed chase scenes and precisely executed explosions.

God has given us our own minds to discern and we must beware of those things which may lead us into temptation, but we must also be vigilant against the error of the pharisees which would have us forsake the good things of God for empty reasons that only appear noble and righteouss.