Saturday, April 12, 2014

Artistic License – from the Poetic to the Absurd

"Easter Lily" photo of my own potted plant!
Authors and fine artists must take risks when it comes to making a statement. They can only harness their passions and intentions for so long and then they must either step over the line or die trying. Today we call it “cutting edge.” In the past it was viewed as a daring attempt at expose’ to flaunt the accepted norms of society.

I attended the movie “Noah” with these thoughts in mind: "How far is Hollywood willing to go to exert their artistic powers over the Word of God?”

In a normal collaboration, the author is consulted on all points where the Producer or Director differs on presentation. Did the collaborators consult with the author of the Holy Bible? Did they meet with leading Christian leaders about their decisions or ideas or check them against accuracy?

"Bird of Paradise Bloom" (an amazing flower)
Apparently, not! The story of Noah was tweaked in dozens of places. For those who may have thought the Book of Genesis was legend before will surely believe that it is now. The movie included a taste of Science Fiction, a change in all the characters and their roles, and a distortion of the actual plot. Unfortunately, the smattering of truth displayed was overshadowed by a bizarre rendition of the truth and a lack of faith and obedience by the stalwart figures like Noah as represented in Genesis 6 (KJV).

Mystically, the animals were all put to sleep by a magic potion Noah himself concocted and not by the power of God. In Hollywood’s mythical version, the characters did not have to feed the sleeping animals which made it easier for Hollywood moguls to grapple with logistics.

In actuality, Biblical verse 21 of chapter six states that Noah was commanded: “And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for you and for them (animals) Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.”
"Fan Palm" in our neighborhood
Noah’s obedience to God doesn’t sound like a man who would willingly kill his own fictional newborn granddaughters as soon as they were born does it? In Hollywood’s twisted version of Noah, there was little food to eat anywhere, so how could they gather up any food?

Hollywood’s ark was also a strange affair and did not follow the constraints that Noah was given in Genesis 6:14-16 (KJV), neither alike were the number and sex of the only people saved on the ark. Fictional characters replaced Biblical ones, and instead of Noah releasing the raven and the dove at the appropriate time, it was his wife. Ham trudged off without a wife after they landed leaving behind his mother and father, a younger brother, and brother Japeth, his wife and two daughters.

I’m supposing that in order to preserve “political correctness,” females in the story were more vocal and performed many tasks usually performed by men of that day. Yes, I’m on a tirade; but how far is artistic license allowed to go?

"Sea Grape" Their deep roots are vital in protecting our coastline from erosion.
Will Noah’s Ark be a box office winner or a big loser? When we attended there were fewer than 10 people in the audience. When it was over there was no applause or standing ovation as in the most recent uplifting movies or Christian films.

Hollywood is trying to hang its hat on the countless successful Biblical and Christian productions in the last few years. Their own titles have been less well attended and the market for sleaze and violence is slipping. They are trying to mimic the formulae without the substance. The proof will be in the pudding.
(Copse of southern pine and small lake surrounded by dried up "alligator or flag grass")